• Roopa Raveendran-Menon

Of #reading #writing craft #books and other things

I am a glutton for reading writing craft books. I have always been. My Kindle bears witness to this compulsion. Over the years, I have read some delightful ones like David Morrel’s From Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing; Dorothea Brande’s Becoming a Writer, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird; Rene Browne and Dave King’s Self Editing for Fiction Writers; and Jenne Jarvis’ Crafting the Character Arc.

There have been terrible ones too, like Lisa Cron’s Story Genius, where she creates a water-tight formula to decode writing. Of course, just because I say it is terrible doesn’t mean the book is awful. What I meant by terrible was that it messed up my own ‘internal writing system’, which I believe each one of us has. Some writing craft books just polishes and refines that ‘internal writing system’ while others will just destroy it brick by brick.

Well, if you are among those that believe you don’t have that ‘internal writing system,’ then I dare you to think otherwise. We all do; it’s just that we are not aware of it.

If I do know my ‘internal writing system,’ then why do I keep seeking writing craft books, you might wonder. Sheer irrational compulsion, my friend!

There is also another thing.

While I have written an MG book that will be released next year and a YA novella and several short stories, I still feel like I know no better than when I wrote that first short story.

One interesting discovery that I have made along the way is my palate for writing craft books has changed; I seek out more nuanced books now.

Ursula K.Le Guin’s Steering the Craft is a real gem. The first chapter especially grabbed me. I think it is perfect for storytellers that are looking to polish their writing. Even better is that you can enjoy her lush prose as you read. I know Ursula K. Le Guin fans will know what I am talking about!

Feel free to share your experiences with reading craft books here. I am greedily waiting to hear.

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