Sunday, May 9, 2010

Book Reviews

As promised I am back again to tell you about the two books I have just finished reading.
My friend and I have co-authored a YA fiction. Our pitch obviously had something to it, because we had three requests for more material in relatively quick succession. Unfortunately we also heard back relatively quickly that our writing was not up to scratch. One very kind agent in NZ gave us a list of books that might help us along. So my friend and I have been working our way through them, taking copious notes and learning what we can.

My first book...
The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler.
This is a great book looking at the structure of story. The author has studied mythology and drawn from his research that most successful stories follow a general pattern for plot outline and also include certain character types. I found it a really interesting read. It is a great book if you are getting started on a new story idea or if you are stuck in the middle of one and are a little sure where to go next. I am currently planning a rewrite of the first book in my trilogy and am finding this helpful in working out the kinks in my plot.

The second book...
Story by Robert McKee
Awesome, awesome, awesome! It is actually written for screen writers, but so many of the lessons apply to storytellers whether it's for the stage, screen or novel. It is really in depth and highlights so many excellent points about how to make... characters interesting, scenes pacey and filled with conflict, the structure of a story arc appropriately, dialogue realistic and punchy . I took 30 pages of notes. If you're serious about writing I highly recommend this book.

My next book on the shelf is The Art of Fiction by John Gardner. I look forward to getting my teeth into and will let you know how I go.

Before I start that though, my next goal is to thoroughly map out my rewrite of my latest manuscript. I have so many new lessons to apply to my work and I'm REALLY hoping for good results. I think one thing that keeps coming back to me over and over again is that I need to slow down, take my time, plan thoroughly, do my research and get it right. I have the tendency to enthusiastically rush into my writing and it just creates so much more work.

I hope everyone is having a great week and getting all the writing they want done :)

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