Brittle Skillet

Sparks of passion and items of interest.

Posts Tagged ‘Writer

Another Writing Book: Just What We Need

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NovelIdeasDo we really need another book about writing? The world seems overflowing with books from authors for other authors about being an author. Is there a smidgen of room left on the book shelf for another such tome?

Well, perhaps. What if the “new” book was different? What if the title was Novel Ideas and the thrust of the book was truly not previously presented?

This is apparently what Barbara Shoup and Margaret-Love Denman have achieved. Now, I haven’t read the book myself (yet), but this one does intrigue me. If what Ian Scheffler reports is true, we writers may be in for a special treat.

According to Scheffler, these two creative writing teachers have written a book about the process and experience of writing after interviewing a broad range of accomplished writers. Scheffler claims that, “. . . the diversity of experience among the writers interviewed leaves something unique for every reader.”

Every reader, huh?

Have you read Novel Ideas? If so, what did you think of it?

Graphic courtesy Amazon.com

© Julie Pierce and Brittle Skillet, 2009-2011.

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Written by Julie Pierce

August 10, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Posted in Writing

Tagged with , , ,

The Good Critic: How To Critique

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By PresleyJesus

Everyone’s a critic all right. Sometimes that can be helpful, but most of the time it’s a drag. Especially when your a writer. Who are these people with their slicing comments and degrading suggestions? Why would someone actually say, “This sucks,” even if they don’t like it, or “Why don’t you just slit your wrists now?” It’s nothing but hurtful.

Writing is a process. It doesn’t always come out right the first time. That’s why we need feedback. It helps correct course and approach. But blatantly thrown rocks and knives do nothing but destroy us.

It’s not that we only want to hear the good things, but the difference between constructive criticism and a cruel blow is the difference between an improvement to a manuscript and a really crappy day, wherein we may want to slit our wrists.

So if you are ever asked for your opinion about someone’s writing, be thoughtful and truthful, but also be kind. There’s no need to say, “Well, my friend, you may want to stop with this writing fantasy of yours. Besides you don’t really have time for a hobby.”

Instead, why not suggest that you’re not the best critic for this job because the story is not generally the type you like. Or perhaps you could just smile and pick the one thing you did enjoy about it, like how cool the title is, or how well you like the font.

In her blog post from July 4, 2009, Anne R. Allen lays it out perfectly and offers great advice to writers everywhere, no matter what they write. Her suggestions of how to deal with a self-appointed critic are golden. Anne also tells us where to solicit a critique and where to avoid it. This is the good stuff.

Photo by PresleyJesus

© Julie Pierce and Brittle Skillet, 2009-2011.

Written by Julie Pierce

July 25, 2009 at 6:52 pm