Writing and~Uh, Not Writing

I’ve got a couple of weeks off.  It’s not all that unusual, but it’s not all that common either.  So I am writing.  Sort of.

I have the better part of a rough draft, which is the easy part for me.  I need to add a snappy opening, slap in a few transitions here and there, and viola! it will be ready for that dread 2nd Draft.  Then I go back and make sure everything makes sense and start to re-write a bit of the dull parts and try to pour some life into them.

Editing has always been my weakness-as the one or two regular readers of my blogs can attest.  But I like the writing part-that’s just swell.  But what do I like even more than the writing?  Why, not writing, of course.

Te help me with my not writing, and hopefully help with my editing, I have gone to the Library.   I found a number of books on writing.  Reading about writing is so much more satisfying than the usually writing avoidance tactics of:getting another cup of coffee or finding a recipe for that meal I need to prepare or cleaning up around the house.  This way I can do both nothing like real writing and nothing like real work around the house!

Books I checked out:

Janet Evanovich’s How I Write.  I don’t read her novels but she seems to bang one out about every three months and they are all bestsellers.  This is a great book with tons of advice-but it seriously needs an index.  The advice would be a lot more useful if I could just look up the info I want without having to flip through the whole damned thing-and still not find what I was looking for.

Bill Walsh’s Lasping Into A Comma.  One of countless books that sets out to help you figure out when to use words like Frig or Fridge and Gender or Sex.  It’s a fun book to flip through and find the random errors that I have making my writing whole life.  On the whole I prefer the Grammar Checker on Word for most things-though do often ignore it’s advice.

Jeff Vandermeer’s Booklife.  One of those nifty little books with hundreds of pages and dozens of bullet points.  He is a man who knows how to use an Outline, and then turn it into a table of contents.  He talks about setting goals near the start-and that I as far as I waded into the tiny type of this one.

Gail Pool’s Faint Praise.  This is about Book Reviews and how most people don’t do them properly and most good books are never reviewed as everyone is too busy reviewing the latest Mega Bestseller that everyone is going to buy anyway.  This is a very serious book with a nice index, a solid bibliography,  and a lot of footnotes.

Jack Hart’s A Writer’s Coach.  How to write book written by a newspaper Editor filled with solid real world advice-for people who want to write for newspapers.  I like his writing tips, but found his many newspaper references leading off in directions that didn’t really interest me that much.

Lee Gutkind’s Keep It Real.  A fairly dry and legal treatment on writing Creative Nonfiction.  It covers topics like Composit Characters, Facts, Guiding The Reader, and Truth.  All of the 41 topics covered are worth reading, but they are given chapters with lengths that are only a few pages long at best.

I have been reading these books, and a few others I have lying around the house, in hopes of getting some insight on how I should structure my book.  So far I have not been overly inspired, and I had not so much as banged out an open statement to warn the reader what to expect.

I have a few ideas now of where to start.

But it is getting a bit late, so maybe tomorrow. . .

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

Latest posts by Jon Herrera (see all)

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

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4 comments on “Writing and~Uh, Not Writing
  1. Haha I’m the first one to make a comment.

  2. DESCARTES says:

    You know, being first to comment here is not that great a feat.

    Just saying.

  3. RELAX MAX says:

    They let you check out that many books? I remember libraries. I used to live in ours when I was growing up. Practically. Good times. No learning how to write, though.

  4. DESCARTES says:

    I still love the library. But I have fallen into the habit of downloading dozens of books I end up not reading rather than checking out real books and not reading them.

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