Opposing Views

Hello, again, bloggy friends!

The past year has been a nutty one, and I’m shamefully returning to the blogging scene. I’m taking a page out of a friend’s blog and trying to make writing goals for each month.

If you don’t know her, Indigo Wood is amaze-sauce. Truly. A fabulous friend and amazing writing buddy. Go visit her.

Anywho, recently I undertook a massive project to completely revamp my fantasy series. I know I’ve said that before with multiple re-writes, but this is actually a re-think from the beginning. Similar ideas, but plot and overarching series arc is different.

In an effort to bring about the best writing I can muster, I read two different books on writing (from my impressive collection of books on writing), and I wanted to recommend them both.

However, they’re polar opposites in views. But I think that’s a good thing.

The first one is Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell.

Essentially, he wrote a book for people who think they can’t learn how to write. How he learned to write and the techniques from start to finish for completing a book. Including how to plot, finding ideas, structuring a successful novel, etc.

I literally took notes on this book as if it were a class on writing and found some AMAZING ideas for my new plot in the process. This was a life-changing read.

On the other hand, I’m not the most structured writer and feel too confined when following specific guidelines. So I also read Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules by Steven James. A solid book for pantsers or semi-pantsers, like me.

All about breaking out of the structural guidelines that other books purport to be essential to the writing process. Actually, I felt like he was taking a few digs at Scott Bell’s book, directly, but maybe that was just me.

Both of these books offered great advice and two different takes on successful writing. Depending on your mood, ideals, personality, etc, one of these would work for you. I recommend reading them both to get a well rounded concept of how to write, if you’re struggling.

 

Happy writing to all!

 

“In fact, one could argue that the skill of the fiction writer boils down to the ability to exploit intensity.”
James Scott Bell, Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish

“Organic writers are never directionless because we can always work on scenes that fulfill the promises we’ve made earlier in the story or go back and foreshadow the fulfillment of promises we think of as the story takes shape.”
Steven James (Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules)

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