Welcome back for our Week #3 check-in, Wipsters.
“I’ve had a story rattling around in my head for years, waiting to be told. Maybe it’s time I wrote it.”
If you’ve been a writer for very long, you’ve likely encountered similar comments. Whether you’re having lunch in the cafeteria at work, chatting over coffee after a club meeting, or making small talk with another parent in the bleachers at hockey practice, if you mention you’re a novelist your words may unbind the dreams of a wannabee writer. Suddenly a lot of gut-spilling happens. I think it’s a little like unburdening to a hairdresser or bartender!
After the above statement was made we chatted a bit about her ambition. I always like to encourage anyone who feels the pull to write, but it was soon obvious that she would benefit from doing some groundwork on the craft of writing before she began putting any words on paper.
“What genre will it be?” When she raised her eyebrows over a look filled with confusion, I added, “What kind of story?”
“Oh, it’ll be a fiction novel.”
Near the end of that conversation she asked if I could recommend a book that would tell her everything she needed to know. She wanted a magic formula. Not wanting to either discourage or overwhelm her, I offered to lend her something from my bookshelves that would give her an overview of novel-writing basics. After that I suggested she write a complete first draft of the story before reading anything more and perhaps getting tangled up (or bogged down) with too many mechanics.
Of the over fifty craft books on my shelf, I didn’t choose the first book I had read, which was TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER by Dwight Swain (1965). Instead I chose to lend her WRITING A NOVEL AND GETTING PUBLISHED by Nigel Watts (1996, NTC Publishing Group), not because I thought it was the most comprehensive guidebook, but because it’s short, simple and straightforward… and not too scary for a very new and naïve writer.
This is where I ask YOU what book you would have recommended in that situation. Not the book you value now as an experienced writer and/or published author, but the one book you wish someone had given you before you began your first manuscript.
Now… before we start getting tweeted to bits, I suppose I need to satisfy all the birdie curiosity and announce the winner of last week’s draw for a review by Jessica Morrell of a synopsis (or query) and the first five pages of a manuscript.
WEEK #2 WINNER
Kiperoo – Kip Wilson Rechea
Congratulations, Kip! Please contact me at caroljgarvin [at] gmail [dot] com with your e-mail address and I’ll give you the scoop on claiming your critique from Jessica.
Now, for next week… since we’re talking about craft books today, one person commenting before next weekend on today’s post will win a $25 Amazon gift certificate to use towards the purchase of a book of your choice.
We’ve hit the mid-point of the month, so have you all made it half-way to the goal(s) you set for July? There’s still time if you boot into high gear. Go, go, go!!! (But don’t forget to leave a comment before you depart — or several. Every comment gets a separate entry in the draw.)
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