- File Size: 1136 KB
- Print Length: 338 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Terribleminds; First Kindle Edition edition (May 18, 2011)
- Publication Date: May 18, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0051JTOLQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,436 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey Kindle Edition
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Wendig's off-the-wall, foul-mouthed ranting style is, as always, highly entertaining. He doesn't pull punches, and is the literary equivalent of Gordon Ramsay.
In the instant book, each article is backed up by a calmer, saner, commentary, which I found good, as Wendig's blog style, while lovable in the extreme when one's reading a short article, became, for me, rather tedious when maintained through a whole book, rather as half-hour comedy shows are when germinated from a three minute sketch. Vide Kingswood Country, Fawlty Towers. Be that as it may, most of the content is, when you scrape off the hyperbole about goat-shagging robot aardvarks, deeply sensible. I didn't agree with all of it - we all have our own ways of working - but I could respect all of it, and even found a few ideas I will probably try out.
What made me sad, though, and the reason I've only given the book three stars instead of the four it would otherwise have earned from me, was Wendig's careless approach to the presentation of his work. Despite fulminating about the importance of editing, of multiple drafts and of quality generally, this writer, writing a book about how to be a better writer, used 'lay' intransitively, 'you're' where 'your' was required, and 'effects' instead of 'affects'.
As a working writer myself, I didn't allow this sloppiness to take away from the value of the content, but given the subject matter, I do feel it is bound to affect (NOT 'effect') the author's credibility.
I'm giving the book a 4.5. Even if I hadn't gleaned a drop of useful information from it, the book was massively fun to read. I did come away with some useful information though, and a stronger sense of how I wish to pursue my future as a writer. I'm being a squid and docking the book half a star because of the typos and missing words that were sprinkled throughout the text. Chuck was quite adamant about copy editing your work before presenting it to the world, so this is my way of hitting him on the nose with a rolled newspaper.
Because I enjoyed this book so much I have purchased two more of his books, and subscribed to his blog. He must be doing something right.
When it kicked off with the self-castigating affirmation "I am a writer, and I will finish the s**t that I started" I knew I'd come to the right place. Chuck Wendig's ebook collection of essays on the life and trials of the self-employed writer cuts through the accumulated mythological detritus of the freelancer and tells it like it is.
Confessions is crude, irreverent and frequently blunt to the point of cruelty - "Crap Habits of the Highly Ineffective Writer" and "Why You Probably Still Suck as a Writer" are just two of his dilettante deterring screeds, and not even close to the worst for ego-deflating brutality - but it's fair. Professional writing would appear to be a pretty tough gig.
Wendig pulls no punches in laying out just how much work goes into writing, editing and publishing, not to mention finding ways to avoid starvation during the long gulf between typing "The End" and commencing the four-continent book-signing tour. For that matter, Confessions will leave you with a pretty clear picture of the effort required to make a living from writing for money. This book conveys practical, no-nonsense advice (albeit in an authorial voice so nonsensical it verges on the drunken. And hilarious). Wendig puts fiction-writing under the microscope from every angle until something catches fire: dialogue, editing, structure, plotting. He looks at action scenes, sex scenes, descriptive passages, purple prose. And rewriting: he's big on the rewriting. He also dishes the grill on the life of the jobbing writer, on subjects such as handling criticism, engaging with clients, getting paid for your work and the perils of being a moron on the internet.
The take-home vibe of Confessions is sheer exuberance for the written word. Sure, it's an exuberance tempered with steel-eyed professionalism, relentless determination and a suspicious fascination with hobos, but Wendig's love of his chosen vocation is infectious. How can you not love someone who, in a discussion of caffeine, describes soda as containing sugar of the "we molested corn with science until it yielded cheap sweetness" variety?
Most recent customer reviews
'Confessions' holds a great many pearls of...well, wisdom.Read more