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Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey by [Wendig, Chuck]
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Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • 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
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,677 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
4 stars just because I'm name-dropped about half way through the book. Extra star for his hilarious send up of the acknowledgments page.

I kid. I kid.

This is, in essence, TerribleMinds: the remix. Consider this the greatest hits collection of Chuck's writing advice throughout the years, with bonus content and post scripts on many of the articles. You'll see Chuck change his mind about NaNoWriMo, completely reverse his stance on ebooks, and expand on a lot of ideas he only glossed over the first time around. That alone is well worth the $5 price tag.

Bottom line - this is the most honest writing advice you'll come across. You won't agree with everything Chuck puts forward, and he doesn't expect you to. He doesn't approach his methods and musings as The One True Way to Write. Instead he'll give you lots of options to chew on, things to ponder, and a new way of looking at your craft.

Writers, this collection is a boon. Add it to your collection.
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Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey is a fun read, full of encouraging solid advice for people who would like to be what he is - a professional freelance writer. At times challenging, funny, profane, sweet, and inspiring, (occasionally all of those things at once), Chuck's articles - mostly taken from his blog at terribleminds.com - did a very important thing. They made me think long and hard about whether professional writing is for me.

Chuck Wendig is, well, an odd duck with a penchant for creative, colorful profanity that is nothing short of astounding. He is also, by most reports, usually pantsless. You have been warned. And of course, now I can't think about the words long and hard without it being a euphemism. CURSE YOU, WENDIG!!!
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My personal experience with the fiction genre is, well, non-existent. I can give you a step 1, step 2, and step 3 like a how-to virtuoso. But to make up a tale with plots (can there really be more than one?) and dialogue and conflict and under stories... I'm a neophyte. A corn on Stephen King's baby toe.

So when I read books like Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey, it's all a pre-k education for me. Research for my great urban novel that every princess like me dares to undertake in her lifetime.

And quite frankly, any book with the title "penmonkey" can't be half-bad, right?

Well let's just say penmonkey is the most tame of the vernacular here.

I grew up listening to Richard Pryor on my Barbie record player after school when I was a kid, so I love "colorful" language. Well let's just say that author Chuck Wendig is, ummm, very colorful in that Pryor-esque kind of way.

He wields cuss words in a fashion that I can only describe as "potty mouth linguistics."

You couldn't outrun it if you were part Usain Bolt, part hungry cheetah - it lovingly permeates Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey like a bad armpit smell in an old t-shirt.

But I digress... if you're easily offended by bad words, do not peek behind the curtain. You'll have a morality heart attack.

As for me, well I laughed (a lot) while rollicking with Mr. Penmonkey. I purposely stored away some very keen ideas on dialogue and emotional core and tension, as well as unicorns and goats.

It's not an in-depth treatise on these topics (this book is a collection of his best blog posts), but more like a 'think-on-these-snippets' type explanation.
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Is Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey the most useful book of writing advice I will read all year? Yes it is. You too, if you're smart.

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.
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