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Idea Farming: A Science Guy's Read #1 ...on Writing (A Science Guy's Read on) (Volume 1) 1st Edition
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
It’s only fair to ask why anyone, let alone you, should pay good money for a booklet about writing from C. R. Downing. At one level, the answer is pretty straightforward. Here’s a list of accomplishments as an author that establish Downing’s cred. He’s won awards for his writing. “Teachers as Writers” and a 2000 word maximum length competition in Writer’s Digest, his humorous short stories, not sci-fi, garnered first prize ribbons—and $25 from WD. His first novel, Traveler’s HOT L – The Time Traveler’s Resort received the Best Science Fiction Novel in the 2014 USA Best Book Awards competition. He’s published four science fiction books and one non-fiction book. Two of the fiction books, Traveler’s HOT L and The Observers – A Science Fiction Odyssey, are published by Koehler Books in Virginia Beach, VA. Morgan James – The Entrepreneurial Publisher, in New York, NY, publishes his non-fiction Tune Up Your Teaching & Turn On Student Learning—a book for parents and teachers co-authored by Downing. Two other sci-fi novels, Traveler’s HOT L Volume Two – New Tales from the Time Traveler’s Resort and RIFTS – A Science Fiction Thriller, are self-published through Amazon.com’s CreateSpace and Kindle. He’s been writing for a long time. First as Chuck Downing, he wrote dozens of stories—mostly short science fiction stories—while teaching high school in the 1980s. Although now retired after 39 years of full time teaching both high school and university science and teacher training classes, he’s still writing—now as C. R. Downing.
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Top customer reviews
Being primarily a poet, I found attempts to branch out and write longer prose that involved my readers having to turn pages, slightly daunting. However, reading Downing’s Idea Farming, which uses the metaphor of writing with gardening, defined the process so that even a city gal like me could understand and easily utilize his method.
For example, he explains to successfully grow plants, The LAW is needed (ample Light, Air and Water); to write a story the following is needed: believable characters, reasonable plot points, and realistic dialog (BC, RPP, RD). He then breaks down each of those points i.e.: fertilizing (right amount of Phosphate=needed for root health, aka moments in the story where plot shines brightly, or nitrogen=capturing energy stored for photosynthesis, aka believability in every aspect of the plot).
Downing outlines the differences between short story, novella and novel using the metaphor of short stories or novellas as herbaceous plants - only lasts 1-2 years, shorter, more colorful plants, and “projects a specific feel.” Novels are Perennials, wood stemmed plants (oak trees and rose bushes), as they are tougher, taller and can handle more complex, longer plot points, and more sophisticated characters. Novels are worthy of more commitment from the reader, both in time and feelings for well-developed characters, and intrigue in the story (“I just can’t put this book down”). Even Chapter 8, “Mega Farming – the Book Series” seems a bit more graspable for a writer like me.
He includes inspirational selections such as Heinlein’s Five Rules of Writing, as well as his favorite editor’s information, and as any good writer who is concerned about his audience, asks his readers to connect him on twitter, Facebook, his blog or website. This ties back to his section, “Pray for Bees.” Bees are feedback, and without the bees sharing and pollinating the word, the world would be gray and devoid of stories. Start planting your story today.
I'm delighted to have stumbled across this book as it's helped ease the strain I was putting myself under with trying to write my 2nd book and I could not recommend it enough to anyone about to undertake the frustrating but thrilling process of writing and publishing their own book.