- Flexibound: 160 pages
- Publisher: Rock Point (August 22, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1631063650
- ISBN-13: 978-1631063657
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Should Be Writing: A Writer's Workshop Flexibound – August 22, 2017
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From the Publisher
10 Story Ideas in 10 Minutes
A waiter is on their first day at work.
They nervously spill a glass of ice cold water down the back of someone at a table.
Write one paragraph where this happens to your protagonist. Then write a similar paragraph for each main character.
(Hint: each character should respond differently to this experience.).
Go for a walk. Think about your characters' favorite clothing. Think about their pasts. Wonder what they would say if they were walking with you. Don't think about what you're stuck on, but create new ideas instead. Now write them down.
Four Steps to Editing Success
- Run a spelling and grammar check.
- Do a search for the words 'saw,' 'heard,' 'are,' and 'was.' These verbs are considered weak/passive. Find your passive verbs and rewrite those sentences to be more active.
- Read for clarity and continuity.
- Find some readers. If you have a writers' group or some friends, get them involved.
About the Author
Mur Lafferty's podcast, I Should Be Writing, has run for free, since 2005, helping new writers overcome both emotional ("Rejection! My career is OVER!") and craft-specific ("How do I choose a POV for my novel?") writing problems. She has interviewed several notable authors including John Scalzi, Neil Gaiman, Gail Carriger, Adam Christopher, and Kameron Hurley. The show reaches more than 8,000 listeners each week. Mur has been a podcaster for 11 years and has won the Podcast Peer Award and three Parsec Awards. She is also the winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and of the Manly Wade Wellman Award. In 2015 she was inducted into the Podcaster Hall of Fame. She has hosted and/or created shows for Tor.com, Lulu, and Angry Robot Books, as well as created several of her own shows, like Geek Fu Action Grip and I Should Be Writing. Her newest show, Ditch Diggers, looks at writing from a business point of view.
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The layout of the book is beautiful, easy to read, and done in chapters that you can skip around or re read easily. The book has the Bully(our inside voice who likes to tell us we can't write.) and Our Muse(our creative force that tells us to keep going.) I found this helpful because it shows you that almost every writer has experienced this type of feeling. I equally felt Chapter 3 entitled Squashing Myths is important to everyone on the road to writing. Practice, persistence and hard work will out way anything in life.
Chapter 4 is to be what makes Mur stand out- All Writing Advice is Crap. It's a chapter about taking advice with a grain of salt. You have to find your groove in writing. If that means writing everyday, just on the weekends, at your job, or between mid terms. Every writer has their own set of what works for them and we should find our own.
Chapter 1(how did I forget this part) really talk about expectations of what you are getting into with publishing. It gives a chart that breaks down advances and pay. I haven't found another writing book that really breaks down what they pay structure of an author can be and to realistically set your goals. There is also a quote from Kameron Hurley that really talks about getting published is just one hurdle.(keep on writing.)
Overall the book is amazing and really helpful. The writing exercises are fun and the part where she talks about editing is incredibly helpful and clear. While I got an advance readers copy I already have preordered two other copies for two of my writer friends. GET THIS BOOK. ITS AMAZING!
Anybody who thinks they'd like to be a fiction writer should read this.
Let’s start with the positives:
That title—snazzy. The moment my eyes landed on it, I was like—YES! That’s me—a wannabe writer that just hasn’t found the discipline or confidence to sit down and really explore my ideas on the page. Hearing that EVERYONE experiences negative self-talk—even seasoned and widely-published writers—put things in perspective. It’s no secret, putting yourself out there is hard, while finding excuses is all too easy. To further that point, the author delves into the quest some of us have for perfection and how it only hinders a writer’s progress. NOTHING is ever perfect and apparently that’s what editors are for. I think the biggest and most important piece of advice I took away from this book was to write, write, write and then go back and try to edit. It’s important to avoid letting your “inner editor” bully you about word usage and sentence structure as you’re writing—save that for the actual editing phase.
Alright, it’s time to delve into the negatives or things I personally found unhelpful. Number one, the author’s discussion on how to publish or what one might expect to see as far as an advance. For the person picking up this book—one who’s acknowledged “I Should Be Writing”—that’s a little outside the scope of focus. Shouldn’t we be more worried about actually getting the words on the page? I also felt some of the author’s advice was contradictory—she says you don’t need a fancy new pen or notebook to get started, but in the next breath pimps Scrivener. Huh? The “workshop” wraps up with a large number of writing exercises/prompts, which honestly felt like nothing more than filler.
Overall, this is a quick and easy read with some useful insight, but not something that I found to be mind-blowing in any capacity.
*Thank you to Quarto Publishing Group - Rock Point for a copy in exchange for an honest review.