Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Writing Craft

Writing is a learning curve that never ends, and continued study of the craft only makes you that much better. So I thought I would share an occasional reference book here for you.

I recently finished How I Write by Janet Evanovich with Ina Yalof.
For fans, you will recognize the author right away. For others, Janet Evanovich has written many books from romance to mystery, one of her most famous to date being the Stephanie Plum bounty hunter series (One for the Money through to Notorious Nineteen.)

This book is a bit different than most because, as shown by the title, it is not a HOW TO Write, but rather, Janet Evanovich’s interpretations on various topics through a question and answer type format.

I found the book entertaining and inspiring. Because of the format, it was like sitting down to a cup of coffee and a box of donuts with your favourite author and hearing all the ins and outs of how she makes a living. Often funny, occasionally serious and with a few more specifically craft oriented notations from Ina Yalof, the book was an easy read with the simplest of lessons woven through: Nothing will happen if you don’t just sit down and write.

There were a number of pages I marked for future reference and other areas I may not have totally agreed with her perspective on, but respected her explanations and was still able to take a lot from those areas, too. 

And that is the one thing you want to remember when reading reference material: We are all unique and have different perspective whether through life experiences and/or educational experiences and therefore you may not agree with what you are reading--One craft book can’t tell you exactly how to write a perfect story, but continuing to expand your knowledge base by taking the bits and pieces from each that speak to you, that give you the inspiration and drive to write, and write more, are what makes each book beneficial whether you liked it or not.

How I Write gave me a lot to think about and, most importantly, inspiration in my chosen careers, so for me, I'm glad I read it and recommend it as one of the more entertaining reference books.



  1. Thanks for the heads up. I'll check out her book soon. I agree that every writer has their own style. Working with an editor...
    The best editor for you is one who speaks your language. If they don't share your vision, it can be an extremely unpleasant experience. Don't be afraid to speak up, it's your baby. Great topic Stacy.

  2. Well said, Adelle! Editors should be guiding and working WITH you.

    Sometimes it is really no different than highschool or finding the right critique partners or even dating LOL...in the sense that sometimes you click with someone and sometimes you, unfortunately, just don't. Yes, there are times when you don't have a choice of editors depending on the publishing house, but most are good and understanding. But especially with independent editors, don't be afraid to ask questions and get a feel for an editor. Some may pleasantly surprise you :D

  3. Thanks for sharing, Stacy. I'll look into this one.

  4. Thanks for the review, Stacy. It sounds like a book I just might read. I've read a couple of how-to books and always take away something. Hearing how another author does it would be a more enjoyable read.

  5. Sounds like a very good book. I love to hear how other writers get inspired. I've been helped by many books and interviews.