Writing is a learning curve that never ends, and continued study of the craft only makes your writing stronger. So I thought I would share an occasional reference book here for you.
First up, I want to share How I Write by Janet Evanovich with Ina Yalof.
For fans, you will recognize the main author right away. For others, Janet Evanovich has written many books from romance to mystery, one of her most famous being the Stephanie Plum bounty hunter series (One for the Money, Two for the Dough, etc.)
This book is a bit different than most because, as shown by the title, it is not a how to write book, but rather, her 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 that, though I may not have totally agreed with her perspective on, I did respect her explanations and was still able to take bits from those areas, too. And this is the one thing you want to remember when reading reference material: We are all unique and have different perspectives whether through life experiences and/or educational experiences, and therefore, you may not agree with everything you read. 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 which speaks to you from each, gives you the inspiration and drive to 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.