Check out 2 great blog entries covering Dinty Moore‘s Crafting the Personal Essay (one of my favorite books I’ve had the pleasure of editing).
Archive for September, 2010
A few weeks ago I posted about Barbara Baig‘s new book How to Be a Writer: Building Your Creative Skills Through Practice and Play. There were some great comments and discussion posted, including one by Alex Wilson who said that with a title like How to Be a Writer the book had better be good.
You can read Mr. Wilson’s verdict on his excellent blog wilsonwritings.com
Yeah. So there’s no denying that YA and books for teens are where it’s at these days. Everyone’s talking about the Hunger Games series and I bought a copy for my wife.
I started thinking about what makes this stuff so successful and then I started thinking about how much I enjoyed reading as a kid (and about the types of things I liked to read). And then I started to think that maybe why YA books are so big (Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc.) is that people are just craving straight up story telling. It’s pure escapism and reading for the sake of entertainment. Pure and simple.
It makes sense to me. Some of the things I read just bog me down with heavy themes or tricky story structure. It’s nice to read a straightforward, well told story.
And personally, I read so much for my job that when I read in my spare time, I sort of crave something just fun. So yeah, at first I thought it was all hype and cutesyness, but the YA thing… I kinda get it. (Though you’ll never convince me that vampires should sparkle).
What does everyone else think? Love the teen/tween book phenomenon or are you over it?
This is a book I’ve been recommending to anyone who writes creative nonfiction (even folks who want to write memoir, though the book is targeted toward shorter works). Moore has an engaging voice and really conveys a passion for exploring one’s life through writing. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve had the pleasure of working on… check it out.
I’ve been posting sporadically lately as I’ve had a lot of projects in the works and haven’t had a chance to post as often. Thought it might be a good time to give a quick run down of some of the things I have going on for anyone who might be interested.
A couple of cool books I’ve been editing are in production now and I can’t wait to see the finished copies:
- Plot Versus Character by Jeff Gerke (due October 2010): Some writers put the story first, focusing everything around their plot line. Some writers are interested in exploring the intricacies of their characters, and plot takes the back seat. This book offers an approach to writing fiction that allows writers to learn if they are leaning too far toward one of these fiction elements or the other and find the right balance.
- The 90 Day Novel by Sarah Domet (Due November 2010): Need a kick in the pants? This day-by-day plan for outling and writing your novel is full of great advice, exercises to get your project done. It’s stern but funny inspirational tough love.
I’m also prepping for our WD’s latest Editor Intensive Writing Workshop this weekend where writers will spend one day taking in lectures and panels and a second day in one-on-one critique sessions with WD editors. I’m meeting with 7 writers on Sunday. It’s always exciting to talk to other writers about the craft.
Finally, I wanted to mention that I’m schedule to sit on a panel at the AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) Conference for 2011. Here’s a description:
Things That Go Bump When You Write: Monsters, Myths and the Supernatural in Literary Fiction
B.J. Hollars, Hannah Tinti, Laura van den Berg, Scott Francis
What do Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and ghosts all have in common? For one, over the past year, they’ve all managed to stomp, swim and haunt their way onto the literary scene. Join writers as they discuss their experiences implementing supernatural elements into their fiction. Panelists will offer tips on how to add credibility to the incredible and humanity to the inhuman. They will also explore the evolving definitions of gothic and grotesque in the 21st century.