Crafty Writing Part 2

Free Today on Amazon

In my last post, I wrote about the importance of focusing on the craft of writing. What had set me of was the slew of get-rich-quick-through-self-publishing books I’ve recently seen on Amazon. Here are two other ways to get rich quick:

  1. Your reclusive great-uncle Wilfred, whom you’ve never met, dies and leaves you his millions!
  2. You win the Mega Lotto!

Could happen, right? Riiiiight…

Here’s the deal with writing: if you’re in it for fame and fortune, you’re in the wrong profession. Which isn’t to say you can’t make a living as a writer, you can! Like any other profession, you need to be good at what you do. Churning out sub-standard crap at your day job will not get you a promotion. Self-publishing quickly-written, poorly-edited books is not a ticket to literary super stardom.

But wait! What about Zoe Crapwriter who wrote “23 Shades of Crap” and made millions?

Welcome to the literary lotto. Some people just get lucky. Or the author may have marketing savvy that makes up for poor writing. Or Zoe Crapwriter is actually a good writer who worked hard at her craft and found  an audience, which doesn’t include you. It’s all subjective.

I hate to use the “G” word, but I will. Grammar. Writers hate it. Editors love it. If you want to be a crafty writer, you’ve got to bone up on it. Luckily, there are plenty of good books on grammar and self-editing. And, luckily, one of those is free today on Amazon.

  Be Your Own Editor by Sigrid MacDonald
Are you uncertain when to use affect or effect? Loath or loathe? Compliment or complement? Do you struggle with character development, establishing realistic dialogue and composing articles, proposals or manuscripts? Be Your Own Editor by Sigrid Macdonald offers a crash course in grammar basics, starting with punctuation and proper use of the dreaded apostrophe. It suggests ways to identify frequently misused words; to devise strong characters and background settings in fiction; and to structure nonfiction.

While we’re talking self-editing, I want to shout out one of my favorite writing manuals. I would say that this book more than any other bought me a clue about writing and editing. It is NOT FREE. It is worth it’s price, $9.99, and much more.

  Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Dave King and Renni Browne
In this completely revised and updated second edition, Renni Browne and Dave King teach you, the writer, how to apply the editing techniques they have developed to your own work. Chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, many drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited. (Description from the paperback edition)

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

This freebie is a limited time offer and there is no guarantee this book will still be free when you click on the link. Grab it sooner rather than later.

Crafty Writing

Free Today on Amazon

I’m back behind the keyboard after a fabulous staycation spent with my friend, Susan, who was visiting from California. For the first time in a while, I took a look at the Kindle freebies. One thing that caught my attention were the books offered in the Reference: Writing section. I saw a lot of “write fast and easy, publish quickly, make your pile.”

Wow. Can it really be that easy? I’ve got two answers.

Yes, it can! If you are already fabulously talented and experienced, and are some kind of genius with a way with words, or you have your finger on the throbbing pulse of what’s hot right now and can write really fast, you might, with a lot of luck, be able to do just that.

Otherwise, no. And please, don’t. Don’t be part of what makes indie publishing bad, i.e., offering up a steaming pile of crap on Amazon, Smashwords, iBooks, etc.

Craft, not crap, is what will get you noticed in a good way, get you readers, good reviews and, who knows, even a contract with an agent or publisher.

While sifting through the easy peasy bullsh!t books, I did find a gem among the freebies, one that offers genuine advice on the craft of writing conflict. It’s list price is $9.99, so grab now while it’s still free.

  Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict by Diana Hurwitz
Good writers ask, “What if? Great writers ask, “Why?” Characters in your story world walk around and do what you, the writer, program them to do. They may not know why, but you should. Effectively manipulating your characters’ actions, reactions, and motives makes great fiction. Faulty logic and missing motive are plot holes that cause reader disconnect. The reader growls and shrieks: “The character would never do that.” At best, readers smirk and continue to read. At worst, they stop reading and never pick up another book you’ve penned. Within these pages, we meet, warp, and torture 16 characters. We take them from cradle to the grave. We explore how their temperaments create and resolve believable obstacles at the overall story and scene level. We explore what makes your protagonist, antagonist, friends, and foes tick. We find out who they love and hate. We find out what kind of friend, parent, and lover they are. We learn how their strengths and weaknesses lead them to success and failure.

In the interest of my own craft, I bought a book on writing fight scenes. I actually get compliments on my fight scenes. I’ve taken Shaolin Kung Fu classes, I’m married to a martial artist and am a big MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fan. However, writing those scenes isn’t easy and I know I have lots of room to improve. This books looks like it offers some great advice on all kinds of action, from guns to swords to magic. Note: it is NOT free. The Kindle price is nice, just $4.99.

  Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall
Learn step-by-step how to create fictional fights which leave the reader breathless with excitement. The book gives you a six-part structure to use as blueprint for your scene. It reveals tricks how to combine fighting with dialogue, which senses to use when and how, how to create a sense of realism, and how to stir the reader’s emotions. You’ll decide how much violence your scene needs, what’s the best location, how your heroine can get out of trouble with self-defense and how to adapt your writing style to the fast pace of the action.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

This freebie is a limited time offer and there is no guarantee this book will still be free when you click on the link. Grab it sooner rather than later.