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I don't review books I don't like!
*****= An all-time favorite
A Book for Writers
by Jane Yolen
Reviewed July 29, 2003.
I found this book wonderfully inspirational.
I’ve always thought that if writing is suffering, it would be better
to find something else to do. Yet it is hard to get busy and do
it sometimes. I like her reflections on these ideas, that
writing should be a joy and most of the suffering comes from wanting
to get published.
“Only when I hear that ringing, that battle horn, that vision, that tapping, that clear argument, do I know there is a story I have to tell.
“Then I must invoke the magic word. Oh, yes—there is one. All truly successful writers know it.
whisper it in your ear:
“It stands for Butt In Chair.
“Really. Hard work is the only real magic there is . . . if the book in your head is to get onto the page.”
She also provides some practical tips for writing. I didn’t find these quite as helpful. She admits that she is not an outline user. She talked about writing a book with Bruce Coville, who wanted to work out the plot before he wrote the book, despite her resistance. She said that Bruce Coville also reads maps. Well, I just love maps, and I also like outlines. (Are those two things related? I think Jane Yolen’s right, and they probably are.) I find it interesting that I faulted one of Jane Yolen’s books for its lack of structure. Different people like different things.
Anyway, this book is a lovely and encouraging book for writers, whether you’re a plotter or more of a free spirit. There are things to think about and ideas to try, but mostly it’s a simple reminder: Enjoy the writing!
Other books I've reviewed by Jane Yolen:
Girl in a Cage
Sword of the Rightful King
The Wizard's Map
The Pictish Child
The Bagpiper's Ghost
Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons
Mightier Than the Sword: World Folktales for Strong Boys
The Perfect Wizard: Hans Christian Andersen
Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund. All