IWSG: Crafty Writing

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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

IWSG: Crafty Writing


Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for August is: What is your favorite writing craft book?

Hmmmmm . . . When I first published in the ‘80s the only writing book I had was an outdated Fiction Writers Market that I used to research publishers for submission for my first two hand typed manuscripts. That first effort came winging back . . . but the second found a home with Zebra/Kensington where I happily published over the first of three decades. I’d never owned or read a book on HOW to write, I just wrote the stories that filled my imagination and poured out on the page. I’d sold a half-dozen novels before I spoke at a writers’ group and discovered that there were “rules” to novel writing beyond my handy Thesaurus and “How Things Work” dictionary. Who knew?!

As an English/Journalism/History graduate, I’d been doing the basics without having to label them by a particular name or process. The only guidelines I ever followed were grammatical and those imposed by a particular publisher. The research I did wasn’t on how to structure a novel, it was to find the factual details to hang my story upon. I let the tale tell itself. I didn’t learn those pieces and parts had names like Story Arc, Hero’s Journey, and Black Moment until after I’d successfully sold and traditionally published over thirty-some books. And after starting my 71st novel, I’m just too old a dog to learn new ways to do what has worked for me for decades.

After saying all of the above, I would NEVER tell another writer that my way is the only way. It works for me because I’d absorbed the basics through education, fabulous editors, and an overactive imagination. There is always room for improvement in our craft. My weakness is on the technical side since I wasn’t raised in the electronic era. I still have plenty to learn and will never stop doing so.

Kudos to those who realize they can achieve a higher level by putting a few more tools in their writing tool kit. And a HUGE thank you to those who provide that information and assistance (a big shout out here to my virtual assistant who’s recrafting my blog!)

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the August 4th posting of the IWSG will be PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, and Sandra Cox!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

  

To join the IWSG Blog Hop and view the List of Hop Participants!


     





15 comments

  1. Yes, it's great when we add tools to our writing tool box. It's great that you could rely on your education and experiences getting published to learn most of the ropes of publishing.

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    1. Didn't have any options back then. It was seat of your pants publishing.

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  2. Like you, one of my first books I owned was The Writers Market, a book I faithfully bought every year because I was submitting to so many different genres of markets. It was our only way of find such markets then with no Internet. How grand for you that you never needed any other how-to craft book! That speaks well of your natural knowledge and instinctive ability to write great stories.

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    1. Face-to-face instruction was always the way to go for this ADD/OCD girl.

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  3. I think after that many books, you are good to go!

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    1. But you never stop learning! That's the great things about our field.

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  4. The Fiction Writers Market was definitely a keeper wasn't it, Nancy? And I echo Alex:)

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    1. A quickly outdated resource these days but back then a writer's bible.

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  5. I had a very old Writer's Market book that I recycled (finally) last year.

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    1. I think I still have mine in a box someplace!

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  6. Hi,
    I am sure you learned a lot having to establish your own way to get to where you wanted to go in your writing. In many ways, you are a pioneer that shows that it can be done without any type of special writing book.
    I admire you for that.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. When there is no path, you make your own or stay home.

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  7. Wow Nancy that is truly fascinating! I imagine for more seasoned novelists all these rules and techniques are annoying. And I find they change constantly. What flies today, won't tomorrow, and vice versa. I can never seem to fully keep up. I admire your prolific career!!

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  8. I remember the Writer's Market. Found it at the Portage Library and had to use it there because they wouldn't let us check it out. LOL For some writers, like you, the process is instinctive. Some how-to books hit the right note, confirming what we're doing. For me, that's the Writer's Journey.

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