Mini Writing Book Reviews

Wild Mind: Living The Writer's Life
by Natalie Goldberg

This was another case of a book that starts well but then loses its chemistry. There was some good advice here and there; the best thing about the book is that it really motivates you and encourages you, giving you hope. However, sometimes Natalie seemed a bit far fetched and off track. Although this book offers motivation, it doesn't offer technique or suitable advice. A wonderful book to skim once or twice, but not for eleven dollars...

Writing Horror
Edited by Mort Castle

I have a classic love/hate relationship with this book. Some of the articles stood out as being beneficial, while others dont' accomplish much. Many essays from accomplished authors on the
writing of horror are nearly invaluable, but the fluff pieces that don't seem to quite belong weight it down a bit.

Includes authors such as Gary Bradner, Ketchum, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Elizabeth Massie

Building Better Plots
By Robert Kernen

I enjoyed his informative step by step guidelines on plot. I never fully understood the connections between the generic plots until now, and thanks to his wonderful examples I do. As a downside, I was disappointed with the chapter on outlining, which I felt should have been covered more than it was. Overall, a book you should definitely invest in if you have trouble with plot structure. Although be warned: If you're looking for a book that helps you get inspiration for plots, this isn't really the one -- although learning more on the structure may jar a few ideas loose.

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