THREE ULTRA BRIEF REPORTS ON HELP-FOR-WRITERS BOOKS

1. MYSTERIES, edited by Sue Grafton

Collected essays composed by bigtime mystery authors. The tone sometimes seems self-congratulatory for doing what they do so well. I was surprised to read that their craft is as complex as atomic science, and their writers’ club is quite rigid and exclusive. Careful reading will reveal some practices helpful to us serfs and hacks out here who would dare now to even try after reading these bits of advice from on high. I put it in the trashcan, sorry.

2. MANUSCRIPT MAKEOVER by Elizabeth Lyon

Pretty good.  Lots of padding but has useful sections with solid, conventional advice. Well written and practical, not meant as rah-rah.  For the lack of rah-rah I give it a big rah.

3. Several short sentences about writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg

Readable and re-readable for life, a sort of Dhammapada handbook for good mechanics and fundamentally healthy attitudes about writing. Looking at it from fresh angles. Five stars. Where did this guy come from?

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