Has anyone read (and done the exercises in) Writing Down the Bones? What did you think of it?
I'm also interested in Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin, but maybe just because of her name... it looks pretty dry to me.
September 6th, 2001, 10:32 AM
I used "Writing Down the Bones" in a creativ ewriting class in College a few years ago, still have the book.
It's a fantastic aid for writers...I used it to pst some online writing exercises on this site about 3 months ago...went pretty well, I thought.
DEFINITELY a great book, though.
September 6th, 2001, 01:03 PM
Have you checked out Worlds of Wonder by David Gerrold? I found it pretty informative. Or JN Williamson's how to write sf, fantasy and horror - which had EVERYBODY contribute chapters? That was a great piece. Actually, whilst not revolutionary King's On Writing has some good insights into the craft - okay, it only echoes Elements of Style, but its good to hear he has some craft http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
November 5th, 2001, 04:02 AM
I highly recommend Worlds of Wonder too!
I particularly enjoyed the chapter that dealt with E-Prime (for those of you who've never heard of E-Prime, it's basically English without the verb "to be"). If anyone's interested, I might start a new topic to discuss this technique.
So, as I said, I recommend that you people pick this one up!
November 9th, 2001, 12:21 PM
Orson Scott Card has a book on writing too. I cannot for the life of me remember what its' name is either.
November 11th, 2001, 12:34 PM
Can anyone tell me the angle of this 'Writing down the bones' book?
I have a couple of other books: the good old 'Tough Guide to Fantasyland' which I found a little disheartening though very funny, and one by Brian Stableford which really goes through the mechanics of good writing and characterisation.
I'm really looking for something which will encourage me through some plot development however, since I find plotting to be the most difficult part of the process. I can pick holes in my plot easily enough, but get stuck in one place a lot and find myself unable to think of an interesting development. Sometimes it's distressing to be this way, and listen to most writers saying they have all these ideas and no real time to write them - argh! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif
Aleya - http://silver-oak.com
November 11th, 2001, 04:42 PM
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg was published (my edition, anyway) by Shambhala Press in 1986.
It is not a book geared toward the fantasy genre, but rather a book aimed at sharpening writing skills for the fiction genre in general. It contains various different excercises and ideas that can help make someone a better writer.
My personal advice is to shy completely away from books written for the Fantasy Genre specifically- they'll lead you to a carbon-copy of other fantasy writers (a plague that currently besets our genre entirely). If you want to be taken seriously as a fantasy author, become a good writer before you try to become a good 'fantasy' author. The rules and such of all fiction apply equally to fantasy as they do to mystery novels or any other fiction genre.
It addresses the whole spectrum of writing, from perspective to excercises to plot ideas, etc. It's an easy read- the sections are broken down into 2-5 pages each, so you can easily read a few sections per week. The whole book is about 170 pages, but you'll want a notebook...this thing encourages you to write ALL THE TIME. Even when you're not writing, you should be 'writing' the story of your life in your head.
You might want to try this book- it's relatively cheap. It's paperback, and can be found in many college bookstores (or it could ten years ago when I was in college...man, I'm getting old...)
[This message has been edited by wastra (edited November 11, 2001).]
November 12th, 2001, 11:43 AM
Thanks for the information! I can pick up a copy for just over £5 so like you say, I might as well.