Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Art of War for Writers

So one of the things that always happens when I attend the ACFW National Conference is that I come home with a small library of books in the bottom of my suitcase. Truth be told, I sometimes wish I could see the reaction of the hapless TSA agent who chooses to inspect my suitcase. I can only imagine the consternation as to why anyone would travel with close to a dozen books crammed around shoes and a toiletries bag. At any rate, this book, namely James Scott Bell's The Art of War for Writers, was one such purchase from the conference.

I've read a number of craft books and most of them focus on one or two issues at a time. Not this book. Instead, Bell seems more interested in the "big picture" of writing, the attitudes and habits and practices that aspiring authors can and should emulate. Some of it is practical advice, some of it is more philosophical encouragement, but it's all good stuff relating to how an author creates a story, captures it in print, and then goes about selling it.

Some of it is familiar. For example, another author used the pyramid illustration in #16 (although they didn't include the Wheel of Fortune at the apex of the pyramid). And I've heard a lot of these tips in conferences and in other books. But this is a refreshing, fast read that helps keep authors focused on proven ways that work. In other words, every writer, would-be or otherwise, should take a course in the art of warfare from James Scott Bell.

1 comment:

Janna said...

I always love your visits (notice the "s") to the ACFW Bookstore - you always know what you're looking for - new writing craft and new fantasy :-)