Friday, July 20, 2007

Writing Reference Books

In this post, I submit yet another couple of citations from a recently purchased how-to book --as if I didn't already have enough. I wish to quote from Noah Lukeman in his book "The First Five Pages -- A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile." Lukeman is both a writer and an agent who is not accepting new authors. That said, the book remains replete with tips and reminders for all writers who wish to publish, indeed all writers who wish to write well. In chapter 1, Presentation, Lukeman puts your manuscript into CONTEXT. "The unknown writer's manuscript [unlike Stephen King's] will be read by an angry, overworked intern or editorial assistant, one hoping to be able to find the tiniest fault so he can get it out of the way and move on to the next five thousand manuscripts."

Here's an example of how to avoid the "tiny faults" they might find: "When rewriting, pretend that someone will give you $100 for every word you are able to cut ... which makes for a tighter read." Which words to cut? Start with Adjectives and Adverbs, the title of Chapter 2 of his book.

I heard about the book from Barbara DeMarco Barrett’s “Writer’s On Writing Radio show, 88.9 FM. Both her show and this book are musts for the serious writer. See ya.