When I read about this book, I immediately thought to myself, "I really need to read that." I have been struggling to write and finish my own first no...moreWhen I read about this book, I immediately thought to myself, "I really need to read that." I have been struggling to write and finish my own first novel for years now...with a ton of starts and stops...and self doubt. Amir states in the book that you have to have the right attitude/mindset if you're planning on pursuing a career as an author and one major component of that mindset is optimism. I feel I do have that. So, one step ahead. However, Amir outlines in this terrific book that we must be open to every aspect of the process of becoming a successful author. Not just the writing of the book itself, but the business side of the book. The book proposal for agents/publishers (yes, you even need one for fiction authorship), as well as finding out if what you are writing about is going to sell. Will people want to read what you are writing? Now this all may sound too structured or business-like for the more creative brains out there, but the concept she outlines in the book is solid.
After the introductory section of the book which introduces the concepts, you then move on to chapters that are 'steps' in the manual. After that, there are exercises to help you complete each step and a section of samples (book proposals, etc.). I haven't had a chance to work through the entire book yet, but you can bet that I will be starting now. That's is a major concept in the book..."define your success and set your goals" and "create a plan for your goals" and break those goals down into "signposts" or "landmarks" by adding a timestamp. For example: "Publish my first novel with a traditional imprint by May 31, 2016."
In my opinion, The Author Training Manual is an essential tool for any writer's toolbox. I can't wait to get to work on what Amir has outlined in this inspiring book!
I love books on writing. I have read my share of them too. I've read ones by Terry Brooks and Stephen King and others. So you'd think by now that I wo...moreI love books on writing. I have read my share of them too. I've read ones by Terry Brooks and Stephen King and others. So you'd think by now that I would have at least one novel under my belt. But I don't. Julie clarifies this issue in a nutshell...you have to write your way. Yes, you should pay attention to the advice and there are certain things the writer should not fudge on, like style and grammar. She recommends The Elements of Style by Strunk and White and there I couldn't agree with her more. I happen to have that book in my writing arsenal. A writer should also keep a good book on grammar handy. What she said that I really liked and agree with 100% is "write something that matters--if only to you." Great advice. Who wants to write something they don't care about? If the writer doesn't care, the reader certainly isn't going to. It doesn't have to be a big statement book, but the story should mean something, should touch the writer and, therefore, the reader. Authenticity and truth come in too. Don't skimp on the details. Do the research. The most important thing though...get it written. Set deadlines for yourself and this is one I like. Set a goal of five pages per day, five days a week. This works for Julie because she's a rule breaker so if she doesn't write on Monday, she can write Saturday to make it up. Or she can add pages on to other days. I think I like this approach better than so many words per day or hours even. Frankly, the word count thing makes me very nervous (I'm talking to you NaNoWriMo)!
Julie's core rules:
Start it--put one word after another. Put your heart in it. Part with it--get it written.
Simple and straight forward. I like it. In subsequent chapters, she discusses voice, plot, characters, and all the nuts and bolts when it comes to writing a novel, but she does it in a fresh way. She doesn't bog it all down with pages and pages of explanations. That's one beef I have with writing books. They are way too long. Hence why there are so many on my shelves that remain unread. Julie's 121 page dynamo is the perfect book on writing. This is a book that will stay in my eReader and I will be using it as I continue with the novel I started during NaNoWriMo and did not finish. I will finish it. Five pages a day, five days a week and I will write it my way. Thank you, Julie. (less)