I liked it. Very much in the vein of "You've Got Mail." Not one that I'd recommend unless you like that kind of thing, but it fills that hole very welI liked it. Very much in the vein of "You've Got Mail." Not one that I'd recommend unless you like that kind of thing, but it fills that hole very well....more
I'd heard good reviews of this one, and Kelly, a friend of ours, did the art, so Kim and I decided to pick this up.
I'm getting emotional just trying tI'd heard good reviews of this one, and Kelly, a friend of ours, did the art, so Kim and I decided to pick this up.
I'm getting emotional just trying to figure out what to say about this book. It says a lot of things that I knew peripherally, but it shows you just what "Residential School" means. It's such a powerful book, and I can't imagine it was easy to write.
The art augments the story in surprising ways, really driving home the anger and helplessness that the main character feels.
I could not recommend this book more highly, either if you are interested in knowing how badly we've failed in the past or if you, like me, were blissfully unaware. Probably moreso recommended to the second group....more
I've finally finished this book. I rated it 4* because of the content.[Edited to add]More words on this book: http://wp.me/p1mKCz-gZ [/Edited to add]
I've finally finished this book. I rated it 4* because of the content.
In the book, Brooks talks about how the skills he preaches will empower a writer to finish more stories, in fewer drafts, hours, and tears, and actually improve the stories you write to salable quality.
I can't speak to the reality of all of those bold claims, but I can say that I feel more empowered.
He has some interesting thoughts about story structure, and how any story that's traditionally published follows the same rules for structure or what he calls story architecture, whether the author knew about the rules or not.
Again, I can't say whether they do or not, but Brooks has given me an idea of what I should be looking at when reading a book, to see if the structure is what this book says it must be. Reading with intention is, to me, a good idea, but I never really knew what to look at in order to see how to get the outcomes I want when I'm writing. So I have praise for that as well.
I've also struggled, in some stories that I want to tell, in knowing what to write, how to structure it, but I didn't know. Now, I have someone's theories to power me through planning the rest of those stories. And I appreciate that. Sure, it's one guy's theories, and they may fall on their face, but at least I have an avenue to pursue.
All of the above is true, and nothing that comes after will take away from my appreciation for what this book has provided.
Brooks talks about a writing voice, and labels it as one of his six core competencies that MUST be nailed down before you will sell any of your writing. I believe that this book completely flies in the face of that assertion.
Brooks talks down to the reader. He has nothing but contempt for people who fly by the seat of their pants and write stories without a plan in mind. He has scathing rebuttals to arguments I haven't heard the other side of before. He wanders down analogous lines and gets lost in his own cleverness. And I disagree with him about the value of more-than-mediocre narrative voice. He says that playing it safe and merely being competent is the safest way to go (which translates to more sales). Given that I'm not likely to be making millions and millions of dollars like Dan Brown, I think I would rather put more effort into my narrative than that, albeit not at the expense of a good story.
In the end, I think that this book is really valuable. I haven't been to a writer's workshop or any courses outside of a young writer's conference in high school, so a lot of these concepts, particularly the story structure bits, were new to me. If you, like me, have found yourself getting stuck on what comes next, and wanted to plan something, but didn't know how or what to put where, this book might be for you, meandering and self-important though it may be....more
Super book. It hit all the same sweet spots that 14 did, and it had fewer problems. I think Ray Porter was born with the specific purpose of reading PeSuper book. It hit all the same sweet spots that 14 did, and it had fewer problems. I think Ray Porter was born with the specific purpose of reading Peter Clines books. Now I want to go back and read 14 again. ...more