Wondering what to get the author or aspiring writer for Christmas? From now until Christmas Eve, I'll be posting up reviews of some writing books that I use over and over again. Great gift ideas.
And so on to the first....
The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell
When I saw the size of the book, in comparison to Bell's previous craft books (Plot & Structure and Revision & Self-Editing) I thought to myself, hmm, small book. But once I opened it and began reading, I realized how much vital information is packed into the pages. I devoured the book in one sitting and highlighted MANY pages. Matter of fact, the book now looks like it's multi-colored with all my different highlighting. This will definitely be a book I refer to again and again.
Bell breaks The Art of War for Writers into sections, then parts inside those sections. It is my belief that every author, at every level, and every aspiring author should consider Bell's first section of the book (Reconnaissance) should consider this mandatory reading. With Bell's no-nonsense style, combined with wit that had me chuckling aloud, the information provided is true and accurate of the writer's life overall. I wish I'd had this section to read years ago.
The second section of the book (Tactics)covers the overview of actual writing. Great exercise suggestions are provided as well as a wealth of information to help writers improve their craft and skill. Bell uses his own experiences to drive home the points, as if he were sitting across the table from you and sharing his expertise with you.
The last section of the book (Strategy) provides key suggestions/information on the career of the author. His part on proposals had me nodding my head in agreement as I read.
Overall, I have to give The Art of War for Writers my highest recommendation. This is a definite one to put on your wish list! And the size of the book? Well, made it easier to hold and it slips nicely into a laptop case/bag/backpack!