Thursday, October 05, 2006

Books to help you along the way





I just heard from a writer who was dealing with a rejection and the discouragement it brings. And I thought, as writers, we so need to keep the faith. Of course hearing authors' tales of woe and ultimate success help. So do writing books. So here's my short list on writing books that will help you keep the faith. And help you with craft and all that, too.

Actually, here's a picture of them. First, an almost toppling stack, then closeups so you can see titles. I regularly recommend all of these titles.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your book stack looks very familiar ;-). And your post seems to invite a "what else" comment stream, so I'd add to the pile Jane Yolen's TAKE JOY: THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO LOVING THE CRAFT.

Gary
http://www.inkmusings.com

LaShawn M. Wanak said...

What? No WRITING DOWN THE BONES, by Natalie Goldberg? And you had her on your show!

(And even as I'm wagging my finger, the other hand is writing down your titles...) :-)

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Gary,
I had Jane on my show and she was great. I'll check out her book.

And Lashawn, to tell you the truth, I used to recommend Natalie's book ALL THE TIME--until my book came out. Now I recommend her "Thunder and Lightning," which I like very much, and which she said (on my show) that it updated what she had to say in Bones.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody ever heard of a book called Bird by Bird. I don't know the author's name so will appreciate your help.

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Of course--that's Anne Lamott. I used to recommend this one all the time, too.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou, Barbara. Has she been on your show?

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Why, Jordie, you know she was going to and then she cancelled out. Remember? They wanted to reschedule her but when someone cancels out at the last minute, it's a little like someone asking you out on a date and then breaking it. You don't want to go a second time.

Big Jay said...

Wow - that's really weird to cancel out on a show like yours that's so author friendly. When something like that happens how do you fill the slot if it happens sort of at the last minute?

Anonymous said...

I have a boat load of similar books I've read--Pen On Fire included, of course. But I've found a different way of dealing with rejection: DEFIANCE!

I often go along the bookshelf at Barnes and Noble of 48th & 5th (NYC)during my lunch hour. I read the first paragraph of some of the newest novels. Some are written poorly, some are okay, some are very good, few are brilliant.

When I do this, I reject all of the rejection I have ever received as a writer. I can write as well (or as poorly, depending on one's taste) as most of what passes as published fiction in today's market and better that some. The brilliant ones I strive to emulate.

So, I say, to Hades with those who have rejected my work. One day when I'm published, when my series of novels becomes a series of feature films or when they displace the Sopranos as the next great cable series, I'll have the last laugh.

I encourage all authors who strive to perfect their work to take the same attitude. Remember, the writers do the writing not the people who do the selecting. And what they select, generally, does not sell very well.

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Big Jay,
First of all, it hardly ever happens. Maybe it's happened three times in nine years. Maybe just three. In al three instances, it was because they had a bigger venue calling them: a New York morning show, I believe. (And in two of these three cases, it was the publicist, not the author, letting me know. Although the way they let me know was when I confirmed a few days before, they told me there had been changes. Nice.) There's never any shortage of on-air venues for authors, so it's never a problem filling the slot. Matter of fact, publicists say there are fewer shows for novelists because radio show hosts--and TV folks--believe novelists can only talk about the novel, that they can't talk about larger issues as non-fiction authors can. Go figure.

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Nick,
Melissa Bank was on my show the other night--I don't know if you caught it; I'll be archiving/podcasting it soon--and she said she wrote for 10 years before her first book, The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing was published. She got a ton of rejections. And she said it wasn't until she was at the point that she just didn't care anymore that her book sold and things turned around for her. I could relate. I think I'll do a new blog post about this right now...!

Big Jay said...

Well, Barbara, it would seem to me that fiction writers belong more to the "Generalist" category of human being which makes them more interesting and better dinner guests than, say, "Specialists". So why not lead the way - as a talk show host (hostess) - speaking with novelists and explore their take on life in general and how it translates into the novels they write. I mean, how would you like to be lost on a desert island with a CPA.