- Easily offended
- Disapprove of swearing
- Think that "zany" is overrated
- Don't like being shouted at
This is the fourth in, what I shall here after call, "The Penmonkey Series". There's been 250 Things You Should Know About Writing, 500 Ways To Be A Better Writer, Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey and Revenge of the Penmonkey. I'd consider all of these part of a series as they all aim to do the same things; to teach the reader about the writing process, writing techniques and what to realistically expect from a writer's life. This latest instalment builds on 500 Ways To Be A Better Writer, by offering more tips on things to do (and not to do) to improve your writing. Topics include; 25 Mistakes To Look For In Your Writing, 25 Things You Should Know About Protagonists, and, my personal favourite, 25 Reasons Writers Are Bug-F**k Nuts. Most of these pieces are available at Terrible Minds as well, but here they're all prettily packaged in one easy to refer to place.
"Hang on - you're saying you can get this stuff for free? Why should I, impoverished, wannabe, writer no. 6749 pay for it?"
Yes, you can get a lot of this stuff for free. In this compilation though you will get articles not available anywhere else, as well as a neat and very funny "who the hell am I to give advice" bit that Chuck includes at the end of the book. But mostly, it's a chance to support a working writer, someone who's out there actually doing this stuff that you, and I (and thousands of others) only dream of. His advice is just that; advice. Though he swears and shouts he isn't seriously ever telling you what must be done - only what you could try, what might work for you. I can vouch for the fact that it works as I've definitely learnt a lot from Mr. Wendig and (in my humble opinion) have seen an improvement in my writing as a result. His delivery is also one of a kind, and it really makes the information he shares stick. More than one comment of his has become something of a mantra in my writing, especially "Finish the shit you start". Such wise words expressed in the most profane ways...
If you want to improve your writing, or if you have any interest in the writing process of others, I highly recommend 500 More Ways To Be A Better Writer. Though it has many predecessors you can jump into this one just fine. I will warn you though - if you like it you'll have no choice but to buy the other books in the series. Otherwise the flying cats with laser eyes will come and get you.*
*Irregular Creatures - Chuck Wendig