Thought I’d share about a couple of books I’ve been reading lately. There’s a third one on the way by Orson Scott Card, but I’m having to wait on it because it’s real-book not Kindle. The other two I’m reading now are on my Kindle.
These are non-fiction. I don’t read fiction often while I’m writing except in brief stints to see how certain authors have done certain things. And sometimes I’ll read the Hugo winning short stories, or the shorts that made it into publications I aspire to so I can see what kind of current work is considered good scifi/fantasy.
It helps me to gauge where I am on the level of skill, I guess, but I also realize that’s always going to be a work-in-progress. A good writer never stops improving. Suffice it to say I have a lot of improvement needed to get up to speed.
The first book I’m reading is Write Good or Die by Scott Nicholson, and other prominent authors in the scifi/fantasy field (Kevin J. Anderson among them). It’s a collection of essays about the business of writing. It’s free at Amazon, by the way, and if you have a Kindle and you write fantasy or scifi, or fiction of any sort, really, you’ll want to get this if you don’t already have it.
The other one is a collection of dialogues by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg called The Business of Science Fiction. Not only am I learning a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in the business, but these two authors disagree with each other a lot and it makes the advice-giving entertaining. For example, Resnick loves conventions and Malzberg hates them (but realizes the value they offer writers). Both, however, recommend certain ones with WorldCon being top. Resnick is one who likes to ‘pay forward’ by helping new authors, Malzberg not so much. Two different personalities offering valuable advice from a perspective of copious eperience. It’s available at the SFWA website, but if you can’t find it there you can email Mike Resnick.