A good writer studies their craft

As writers I think we all (at least those who are serious about the craft) come to a point in our writing careers where we realize we are not the next C.S. Lewis, or Tolkien, or E.E. Cummings—at least not yet. We come to a point where we realize that we may have a great creative mind; a great ability to invent or dream up a fantastic story in some new world, a great murder mystery, or a hot new romance; however, we also realize we may not yet have the skills to write it—the mechanics.
I`m not just talking about proper grammar, although this is super important, I`m talking about the structure of a story—the “The Act Structure” is one example but there are others. Some stories start off in the midst of action and then go back to explain the story and the protagonist. Others, introduce the protagonist and antagonist, and what mystery, murder, romance, or adventure is about to take place. All of these are techniques to “hook” the reader—to make them want to turn the page. Let`s face it, anyone can learn to write a white paper, an essay, a book report, or a news article; however, fiction has to hook the reader quickly, more than any other genre.
A reader will often tolerate boredom in an essay or news article because they want the bottom line—the information—they know is in there somewhere; but with a fiction, the reader will close the book and grab another one in a hot second if they lose interest.
The point of all this is to recommend three books in particular which have been so helpful to my career. They have given me tremendous insight into technique, structure, and how to write in a way that makes the reader want to turn the next page.
These are the three books along with their links:
On Writing Well” by William Zinsser (A true classic and a must read).
The New Writers Handbook” By Erica Jong (this is an anthology of great writers and their personal advice).
Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott (this book really speaks to how a writer finds their personal voice).
I hope this helps. God bless—WP
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S.W. Biddulph

Scott Biddulph is a published writer, author, and poet from North Georgia. He began writing as a youngster and followed his lifelong dream of reaching people through the written word when he returned to The University of North Georgia in 2013 to finish earning his BA/English with a concentration on publication and creative writing. His publications include the following: an eBook, Apples of Gold: A collection of inspirational short stories and poems (Smashwords, 2010) and a paperback, Voices from the Heart, (Createspace, 2012). His poetry is published in Papers and Publications Undergraduate Research Journal. Vol 3 (2014) and the award-winning Chestatee Review (Spring, 2015), among other places (Check his LinkedIn profile for a full list of his publications). He is currently working on publishing poetry, creative non-fiction, academic essays, and his memoir. ******** Scott has also worked as an intern editor for the University of North Georgia Press. As a freelance editor, he has done the layout and design of several books and magazines. He is currently working with several authors on various publication projects in which he is either ghostwriting, editing manuscripts, or doing the layout and design of their books. ******** Finally, and most importantly, he is a father, grandfather, husband, and dedicated Harley Davidson rider. He and his family enjoy the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains where they live—especially their screened in back porch where they love to bird watch. ******** ~ "I love realism. I love writing about the raw, down-to-Earth, heartfelt realities of life. I love to write in a way that reaches into the human soul—to take the greatest pains and struggles in life, and make them a blessing to others. Fantasy is a wonderful, interesting thing—but real-life situations, feelings, fears, and dreams are an unexplored ocean of stories that need to be told." ~ ~Scott Biddulph~

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