Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday un-Solicitations: The Everything Creative Writing Book

The next two Saturday Solicitations are about some books that I don't necessarily advocate people picking up, but felt the urge to review them anyways. Today's book is The Everything Creative Writing Book by Wendy Burt-Thomas. It is one of those books that supposedly has everything (like the title says) that you need to know on a particular subject. I have read several of these books and my opinion has been the same each time: While informative, the books are overly broad, covering a very wide range of topics within one generic umbrella topic.

I picked up my first The Everything X Book while in college when I had to write a term paper about grant writing. Thankfully, I bought a few other books about grants then as well because The Everything Grant Writing Book confused the hell out of me. The Everything Creative Writing Book does the same thing. It is said to be "All you need to craft well-written and marketable stories, screenplays, blogs and more." When you get into the book, you'll find not only stuff about screenplays, novels, and blogs, but also short stories, poetry, children's books, early readers, nonfiction and memoirs. Then there is information about all aspects of writing: planning, structure, drafting, editing, and collaboration with other authors, writers block, and marketing. It is 320 pages of information overload.

I can see someone that is interested in multiple forms of writing finding this book... useful I guess is the word. However, for someone like me that is pretty much just a novelist, more than half of the book is useless to them. The same goes for a poet reading this book. Or a screenwriter. I don't know a lot of writers that will claim to be a children's author, a playwright, a screenwriter, a poet, and a novelist. That is a lot of hats for one person to wear. I have a hard time calling myself a novelist that blogs most of the time. I prefer storyteller as a catchall. I suppose that is just vernacular and preference though.

The book isn't awful. I'll give it that. I can see how a small group of writers would find Burt-Thomas's Book to be a great resource. She is a well-established member of the writing community with hundreds of pieces in print for many "big name" publications and years of experience. I was personally overloaded with too much information on way too broad of a subject. Maybe I need to see if there is an The Everything Fantasy Novel Book for me to be able to appreciate the series.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

1 comment:

Booksteve said...

I'll have you know I have written plays, children's stories, mysteries, comics, horror, sci-fi, erotica, romances, humor, comedy sketches, interviews, scripts, blogs, non-fiction and I like to think I'm a pretty decent poet. So there!

Come to think of it, if I'm all that, what the heck would I need that book for anyway?

Guess I need to write a western to round out that list.