Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Get Skilled in The Art of War for Writers

When writers put words on paper, they are going to war--especially war with the voices in their head that tell them not to put words on the paper. In a little book loaded with wisdom and insight, James Scott Bell has written a powerful prescription for every writer--whether they are fiction writers or nonfiction writers in his new book, The Art of War for Writers.

Following the pattern of Sun Tzu and his classic, THE ART OF WAR, Bell divides his book into three parts: reconnaissance or the mental game of writing, tactics or the writing craft and finally strategy or advice about the publishing business. The first and the last section are universal principles for any writer (fiction or nonfiction) while the tactics section is mostly specific to fiction writers.

One of the most fascinating illustrations in the book--and a dose of reality for writers is the stages of a writer's life on page 51:

I find that many writers want to jump to the top of the pyramid without going through the various stages that Bell points out. It's a valuable lesson.

You can pick up a 25-page sample of The Art of War for Writers

A skilled communicator, Bell mixes examples from other writers, his own personal stories and profound wisdom. I suggest you read this book at least twice. Once with your highlighter to mark many pages, then a second time in daily little chunks to inspire you to write the words only you can write.

The final pages of this title turn to five words from Sun Tzu, "The commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage, and strictness." With clarity and simple words, Bell challenges the writer in all five areas and these words are crafted from his years of experience in the publishing world. I loved this sentence in the courage section on page 258, "You have it inside you to fight this fight. Write, think about what you write, then write some more."

I highly recommend this book for writers of every persuasion.

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2 Comment:

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Julie Surface Johnson Left a note...

Thank you, Terry. I'd been hearing a lot about this book but your article really made me want to buy it.

At 9:24 PM, Blogger william's art workshop Left a note...

Oh great.
I am a person who is looking for some great task on this category of Google.
I inspired by your blog and would like to use this book you said in your blog.
Thank you


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