You know that saying “You can never stop learning?” It’s true. I always feel like I have something to improve upon. I love writing, but I’m privy to committing a lot of cardinal sins. It’s one of the reasons I desperately need an editor (and she points out every single one of those little buggers to me, too!)
I’ll be honest here – I’ve never been one to read long books about the craft of writing. Maybe it’s my attention span, maybe it’s my fantastical imagination, but I can never get into them. For me, the best way to learn the craft is in pieces at a time. That’s where author Bob Nailor comes in. He has been writing a special blog, featuring author writing tips, every week for over a year. He tackles one subject at a time, in small, manageable segments that are filled with examples and easy, understandable solutions to the problem he is discussing. It’s been an absolute perfect fit for me.
So, when I heard he was putting all of them together (a year’s worth of tips) into an “author tip book,” I was very excited. In this new book “52 Weeks of Writing Tips,” there are quick chapters dedicated to a host of topics ranging from character development and plotting, to building a press kit to dialog.
This tip book is all of 99 cents. Even if you just occasionally take a peek at it, the information and ideas you’ll gain will be well worth it. I would say I learned something from most of the articles – something that I could actionably take away with me to help me with my writing. Here’s the link to purchase on Amazon:
I thought it would be fun to do a little interview with the author to get some insight…
SO BOB: Why did you decide to take your writing tips and make them into a book?
BOB: To be quite honest, I was minding my own business, doing my weekly writing tip when a very dear friend suggested I put them together into a book. My first thought was ‘Why?’ then quickly realized that I would love to have some of these tips at my fingertips as a quick reference. I attempted to decide which was the most viable tips but couldn’t decide which was more important. It was then I decided to just do 52 tips – like a year’s collection – and offer it to the public for a very nominal price with the lowest price available at Amazon being $0.99. I want to share what I’ve learned, to give back to the community. Why charge? We all know that if it is free, some won’t consider it worth anything. Why so cheap – uh, inexpensive? So everyone can afford a copy. I really do believe in these tips and feel they are a great tool for any writer – both novice and the well-published.
SO BOB: Do you follow your own advice?
BOB: I’ve always been a firm believer in “Do what I say, not what I do.” Especially with my children when they were growing up. BUT, I really do attempt to follow my own advice regarding these writing tips. I truly feel these tips have improved my writing skills and writing quality over the years.
SO BOB: Where do you find your insight to write these tips?
BOB: Some are just that – insights. Most of them are tidbits picked up via different writing conferences, writing groups, friends, and even agents. Of course, some tips I’ve been lucky enough to glean out of rejects from editors, agents and publishers. My editor has brought several writing errors to my attention. She attempts to point out the repetitive errors and correct them early so I don’t become so entrenched in doing it incorrectly. My current agent has also shown me tricks to make my writing and stories better.
SO BOB: Which tip spoke to you most personally?
BOB: You want me to pick just one!? How about two? I’m a notoriously passive writer. “By Zombies” was probably the best lesson I ever learned. It helped me to quickly define whether or not the sentence was Active or Passive and allowed me to correct it, when wrong. When I mentioned it to my local writing group, at first, they just laughed, but as I showed them how it worked, even the non-fiction newspaper reporter saw how it could improve her articles. Of course, “That As●Ing●Ly – Editing Tricks” is another favorite that I use constantly when I finish a work. I immediately review my raw product to see where I can fix those four issues. In doing so, I decrease bad writing, increase word count AND make my writing better and tighter. Is it too late to add more favorite tips? I really like them all!
Thanks so much for letting me promote this Bob – I really believe in so many of these and I’ve found them incredibly helpful. Again, here is the link… just 99 cents!