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Reviews: Books about Writing
Book Reviews:
   Conventional Book Reviews   (standard commentary/review of book) 
  Knothole Book Reviews   (a "knothole review" is "not whole"-- 
       the concept is to give insights into an author's style, craft, and knowledge through selected excerpts.) 
 2006 Writer’s Market 
Kathryn S. Brogan,  Ed:
Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2006

 Most working writers are familiar with the annual Writer’s Market, with its lists of book, magazine, literary review, trade journals, and newspaper publishers.  In addition to educating writers about the many outlets for publication, it lists author’s agents. It also has interviews and articles  of useful advice. Below are just a few excerpts of tips. 

 This book is available at all bookstores; libraries usually keep the current edition in reference, but last year’s edition is available for circulation and most helpful for learning about established markets the writer may not even know about—if a likely market is spotted, the writer can check the right editor’s name and possible address change in the most current edition.

*  *  *

“Respect your inner critic."

 “A writer’s relationship with his inner voice is often tense, usually because he knows the voice is right. When it whispers the manuscript could still be improved before you send it off, listen. When it pesters you to get back to your current manuscript instead of watching the Seinfeld episode you’ve seen 47 times, listen. When it tells you to go for a jog and come back to the story an hour later, listen. You’ll thank it—grudgingly—later." 

—I. J. Schecter
“Ignore your inner critic."

 “Sometimes—OK, often—that same voice talks simply because it likes the sound of itself. Like a friend who likes to bug you for sport, it will play head games, murmuring,  distracting, even paralyzing words of self-doubt just to see if it can get a rise out of you. There isn’t a thing you can do about this other than block it out, believe in yourself, and, in the words of Bob Dylan, ‘Keep on keepin’ on.’” 

—I. J. Schecter
*  *  *

“Spell-check your e-mails—and don’t stop there."

 “As a writer, you’re justifiably held to higher standards even in casual correspondence. While others can get away with e-mails devoid of punctuation, endless emotions, and stomach-turning grammar, you can’t.

 “Before you send that three-line e-mail to the editor with whom you’re just touching base, do a spell-check. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, you won’t find anything, but the one mistake you catch might make or break a pivotal relationship. And if you’re truly serious about ensuring a professional image, don’t stop at the spell-check. Go word-by-word, even letter-by-letter, through your messages to make sure no homonyms have slipped by that might irredeemably alter things.

 “Your first instinct may tell you it isn’t worth the time to do this, but keep in mind the next writer, or the one after that, is going to take the time, and bypassing that extra step means giving him an unnecessary edge. Worse, your error might be immortalized, like the unfortunate writer whose story describing a man who had “lapsed into a comma” found it’s way to the desk of  Washington Post copy chief Bill Walsh—who used the gaffe as part of the title of his editors’ and writers’ guide, Lapsing Into a Comma: A Curmudgeon’s Guide to the Many Things That Can Go Wrong in Print—and How to Avoid Them.” 

—I. J. Schecter
*  *  *

“Good Writing.

 “It’s human nature—we all want to know the secret, the inside knowledge, the formula, the password, the hidden piece of the puzzle, the shortcut that will lead us quickly and painlessly to our goals. . . . You may or may not be pleased with this . . . but what I can tell you is what will get you published—good writing.

 “Good writing is far  more than correct grammar and an accessible style—but knowledge of grammar, punctuation, and proper word use are the tools of the trade. Make sure those tools are in good condition. There are plenty resources available to help you hone the basics and develop the fundamental skills you need in order to write well. . . .Whatever kind of writer you are (and I’m making very broad distinctions here between fiction, including the various genres, and nonfiction), you’ll need to know what you want to say before you figure out how to say it.                                    

—Paula Eykelhof
*  *  *
—excerpted by Gloria T. Delamar

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