So, this aggressively forward book was brought to my attention by my friend Tamara Woods over on Youtube when she announced this was going to be the book of choice on Writer’s Workshop. A live-stream that she hosts monthly on her channel where her and several other writers pick a book on writing for that month and then they get together and talk about it.
When I read the title I knew I had to read the book but wouldn’t make the chat so I’m putting my two-cents in here. Where it probably don’t belong, but oh well.
I created a whole video of this review over on Youtube if you’d rather watch it here. Or you can skip on forward and just continue reading.
So, ARE YOU ACTUALLY GOING TO WRITE A BOOK OR JUST TALK ABOUT IT? Is a book filled with tips and tricks to building actual writing habits that will at least get you through the first draft of any book.
And like any writing advice book there’s pros and cons to be covered.
Let me start with the pros.
- It doesn’t tell anyone to start by writing a book.
I know this sounds a bit backwards, but honestly I wish it had been advice that someone had given me when I first started out, because it took me years to write my first book. (The one I actually wanted to publish anyways. The others don’t count.)
But when I first sat down to write a book I was just told to sit and write. I didn’t have a routine. I didn’t have a go to spot, or drink, or back up course for when things went wrong. I was in the dark like most of us with this daunting task of writing 50,000 + words with no real course on how to do that.
I mean I did it. It wasn’t the worse thing ever, but the further I got into it the further I realized how much easier it would have been to start small and go big.
Which is what this book instructs you to do. The assignment says to start with a blog and to post that blog daily, weekly, monthly, whatever. ( I could also advice maybe a newsletter as I’ve found that easier to keep up with.) And then work on getting used to writing 300 words a day that isn’t part of the blog. (Though he kind of contradicts himself in that at first he says “Don’t include the blog in this word count.” but then at the end goes “Write whatever you want.”)
This part of the exercise has the added bonus of putting your work out there to get used to sharing and receiving criticism. Something that writers do need to get used to when they first start off as it becomes a constant in this field of work.
and it helps build that much needed audience you’ll want when you do get to publishing your book. (Don’t judge me, I’ve been reading a lot of marketing books lately.
- Another pro is everything is explained in a simple and exciting way.
He even makes outlining sound so freakin simple, even though he added math to the equation. I never would have thought about figuring out how many words I want in the story and then chapters and figuring word count from that.
I’m used to just writing a story until I feel like I’ve hit the end and then figuring out word count and all that afterwards, so I’m going to attempt this approach and see where it takes me as far as story structure goes.
The Con’s of this book are because its so basic, and that’s mostly my opinion, don’t come at me. I’m not saying the book over all is bad.
- Most of the advice in this books if fairly simple, regurgitated mantra.
As I was reading through this book, I was basically nodding my head going ‘yep, yep, yep.’ Because it was all information I already knew, or already did myself on a regular basis. Making this book more geared towards new writers or people that are looking for a ways to get back into the daily habit. If you’re already an everyday “word slinger” ( I do like that term) then I don’t see you getting much use out of this book.
I myself managed to pick up one or two things, like the whole outline bit that I mentioned above, and his part on creating monsters (only because I’m a horror writer myself and love getting new ideas on how to do that.) But otherwise even going through the assignments I was like “But I already do or did all this at one point or another.”
Not that that is a bad thing. Brandon Scott gives some amazing advice in this book. Advice that people that are just starting to take their writing past a hobby should consider. But really nothing phenomenally new.
All in all, not a terrible read. It definitely made me smile at bits.
For example the whole story bit in “I’ve lost control of my characters!” had me laughing, only because of how true it is.
Either way I give this book a 7/10 stars. Mostly because it did have more pro’s then cons as far as it advising people to build a daily habit of writing instead of just throwing themselves in the chaos that is writing a whole damn book.
But for seasoned writer’s there really wasn’t much to learn from it.
Hopefully you enjoyed the blog.
And until next time!
Beneath The Tracks
is now available on Amazon and Barns&Noble as both ebook and paperback @ book2read.com/beneaththetracks
Riley and Ace stumble across a forgotten tunnel while hiding from some local bullies. With a bit of clean up they both agree that it would be the perfect place to set up their club.
That is until Ace gets taken by something in the woods and Riley barely manages to find help in getting her friend back. Now Ace refuses to have anything to do with her and there’s a growing suspicion that something is following her through town.
In the midst of all the changes Riley strikes up an odd friendship with an older kid named Martin that shares his own experience with the creatures that haunt the local woods and kidnap children. Despite his warnings to stay away from Ace and the woods, Riley continues to push to find out what is stalking both her and her friend.
When things turn violent, Ace and Riley band together with Martin in hopes of getting rid of the threat and saving their friendship once and for all.