Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Beginning, a Muddle, and an End by Avi

Here is the last of the book reviews from Reading 4 Writers, my old writing-book review blog. I had also included a teaser review here on Livre du Jour, but I wanted to preserve the longer review I originally wrote for the old blog, since it was more detailed.

iconiconI picked this book up a little while back because it looked like a cute little book on writing. Well, it was a cute little book, and it had some writing humor in it, but it was admittedly heavier on the puns than the advice.

Edward the ant had a lot of tips on writing (even though Avon the snail was the one writing a book — which makes me think — how often are you given advice by non-writers, as if they know what they are talking about?). Here are few of the more memorable tips:

* Write first. You can always figure out what you've written later.

* Never take shortcuts in your writing, but once you've written, it's wise to make lots of short cuts.

* Many writers think that when they write, it's the words that matter. Not at all. It's punctuation that's most important.

Isn't that one especially true? And now here's my favorite: the rules of writing...

1) Write what you know.
2) Write about what you don't know.
3) Write about what you don't know as if you DID know about it.
4) Make sure that when you're writing about what you don't know as if you did know, conceal the fact that you don't know what you're doing.
5) Always leave your readers guessing.

Finally, a conversation between Edward and Avon:

"What kind [of writer] were you intending to be?"

"A writer you attracts readers."

"Then for heaven's sake, don't write writing. Write reading."

This is the kind of thing in the book — not necessarily useful advice, but little truths about writing told in a cutesy way. It's a short book and fun to read, but more as a diversion than something to learn from.

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