Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Writer's Advantage's hard to find good books on writing craft at the library, so believe me, I was excited when I found, 'The Writer's Advantage: Harness the Power of the Written Word.' It's a ten CD set, with one lecture per disk, each on average between thirty and forty-five minutes.

The ten presentations discuss:
  • Drafting your book in a day
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • How to captivate, entertain & persuade
  • Structure, style & spice
  • Business writing
  • More business writing
  • Better proofreading
  • Informal writing
  • Getting published
Since I'm an aspiring author, the presentations I was most interested in were: drafting, grammar, punctuation and publishing, with a side of proofreading.

The first presentation left me disappointed. The author/presenter spent the majority of her time trying to be cute and entertaining, so the actual content boiled down to about four minutes. Oh, well, I thought. It's okay if one lecture is bad.

But wait.

The same author/presenter does the next two lectures as well. When the punctuation presentation rapidly devolved into the author talking at a cafe with a grande dame, I was looking for razor blades and loaded weapons. I don't know who thought this was a great way to teach, or why they thought it would be successful, but it isn't. Part of me wondered if these first three presentations are the hollow remains of lively business presentation that only work 'in person.' Now however, they are a complete waste of time.

And remember, these were the ones I wanted to hear the most. So,with my blood, well and truly, boiling, I moved onto disk four... and breathed a sigh of relief.

Fortunately, the other seven lectures redeem 'The Writer's Advantage' from being so bad you'll need therapy. Each succeeding section is presented well and contains a host of useful information. For example, the business writing sections teach writers how not to botch email (for those of us who don't live in New York, this could be important), and other useful tips for being professional in their communications.

The last section is a nice closer as it covers publishing. Even though it deals heavily with e-publishing options, canny writers will glean what they need and make a more informed choice. One detractor for the novelist, as a business presentation, this last lecture deals strongly with writing and submitting proposals for books without doing the actual work. As most authors know, a new author better have his book in hand before he starts pitching it.

As a business audiobook, you're looking at paying about $80, but I wouldn't pay more than twenty and that's pushing it (available at that price through Audible). Better still, try your local library or inter-library loan program since the value of this program is cut by a third.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing "The Writer's Advantage" with us! I love reading craft books, so this is great to know about. I'm just finishing Save The Cat which I've enjoyed and I also liked Writing The Breakout Novel by Donald Maass--I've heard On Writing by Stephen King is awesome too!

    And it'd be a great thing to have it on audio...


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