Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

I cannot say enough about this book. Renni Brown and Dave King hit pay-dirt when they collaborated on this crown of jewels. I obtained my first copy through the writing program of Long Ridge Writers Group.

I find myself going back to it again and again. Their tone is like having coffee with conversation with an old friend. And that is one of the things that make this book great.

If you’re looking for a book on the aspects of writing fiction that does not get preachy- this is The One. Treated with humor and common sense Brown and King get to the basics of working with fiction stories.

Topics covered include: Show and Tell, Characterization and Exposition, Point of View, Dialogue Mechanics, Interior Monologue, Proportion as well as a few others. They also include a number of exercises scattered throughout the book.

My hope is that, if not another collaboration, one of them will write a book / course on the topic of internal monologue.

It’s my opinion that if you write fiction, no matter what your specific genre is, then you need a copy of this book.


Amazon Link

Self Editing for Fiction Writers

Is It Just Me? Or is it nuts out there?

Author: Whoopi Goldberg
Hyperion Publishing
ISBN – 978-1-1013-2384-4
US Price $ 22.99

I bought my copy at Barnes & Noble

First of all- I want to thank Whoopi for having the testicularity to put in to print what people have been saying for years.

And thanks to Joy Behar for an interesting new word. Testicularity (having the balls to do something- like a woman working and succeeding in a male dominated occupation) will stick with many people.

Like Joy said on The View- Hillary Clinton has testicularity.

Anyway… let me sum this book up in one sentence: Whoopi speaks about the things that drive us bonkers.

And I have to say that the title of the book is appropriate.

In her words, charm, and sense of humor Whoopi Goldberg uses a ‘to the point’ conversational voice. She shares her opinion based on observations and experiences through day-to-day living. Throughout the short chapters, each one focusing on a specific situation, Ms. Goldberg tells it like it is (to quote Dr. Phil) by putting a voice to print what people have been saying and seeing for years.

It’s the truth. People are rude, crude, and socially inappropriate. And yet the ones who express their dislike or discomfort of the actions (whatever it is) are told to get over themselves or ‘get a back bone’.

There are so many things in this society that drive me up the wall. I have zero if even less inclination to be out there and involved with it. I don’t think of myself as anti-social. I see it as not wanting to deal with other people’s issues and bad form.
Why should I have to get a back bone? Why can’t the jerk change his behavior and stop being an Assholian?

Did that girl sitting in the back of the bus ask me if I minded hearing her cell-phone conversation? Regardless of whether she did or not, I could hear her every fracking foul word- AND I was sitting at the front of the bus.

And while I’m on the subject of people on the bus- what the frack was with the man sticking his finger into my cat’s carrier? Yes, she is a friendly kitty. She loves people. But that’s beside the point. My parents taught me to never stick your finger in an animal’s cage that you do not know or doesn’t know you. If Nieca had decided to scratch or bite him – he would have deserved it.

These are my experiences that I’m sharing because they would fit perfectly in Ms Goldberg’s book.

She talks in a matter-of-fact tone about the truth of how nuts things have become. From being gracious, to abusive relationships, to being dignified and civil she covers it all. She even covers those nasty habits of people picking their noses and breaking air biscuits in the elevator.

It’s not just about those cars at the stop lights with their stereos blasting (I don’t know if they’re covered- I’m only on page 70). It’s about the bonehead at the cross walk picking his nose, the dude on the train clipping his toenails, the drama-queen preening herself while she’s driving. It’s about the fact that the rules haven’t changed it’s the people that have- and there are too many out there who threw the rule book away.

This book is about the things that drive her bonkers… And frankly, I have to agree with a lot of the things that she talks about.

It’s a cluster of truisms, a conversation piece, and a reality check all rolled into one neat package. You will laugh, you will nod, and you will understand what this woman is talking about. In short- IMO – this is a book that everyone should buy and read.