Monday, July 21, 2008
How many times have you been told that a book about the craft of writing is a must have? Possibly too many times to count. While I loathe to say this, I certainly must: The Dog Walked Down the Street: An Outspoken Guide for Writers Who Want to Publish should be read by every writer who dreams of seeing his name on a book cover.
Inspiring while keeping you down to earth and motivating while reminding you of the work ahead, The Dog Walked Down the Street is a small book that is big on practical advice. Based on real questions asked by writers, Glynn shares his wealth of experience with the reader in a no nonsense, straightforward, and often times, humorous way.
From proposals to contracts, from first drafts to completed manuscripts, from cover art to galleys, and beyond, Glynn holds nothing back in helping fiction and non-fiction writers create a sellable product.
Some of my favorite portions appear below:
If your inquiry is turned down, this means the novel is not right for that agent. Publishing is entirely subjective and many times predicated on whether the agent or editor had a good night's sleep. Go to the next one on your list. (Page 12)
Keep punctuation to commas and periods. The em dash is supposed to signal an abrupt change in thought. Why not start a new sentence or paragraph? Only Herman Melville is allowed to use the semicolon in fiction. He's dead, by the way. (Page 23)
Of the many dumb saws about writing, "Write what you know" ranks high. Write what you read. Have everything published by Richard Feynman? You're a science geek. Nuts about Patricia Highsmith? Go for mystery. Writers writing what they know leads to long, dull books about personal hygiene, and no one can make flossing interesting. (Page 23)
Focus on the chapter in front of you, not the one ahead or behind. (Page 57)
If you are a writer who is interested in getting published, run, don't walk, to your closest bookstore and buy a copy of The Dog Walked Down the Street by Sal Glynn. Your writing will be better for it.
Title: The Dog Walked Down the Street: An Outspoken Guide for Writers Who Want to Publish
Author: Sal Glynn
Publisher: Cypress House
U.S. Price: $13.95