I Read Twelve Books in January

Last month, I read and/or listened to twelve books/audiobooks. I have learned I enjoy reading fiction in the physical book format and listening to nonfiction in audiobook format. With the exception of books about the craft of writing, when I read nonfiction, I tend to skim through the book because I don’t need to focus on the language, I can get the general ideas just by skimming (like you are probably just skimming this blog). With books on the craft of writing, I like to highlight good ideas or points to remember.

Two Books on the Craft of Writing

I read Jordan E. Rosenfeld’s Make A Scene – Creating a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time. It took many weeks for me to get through it because I would read a section and work on my novel, read another section and work on my novel. It was like going through a class and applying what you learned to an ongoing project. Rosenfeld provides examples of epiphany scenes, dramatic scenes etc. It’s definitely a book I’ll go through again to remind me how to craft more exciting and tighter scenes.

The other book was Building Great Sentences by Brooks Landon. This book I borrowed from the library and I’m going to purchase it just so I can absorb the material. It’s very dense in that he provides examples of how to structure sentences to make them more interesting and complicated. I enjoy reading literary fiction and the beautiful sentences the authors can craft. This book gave me new insight on how that is done and why certain sentences work so well. I don’t know of another book like this one that broke down the sentences in numbered clauses and showed how one can rearrange them to suit the writer’s needs.

Novel Status Update

I’m in the final stretches of finalizing my novel about the female preacher in Hilo, Hawaii. In 2018, I started tracking the books I read, whether they were nonfiction or fiction, whether I enjoyed it and would read it again. Seeing all these books I read in January 2020, I wonder if I’m spending too much time reading and not writing. My goal is to finish a good draft (my seventh) by the end of the month so I can hand it over to about five beta readers to get general feedback. Then the next step will be finding an editor to review it.

Anyone have any recommendations for good craft writing books?