Allison's Book Bag

Musings Meme: Current Reads #6

Posted on: May 27, 2013

MusingMondaysWhat are you reading right now?
What do you think of it?
Why did you chose it?

Three months ago when I first posted my first current read, I told you about how I bought several writing guides after I participated in National Novel Writing Month. I’m still trying out activities connected to characters and descriptions but now they’re from two different books.

  • Writing Dialog by Tom Chiarella felt like the most manageable of my guides. It’s just eight chapters, with some unique suggestions of experimenting with dialog. To start, one should do what every author should and just go out, observe, and take notes. For fun, one can then turn some of those captured speeches and gestures into new scenes. However, one also learns how to explore the pattern of interruptions in dialog, something I never thought about before. I just finished studying how dialog is used in various mediums such as television shows, movies, and even radio broadcasts, and then rewriting one’s scenes in those modes. I always look forward to dialog tasks!
  • Description and Setting by Ron Rozelle is somewhat longer at twelve chapters, but is also a relatively short book.  I’m using it to supplement my earlier studies on this topic. It teaches one to describe the lay of the land and then focus on one aspect of the setting. Or to write about places once visited and current scenery. Or to write about objects without looking at them and then by looking at them. Upcoming activities will require me to create some maps, make lists of unexpected discoveries, and research the effects of weather.  With this being my second book about description, I hope the next draft of my novel feels more visceral.

One of the benefits of working through writing guides is that they provide me with short-term goals. My ultimate goal is to rewrite my novel. In the meantime, I’ll soon get to boast: I’ve finished four writing guides!

What is your current read?

11 Responses to "Musings Meme: Current Reads #6"

Hope you find them helpful. Here’s what I’ve been reading

Over the past year, I’ve been doing activities from specialized writing guides. Not only have they helped me with my own writing, but they’ve given me ideas of how to better help the students I teach.

i love reading writing guides, as an aspiring writer myself I want to learn as much as I can to write great books. Right now I’m reading Dead is So Last Year by Marlene Perez 🙂

All the best in your writing aspirations! I’ll be around to your blog later this week to check out your current read too. Today though I have a meeting about my upcoming teaching assignment for this fall.

My current reads won’t be of any interest to visitors to Allison’s Book Bag, but here goes anyway.

In my leisure time reading I’m reading the June issue of Reader’s Digest and William Hasker’s God, Time, and Knowledge. Hasker is a professor of philosophy, and his book explores the relationship of God’s knowledge to our free will and time. I’m reading it in connection with my Open Theism blog.

In my study time I’m exploring Randy Alcorn’s If God Is Good in connection with the study of the problem of evil that a small group that I belong to will be doing in the fall. We’ll be using a booklet based on If God Is Good. I plan to reread as much of the material that I have on the problem of evil as I can during the summer.

As my site focuses on reviews of books for young people, I don’t imagine there’s a broad audience for my current reads either of writing guides. 😦 Yet you never know! After all, we all do love books. 🙂

Most of your selections are related to current projects. Same here! That’s why this past year I’ve subjected readers to reviews of fiction featuring anti-heroes and nonfiction about bogs. I’ll be interested to hear more about how your study of If God is Good progresses. As you know, both Andy and I are interested in the learning more about the problem of evil.

Ah! Your mention of Reader’s Digest reminds me to include magazines as part of my current reads. Over the weekend, I finally squeezed in thirty minutes to browse my recent issue of Writer’s Digest. With everything going on this week, it had gotten buried under other stuff on the table.

Thanks for sharing!

They sound like useful guides to writing. I always mean to check different guides out but am never sure what to read. Here is my MM

Until participating in National Novel Writing Month, all my writing guides were general ones. In other words, they covered the aspects of plot, character, setting, and other stuff all in one guide. When I set about to revise my novel, I realized that I needed specialized books. It took some searching, but I’m happy with my selections. You can read about a couple others I use in my first Current Reads Meme.

Thank you for the mention. I need to learn more so I am following. Nice job

Thanks for the follow! My site is mostly reviews of books for young people and not about the writing process. However, one of the best ways to learn how to write is to read books and so hopefully you’ll still find something useful in my reviews.

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