Even if in your field you're a top performer, there's something you can never stop doing if you want to stay on top of your game. That's training, practicing. Training is what allows you to hone your natural skills and make them as effective as possible. As a matter of fact, any performance is the result of the interplay of the basic set of your skills and the way you work on them. However, if you're just 5 feet tall and you want to play basketball at NBA level you have a chance in a billion of that ever happening, even if you train at the best of your possibilities. Luckily, in … [Read more...] about Best Books on Writing Fiction
Over the last few days I’ve been reading a book by Francine Prose, Reading Like A Writer. I must say I found it an extremely pleasant and fruitful read. First of all, there are several passages from books I didn’t even know and that I’ve added to my already long list of books I want to read. Secondly, I appreciated the author’s approach to writing rules. In fact, while acknowledging they can be useful, she also clearly states it’s never a matter of rules being right or wrong, but of them serving the writer’s goal, and of the writer’s ability to bend them in an effective … [Read more...] about Reading Like a Writer — A Review and Some Considerations
I've just finished reading Quitter by Jon Acuff. Though to me the title doesn't seem particularly inspiring, not certainly evocative of a dream job, I must say that this is one of those few how-to books that I actually consider helpful. I mean, if you're still at school or for whatever other reason don't have to reconcile your dream job with your actual day job---probably because they're the same---you could probably skip this book. However, even in such a case you could gain some damn interesting insights from it. For example about how to make sure your dream job lasts as long as … [Read more...] about Your dream job, how to make it happen-a review of Quitter
We all have a list of our preferred authors. So it's quite natural that when we're searching for something new to read we turn first to such authors. We already know and love their works, so chances are we're going to enjoy the next book they're going to publish. This is also why the lists of best horror books often cite over and over always the same names. They are, to some extent at least, a guarantee. However this relying so heavily on the already known and tested authors prevents us from discovering the new interesting ones. Authors who, if given a chance, could turn out to be just as … [Read more...] about Best horror books–a review of West of Dead
It happens. You can read all the excerpts you want. You can ask your friends. You can have already read several other books by the same author. It doesn't matter. If you love reading, and consequently actually read a lot instead of only saying so, sooner or later you'll come across a book that sucks. It's an inescapable truth. Like the ubiquitous nature of gravity--no, there's no place where gravity is zero. Only places where you're in a free fall, sorry for the digression. A book that sucks, I was saying. Well, most of the times this is fine. After all, as the Latin maxim goes, de gustibus … [Read more...] about Survive reading a bad book
I love reading. I love reading poignant, gripping stories. However, typos and banal grammar mistakes can spoil even the most well-devised story. Indeed, for me reading a book riddled with typos and grammar mistakes is like watching a movie peppered with an endless series of ads. It just spoils my experience. It's not a matter of snobbishness on my part, or of being a grammar Nazi. Quite simply, when I read a book with a great story, I end up expecting that every other part of the book will be just as satisfying. Once upon a time, with traditional books, the publishing houses made sure … [Read more...] about Editing programs—are they any good?