Thursday, December 9, 2010

WRITE WITH FIRE! Charles Gramlich shows you how.

If you were to choose just one book on writing for yourself - or someone on your Christmas list - you’d be hard-pressed to find a better choice than Write With Fire.

There’s something here for everyone, from rank beginner to seasoned pro, and certainly for those like me, who are somewhere in between. I wish I’d had this book twenty years ago, so I could have started following some of this advice sooner.

Part One, comprised of tips for writers, makes up over half the book. The tips run the gamut from dealing with writer’s block, to getting started, creating strong characters, generating suspense, constructing a strong ending, and optimizing your chances of making a sale. Charles really empties his trick bag, sharing his secrets for getting ideas, finding time to write, and staying motivated, right down to the nitty gritty of  punctuation and problem words.

Part Two goes beyond the tips, exploring subjects like critique groups, blogging, what makes a good horror story, and lessons learned from other writers.

Part Three is more personal, where Charles relates how his own experiences brought him to writing, and how his writing has affected his life.

Write With Fire covers so much territory I couldn't list it all, so I scanned the contents pages for you. Check them out! Bottom line: If you really want to write with fire (and who doesn't?), you need this book.

As an afterword, I’m offering a tip of my own to Charles and his publisher Borgo Press. The way they’ve marketed this book is just fine, but they might find additional readers with another edition aimed directly at the Bathroom Reader crowd. Each chapter is short and to the point, and each tackles a different subject. Just right for those multitaskers determined to miss no opportunity at self-improvement! (Personally, though, lest you get the wrong idea, I read this entire book in the living room. On the couch. With dogs on my lap. Really.)


darwination said...

Thanks, Evan, sold. I don't know if I've been naughty or nice this year, but Santa will be bringing me a copy of Write with Fire for X-mas.

Ron Scheer said...

Charles knows his stuff, for sure.

Charles Gramlich said...

I had not thought of the Bathroom reading crowd. Good idea. I'm one of those types of readers, btw. I suppose I could also say I wrote the articles while I was in the bathroom too. That's why they fit the time requirements so nicely. :)

Thanks much, Evan, for the review. I'm really glad you liked the book and I much appreciate the kind words.

David Cranmer said...

This Gramlich guy is pretty damn good.

Jessica Ferguson said...

If you had to choose only one book ...

We're moving to MS in the next month or two (a temporary move) and I'm taking a limited number of books. Have to choose carefully. Write With Fire! is definitely going with me. Not only does it have a lot to say but when I read it, I feel as though I've got my very own writing coach sharing a cup of coffee with me and cheering me on.

This book is valuable for a number of reasons. I love those short chapters and I LOVE that each short chapter has punch! :)

Great review!

Middle Ditch said...

Wonderful review. He deserves it. Charles posted your blog on FB that's how I got here.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I love books about writing. But I have never read in a bathroom, following the chain bookstore advice.

Evan Lewis said...

Wasn't that chain bookstore advice delivered mainly through Seinfeld?

G. B. Miller said...

I picked up a copy of this book during one my last book buying sojourns and I thought it was a very good read.

It was very interesting to read someone else's viewpoints about writing and also to find out what makes them tick as a writer/person to begin with.

Tex said...

Hmm. The question is--do I order one now to bring with me, or do I hope Doctor Gramlich brings some to sell at CONtraflow in November?

(gettin' a copy either way)