Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How Many Books?

     The other day I was  perusing  a list of best selling books printed in the newspaper, and  for some reason  tried to imagine all the books , in all the world , throughout all time  and pondered how many there could be. I decided it's a question that can't be answered.  Okay, I thought to myself, narrow it down to how many books about writing have been written?  Again, no answer. I'm guessing there must be hundreds of thousands.  In my  personal  home  library are forty-five.

       Some of the titles include: Your Life as Story, The Memoir Book, Word Painting, The Careful Writer, The New York Times Everyday Reader's Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused, Mispronounced Words, Strunk and White The Elements of Style, Write Right!, Stephen King: On Writing, Writng Down the Bones, The Art and Craft of Poetry, A Guide to Query Letters,  and so many more.  
      While I've been published in newspapers and magazines, I have  yet to write memoir or novel.  That's why all the helpful, how to write books on my shelf.  I long to be a better writer, and have my book published, so I look to the experts for guidance and instruction on writing  - whether it be sentence structure, plot, description or correct grammar.  

       I must admit I haven't read every chapter of every book on writing I own, but have read through most, and find all to be helpful, not only for the moment, but as a continual source of reference and study. As useful as a dictionary or thesaurus .  

       One helpful tip came from Story Craft - The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Non-Fiction by Jack Hart 
       "A resolution. Resolution is the ultimate aim of every story. The resolution releases the dramatic tension created as the protagonist struggles with the complication. It contains the lesson that the audience carries away , the insight that the story's readers or viewers or listeners  can apply to their own lives."

          As an example, if I were to write about  a woman wanting to attend a get together with a group of friends from high school,  but  her  friends chose dates that included her  mother's 81st  birthday, while they seemingly worked around  dates to suit their needs,  it would present struggle and tension - complication.  As the writer ,  I would have to let the reader know the protagonist overcame the struggle, and give insight to a lesson learned. In this case, perhaps , the mother's own unselfish attitude so her daughter could  freely participate with her long time girlfriends, from long ago.

           We may never know the exact number of how many books have been written thoughout the ages , or even how many books have been written about writing, but I encourage all writers to build your own personal reference library of books that will be helpful to the betterment of your writing skill. 




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