[Read] ➮ Writing into the Dark ➶ Dean Wesley Smith – Writerscompany.co.uk

Writing into the Dark I only picked this up because Dean Wesley Smith s wife, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, is one of the smartest cookies around I ve found her advice to aspiring writers to be thoughtful and well reasoned I m afraid Writing into the Dark did nothing for me, and at 5.99, it felt like a ripoff, for what is essentially a long blog post plus a pitch to purchase another book While this might be helpful to beginner writers who are struggling to birth that first novel, virtually nothing is useful to a seasoned author Smith s conviction that the critical voice drowns out the creative voice, thus leaving the writer paralyzed and or with a bland story seems reductive and ill reasoned Writing well requires the careful employment of the critical voice to ensure that one is being as creative as possible Mostly, this book seems ignorant about the actual craft of writing and there is an actual craft, replete with mandates on everything from how to render dialogue tags to using deep point of v writing into the dark pure exploration intuition creative voice inner critics writing into the dark refreshing With Than A Hundred Published Novels And Than Seventeen Million Copies Of His Books In Print, USA Today Bestselling Author Dean Wesley Smith Knows How To Outline And He Knows How To Write A Novel Without An Outline In This WMG Writer S Guide, Dean Takes You Step By Step Through The Process Of Writing Without An Outline And Explains Why Not Having An Outline Boosts Your Creative Voice And Keeps You Interested In Your Writing Want To Enjoy Your Writing And Entertain Yourself Then Toss Away Your Outline And Write Into The Dark. A few good ideas, nothing bad It s really like a few long blog posts than a book though The biggest problem with this book, as with a lot of Smith s otherwise excellent writing advice, is that he uses nonstandard terminology You have to read carefully to understand what he s really saying For example, he recommends no rewriting and revising However if you read between the lines he describes his own rewriting and revision process What he s really recommending is rewriting and revising as you go rather than in a second pass after the first draft is written I suspect Smith has one really good book about writing inside him, and pieces of it keep dribbling out here and there It would be nice to see one larger unified book from him that puts it all together Not just a larger collection of blog posts either In fact dare I say it Maybe one of the reasons I liked this book so much is that it confirmed the writing style I gravitate towards naturally, especially the discussion of cycling as a way to edit while you go and build up momentum. This is a great book for us pantsers It s okay to not outline, to edit as you write, and write out of sequence I smiled as I read this book and it validated my process There s a method to the madness. Too much money for what it is But it killed the last idiotic notion, for me, that my process is wrong, and I must plot to be professional What I do is pretty much described here I gave it a 4 for validation. I think this is a terrible book I don t like judging books as goods , but 5 for a book that I read in like 2 hours is frankly outrageous I kept reading it hoping to find the Ha That s the catch moment and when I got to 80% on my Kindle the book finished and the rest 20% is basically advertising for another book of the author.Apart from that, this is one of those books with a couple of ideas that you can express in three pages, but the author writes and rewrites and rephrases them over and over again for 75 pages.I ve read multiple books about outlining a novel Outlining is not the silver bullet to write a novel nor a method for all, but at least all the books about novel planning i read DO give you a method often step by step you can apply and explain why it might be a good idea to try it for your next novel.In Writing Into The Dark the author uses an irritating I know it all tone and I swear because I m fun and easygoing that gets old and boring pretty soon.Basically the book is There is a mythical creative voice that is GOOD and a mythical critical voice that is BAD Stuck on your writing Blame the critical voice Want to write Trust the creative voice and if you re stuck or write crap go back a little and follow your creative voice You don t know what to write Just write What Cre Hey, this is how I writeIt s actually nice to get affirmation that you re doing it right What I ve always called Looping, Dean calls Cycling, but they re both basically the same process I ve tried multiple times to outline large complicated novels only to find I can t complete them Same goes for short stories The moment I plan too much, the playful part of my brain gets bored and wants to give up on the work It s nice to see a process explained that takes advantage of the playful part of the brain, channels that playfulness into useful sets of tools, and then gives you permission to write in a way that doesn t feel dreadful.Understand, this isn t a long book with some complicated process, but it s worth every penny for the freedom it gives.I tell myself to always trust the process Knowing someone as prolific as Dean faces the same process challenges and has learned to embrace them as features and I m a firm believer that what works is what works when it comes to writing There is no right way, there are simply tools, and some tools work better for some than for others The podcast writing excuses and Brandon Sanderson s lectures are what drilled this belief into me, most likely So while I have nothing against discovery writing or pantsing, I take issue with the way this book presents this style of writing and fails to address the strengths AND weaknesses inherent to it.Smith makes some half hearted attempts to say that this isn t necessarily the only right way to write, but he clearly believes that it is, as the book is filled with incredibly repetitive and immature jabs at outliners, english professors, editors, and publishers Among the silliest things he recommends is to only write one draft of your novel Fix everything as you go, as it comes up, immediately Never do rewrites, never look back after it s done I would really prefer not to have to point this out, but he doesn t have a single novel listed on goodreads that s cracked a 4 star average that I saw Most are quite badly rated indeed His Thunder Mountain, series he keeps using in examples for this book has a

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