Saturday, August 28, 2010


BY Ruby Johnson

I've read many books on the craft of writing, but James Scott Bell's books are permanently a part of my library. His  book, The Art of War for Writers, is one I’ve recently added. If you don’t have this book, you may want to pick it up. The thing I love most about The Art of War for Writers is that the new writer, as well as, the professional, can benefit from its information. You can open the book at any point and find useful and new ways on navigating the writing and publishing field. It inspires even as it spurs you on in your writing career. And that’s really the focus of this book—how to develop a career in writing.

His pyramid of writers brings home the level of the individual writer. From wannabe’s at the bottom of the pyramid to breakout hit at the very top requires the writer to determine which level he is at and work to move up the pyramid. Says Bell, “The writer needs to develop a plan for his or her career.” What does that take? The book is divided into three sections; reconnaissance, tactics, and strategy. The short, chapters share real answers to these questions. The book is full of how-to topics on the craft such as:

  • Develop the mental discipline to produce 6 days a week.

  • Don’t give up.Writing requires a good deal of self-motivation.

  • Develop a writing improvement program.

  • Use a notebook.

  • Read the books written in your genre that you like. Find passages that you like and put them in your notebook.

  • Read and reread how-to books.

  • Attend conferences to increase your knowledge

  • Actively participate in a writer’s group

  •  Learn to accept criticism, dust yourself off and keep writing.

Want more, go buy his book!

The Art of War For Writers


Anonymous said...

Hi Ruby:
Great review. What other self-help books are useful for the new writer?

Ruby Johnson said...

If you go to the page "For Writers" we list several good books. It really depends on the stage of writing you're at. Learning about scenes, sequels, plotting, and point of view all are necesssary for the new writer.

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