Let me just say this up front: I don’t like craft books.
Yep. You read it, right.
I don’t like craft books.
I’m sure there’s a deep-seated reason for this, which probably requires years of counseling, however… I am a writer who has holes in her clothes and I can’t afford years of counseling. So, unless someone decides to cough up the money to take care of my soul, it seems the roots of my craft-book dislike may never be discovered.
So, when the members of the Toll Booth said, “Let’s take the summer easy and we’ll each blog about a craft book for a week.”
I basically went all silent scream.
It’s a good thing this communication occurred on email because I probably would have scared them with the silent scream face.
So, because I have some sort of death wish (Please do NOT kill me fellow tollboothers and writers and most importantly writers of craft books) I am going to create my own, special GLOSSARY OF IMPORTANT LITERARY TERMS, WHICH I WOULD (MAYBE) FIND IN A CRAFT BOOK IF I COULD BRING MYSELF TO READ ONE AGAIN, WHICH I CAN NOT SO NO TRYING TO FORCE ME I AM NO LONGER IN A MFA PROGRAM SO JUST STOP IT RIGHT NOW. IT’S MY OWN LIFE DAMNIT:
These are the verbs that everyone wants. These verbs take no prisoners and aren’t all namby-pamby passive like everyone’s complaining Bella in the Twilight series is. These are the Rambo of verbs, the Natural Born Killers of verbs, the Stephen Colbert of verbs.
Interestingly enough, in the sentence, I WILL LICK YOUR FEET, MR. PRESIDENT, lick is an active verb, not a passive verb.
See? It makes no sense.
The horrifying addiction (not described in most craft books) that happens to authors after their book debuts. Symptoms include:
- Obsessive checking of book stats, namely Amazon.com Sales Rank
- Massive Depression
- Constant murmuring of “It’s #831,051 in books, how can this be? How? CAN? THIS? BE?
- Frantic calls to editor/agent
- Consumption of a lot of cosmopolitans (if you write chick lit) and/or rum and Cokes (if you write werewolf horror novels)
This is the ultimate of all goals for most writers, unless of course, you are Stephanie Meyers, J.K. Rowling, or God, then your goal is media domination or at least a multi-book, seven-figure book contract.
Here. Let me use it in a paragraph:
The author claimed to have a book contract, but actually it was a book contact. It’s true. She touched a book. Once.
Oh, the comma. It is the evilest of the punctuation marks. It once made a Kirkus reviewer very mad at me. Who would think that this ,,,, could be so evil? Oh. Right. The Kirkus reviewer.
Comma CurseThis is what happens to writers who do not memorize Diane Hacker’s RULES FOR THE WRITER ( Memorize that fifth edition – it’s the best!!!) and they fail to remember not to “use a comma between compound elements that are not independent clauses.”
You can never be free of the comma curse once you have it. Trust me, you don’t want it. It causes embarrassing itching in between the typing fingers.
The hoity-toity word for all the stuff that happens after the climax. The climax in the book. Geesh…
According to Evolution 101 at
Try not to write about this. It may make your book banned.
ForewardThis is what happens when you get super famous and dead and other people (Teachers) force students to read your work in high school or college and they (the forward writers) have to explain before the actual text how important you and your writing is to the entire universe or at least to post-colonial New England, specifically Amherst, Massachusetts. It also shows up in those BEST OF AMERICAN SHORT STORY collections.
Hint: If you have a foreward in your book, you may be dead.
### I will continue with this tomorrow if I don’t get kicked out of the Tollbooth.