Book Review: ‘Writers on Writing Volume 1 – 4 Omnibus: An Author’s Guide’

Crystal Lake Publishing has combined its four releases of ‘Writers on Writing’ in one very complete omnibus and I’m sure a few authors out there are wondering if this one is worth picking up or not. This is a collection of quite a few authors out there who are taking the time to “share their ultimate secrets in becoming and being an author.” It is a collection from quite a few authors about their writing styles, what they focus on in their writing, their thoughts on rejection, and so much more.

While Crystal Lake Publishing is more known for its horror content much as Horror Tree initially was known for before we switched to embracing all genre and speculative fiction, ‘Writers on Writing’ includes interviews and commentary from authors in all aspects of their career and genres. You aren’t going to just be reading the thoughts of authors in a single niche market here which should help give a wider range of diversity in the information that is being shared.

The table of contents is pretty easy to find online but if you’re seeing the collection here first I’ll do a quick inclusion of it:

  • The Infrastructure of the Gods by Brian Hodge
  • The Writer’s Purgatory by Monique Snyman
  • Why Rejection is Still Important by Kevin Lucia
  • Real Writers Steal Time by Mercedes M. Yardley
  • What Right Do I Have to Write by Jasper Bark
  • Go Pace Yourself by Jack Ketchum
  • A Little Infusion of Magic by Dave-Brendon de Burgh
  • Confronting Your Fears in Fiction by Todd Keisling
  • Once More with Feeling by Tim Waggoner
  • Embracing Your Inner Shitness by James Everington
  • The Forgotten Art of Short Story by Mark Allan Gunnells
  • Adventures in Teaching Creative Writing by Lucy A. Snyder
  • Submit (to psychology) for Acceptance by Daniel I. Russell
  • Character Building by Theresa Derwin
  • Heroes and Villains by Paul Kane
  • Do Your Worst by Jonathan Winn
  • Creating Effective Characters by Hal Bodner
  • Fictional Emotions; Emotional Fictions by James Everington
  • Home Sweet Home by Ben Eads
  • You by Kealan Patrick Burke
  • The art of becoming a book reviewer by Nerine Dorman
  • Treating Fiction like a Relationship by Jonathan Janz
  • How to Write Killer Poetry by Stephanie M. Wytovich
  • Happy Little Trees by Michael Knost
  • In Lieu of Patience Bring Diversity by Kenneth W. Cain
  • Networking is Scary, but Essential by Doug Murano
  • Are You In The Mood? by Sheldon Higdon
  • What if Every Novel is a Horror Novel? by Steve Diamond
  • Description by Patrick Freivald
  • A First-time Novelist’s Odyssey by William Gorman
  • I Am Setting by J.S. Breukelaar
  • Finding Your Voice by Lynda E. Rucker

We’ve spoken about a few of the subjects here though quite a bit hasn’t been covered. This is a great central resource of material on the craft of writing and the collection of essays can, in many cases, be used as a fantastic reference guide.

I honestly feel that for myself “The Writer’s Purgatory” was my favorite essay as it examines getting yourself to get from the first draft of a work to your final version. This is an area I personally often suffer from but is just a small instance of the diverse set of topics that are covered.

Jack Ketchum explains his views on pacing in a novel from size to sentence structure in “Go Pace Yourself” while Tim Waggoner hits up how emotion can be a bigger building block than you might initially think in “Once More, With Feeling.” Another favorite though was Paul Kane’s “Heroes and Villains” which goes into detail on not just how different they are but how when done right they play off each other on page in a way that will capture the reader’s imagination and invest them into both characters.

This is a fantastic set of essays that cover a variety of topics on writing and one that is worth your time to read through.

Available on Amazon.

Writers on Writing Volume 1 – 4 Omnibus: An Author’s Guide
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing (November 29, 2016)
Publication Date: November 29, 2016