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Excelling at Chess
Jacob Aagaard
The Art and Craft of Feature Writing: Based on The Wall Street Journal Guide
William E. Blundell

You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing

You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing - John Scalzi First, this is essentially a collection of blog posts. That's not necessarily bad, but in this case it results in a lot of redundancy, which is why the book feels like a collection of blog posts.Second, John Scalzi has a healthy ego. A very healthy ego. While he cops to it in the book, it doesn't stop him from repeatedly assuring the reader he makes a lot of money as a writer. Scads of it. (See "redundancy" above).The real value of the "how to make a living as a professional writer" book lies in this: Even if you're a budding novelist, write anything anyone will pay you to write, and you'll do OK. There. Sound advice. I'd suggest the interesting reading doesn't really appear until the last dozen or so essays, where Scalzi talks about publishing and related issues. Ego recedes and the information flows, and life is good.The least interesting bits include much of the first half and the stretches where he gets a little catty with other writers, and I had to wonder why the latter were even included.At one point, Scalzi tells unpublished writers they essentially have no right to talk about the publishing world. Later -- despite having never written a screenplay -- he delves into the screenwriting world, and I could only smile.This book isn't a terrible introduction to world of the professional writer, but it is repetitive and doesn't fulfill the promise of the cover copy, I've made my living as a writer for more than 25 years so I'm not the target audience, but I still I can't recommend it.It reads like a bunch of not wildly informative blog posts cobbled together, and while I understand the writer's impulse, I think it should have been transformed from blog book to writer's book -- at least if it was going to live up to the jacket copy.