Book Review: The Art of War for Writers

The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell has quickly jumped to the forefront in my reading books on writing. The information inside The Art of War for Writers is witty and very useful. I currently have mapped out a section of the book a day to read, just as a little reminder of what I am getting myself into by looking at writing as a career. The book itself is a spin off from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War as author James Scott Bell looks at the publishing world from the perspective of a military commander and breaks down, in his own words, the knowledge he has gained over the years. The book is laid out in three different parts: Reconnaissance, Tactics, and Strategy.

The Reconnaissance section covers researching into what it takes to get published. This section goes into depth concerning the fiction writer and what you need to push out a novel. We all know that it is a daunting task, but many have done it before and using this knowledge, hopefully we can one day join in the hallowed ranks of a published author.

The Tactics section covers the discipline of being a writer. The section contains different ideas on how to effectively write and complete the main goal of finishing your novel. Bell presents concepts that have worked for him in the past and gives some suggestions on different aspects of a novel, i.e. characters and plot.

The Strategy section covers the business of writing along with the good and the bad that Bell has learned over the years while publishing his own novels. This section covers the novelist that has accomplished the end of their book and is lost on what to do next. This section makes sure to point out that writing is a business and you have to sell your finished product if you are going to be able to make a living at this career. However, Bell does make sure to put in some encouraging words to stay focused and keep writing even though you are trying to sell your first piece.

Overall I really enjoy this book. The information inside was very knowledgeable and I plan on using it to my advantage as I struggle through my first book ideas. I would give this book 4.5/5 stars. What other writing books have helped you out along the way?

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