Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm throwing you a life line here. So grab ahold. Take a deep breath. You're not going to die after all!

Just when you thought you were going under. Just when you wondered if it's even possible for anyone to write a novel, memoir, non fiction book, picture book, or anything remotely publishable; Becky Levine pulls out the safety equipment.

Levine, herself is living proof that you don't have to die trying to get published. This very week she and Writer's Digest Books are releasing an amazing writing book with an ambitious title!


That's a lot to ask from any book. But somehow Levine manages it. I'm reading her Survival Guide now - although not as closely as I would like to because I happen to be drowning in revisions. Or, I would be drowning, if I didn't have this book to remind me what makes a scene work, or that all my characters need to be multi-dimensional, and of the importance of dialogue in relation to plot.

Here are a few other things I'm discovering as I read:

  • Organization (Levine has a left-brain that actually works!)
  • Highly readable writing style
  • Info about types of critique groups and how to decide which type is right for you
  • Critique group protocol - apparently you can't just show up and spout off - you actually have responsibilities, both as critiquer and critiquee
  • Information about various genres and how to critique for each
  • Sample analyses of writing passages in multiple genres
  • Worksheets
  • And, obviously much more! (304 pages)
  • The Survival Guide doesn't claim to be a writing course but - um, in my opinion, it sort of is one.

    In honor of the Survival Guide's release, Becky Levine is offering a book giveaway. To enter, all you have to do is comment on one of my posts with the words - "HELP!" or "I NEED THAT BOOK!" or "MOVE THAT BUS!" (To to be quite honest, any little thing that gets the point across will do.)

    You have until Feb. 2nd (Put Ground Hog's Day in the comment, if you like.) I'll put the entries in some sort of container, jostle them around, and pull one up without peeking.

    But don't wait until then to check back here, because Ms. Levine herself will be stopping by later in the week to answer a few questions. And with permission from her, over the next few weeks, I might even toss out a delicious crumb or two from the Survival Guide.


    1. "Help I need that book." I'm getting ready to take a novel writing class. This would really come in handy.

      Linda Andersen

    2. Linda and Nichole, you are both entered.

      Thanks for playing along.

    3. Get me a copy of that book! Meh!

    4. Top Five Reasons to PICK ME!!
      5-My birthday is in FEB (2/15)
      4-I have recently started a writing group with a community of professional women (elem teachers, college teachers, graphic artist, nurse)
      3-Through the NWP/Middle Tennessee Writing Project I am allowed to conduct a writing camp with young people!
      2-I am a bookaholic!!

    5. Help! I want that book! I want Groundhog's Day! I don't want to show up at a critique group and just spout off!!!

    6. Dianne - those are powerful words. You're in!

      Yolanda - more great statements. You're in too.

    7. Joyce, thanks so much for posting the contest & for saying such wonderful things! Good luck, everybody. :)

    8. Help! I need that book. I'm in an online critique group, and I'm also trying to get a local critique group going in my area.

    9. Here's why I NEED this great-sounding book:
      1. I teach a writing class of 8th graders...there will be about 150 kids who could benefit from my increased knowledge...
      2. I have a grant to go on 2 writing retreats (April/July)...
      3. When I'm not retreating this summer, I will be teaching 6 writing classes...
      4. Next year, I will be teaching a writing class made up of teachers who will eventually be teaching writing...

      So you see, like the concentric circles which emanate from the lone pebble tossed in a pond, your expertise could have some long-reaching consequences...

      Thanks for your consideration!

    10. Move that bus and mail me a book! Please. :)

    11. Jan, Barbara, Sue - you're all quite convincing! And you've all been entered into the contest! Thanks for participating.

    12. Yep. I need that book. for sure. Great posts.

    13. I came by your post via Jama Rattigan. So glad to "meet" you, and I would so love to win a copy of the book!

    14. I NEED Becky's LEFT BRAIN THINKING THAT Works!!!! :-) Organization and Survival??? Include me, pleeease!!!! :-D

    15. I want the book and I want your signature in the book!!
      Judy Wirzberger