DIYMFA: Take Joy by Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen’s book about loving the writing life is really fun to read. She’s got a great voice–I found myself nodding and laughing at her insights. I read almost half the book in one sitting yesterday; the text is clean, the chapters are short and engaging, and her “interludes,” little tangential snippets between chapters, all make for quick reading.

I think my only problem with her perspective on writing is a distaste for certain types of fiction, like romance. While she does present the caveat that these are her opinions alone, there’s a pervasive bias against the genre, which, according to Yolen, has works that are “[i]nterchangeable sets of ciphers acting out a plot-by-the-numbers.” Or at least Barbara Cartland does it that way. Also, some of the writing tips are less applicable to genre fiction, as there’s less flexibility in the time between having books published. A romance author generally relies on her rabid fans, readers who are often willing to drop an author from their auto-buy lists if her books do not come out quickly enough.

Still, in terms of inspiration and craft knowledge, I’m enjoying the read. Hell, it’s even giving me plot bunnies for non-romance fiction…

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