31 Aug

An Overview of the Craft: The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer, Review

Boost of Motivation, Novel Writer's Toolkit review Quote

Boost of Motivation, Novel Writer's Toolkit review QuoteSometimes you get handed a book that you wouldn’t have bought in a million years and it turns out to contain grains of pure gold. Bob Mayer’s “The Novel Writer’s Toolkit” was one of those for me.

Overview

Bob Mayer is a rather accomplished writer, both in terms of books published (over 60) and money earned (unknown but from what he says “good”). He knows what he’s talking about and he isn’t shy about using himself as an example.

In The Novel Writer’s Toolkit (TNWT) Mayer presents 9 tools (read themes) dealing with everything a writer needs to know, from personal insights (common traits of successful writers, knowing why you write, etc.) to more commonplace advice on plot, theme, character creation and similar.

In some areas The Novel Writer’s Toolkit shines when compared to regular writer’s books, such as the focus on selling and making a career and the key to defining your kernel idea (writing to a premise sentence), which makes the book stand out from the pack. Read More

20 Mar

ReWork – An Energy Kick in Your Creative Pants – Review

ReWork Cover ImageSome books give you knowledge. Some books give you energy. Rework is firmly in the energy category.

Rework is written by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson and is culled from their (and their coworkers’ ) blog at 37signals.com. Fried and Heinemeier are the men behind Basecamp, the collaborative platform, and several other lean productivity products and while I haven’t personally used Basecamp but I’ve heard good things about it.

Rework is a condensed version of their blog, so if you’ve been following that I’m guessing that you’ll recognize quite a lot. But if you haven’t read the blog, well, Rework puts the common, dinosaur, assumptions about running a company on their collective heads. Read More

01 Oct

Reading physical books improves your brain

Book heartRachel Grate, over at Mic.com, has a nice summary about how reading physical books influences the brain.

Apparently the sensory (mainly tactile) feedback you get from holding and handling a physical, paper book activates muscle and sensory memory areas, making it easier to remember the content, while when reading online, or on an electronic device, we tend to skim, which decreases our ability to read linearly.

Linky: Science Has Great News for People Who Read Actual Books

15 Jul

My new Best First Book on Game Design – Paid to Play by Keith A. Meyers, Review

Keith A. Meyers, Paid to Play, cover

Keith A. Meyers, Paid to Play, coverWhen I decided that I wanted to become a serious game designer (and isn’t that an oxymoron) I didn’t know where to start. The step between dabbling in game design and doing it systematically, accountably and efficiently seemed nigh on insurmountable.

I really wish that someone had given me Keith A. Meyers “Paid to Play” right about then.

Reading “Paid to Play” is the equivalent of spending a year or more perusing BGDF and the BoardGameGeek game designers forums. Everything you need to know about the basics of professionaly designing games is here, from finding your target market to the skills you need as a designer (persistence, persistence, persistence) to licensing and the dos and don’ts of submitting a query. Incredibly it’s all crammed into 87 quite airy pages. Read More

03 Jun

Review – The Game Inventor’s Guidebook by Brian Tinsman

The Game Inventor's Guidebook by Brian TinsmanI got Brian Tinsman’s The Game Inventor’s Guidebook: How to Invent and Sell Board Games, Card Games, Role-Playing Games, & Everything in Between! Amazon thinking that it would be similar in scope and concept to Jessie Schell’s A book of Lenses Amazon but from a business standpoint: something that would go through the different steps and hurdles of getting your game published and point out the things to look out for.

Not quite. Read More