Thursday, December 27, 2007
A fine book is Mitchell Ivers's The Random House Guide to Good Writing. Ivers was managing editor of RH when the book was published in 1991, but he's now senior editor at Pocket Books. His book is just one of a very few writing how-tos I've found helpful, and my copy was given to me years ago by my friend and fellow author Fred Bean -- now the late Fred Bean. And speaking of Fred, his funeral was so strange and poignant (outdoors, with doves and mysterious women weeping in back) that it must eventually become a scene in one of my novels. But back to this book by Ivers, which has been on my writing desk for the last few weeks, along with The Elements of Style and The American Heritage Dictionary. I'm in the midst of proofing galleys of I, Quantrill, to be released in May 2008 by New American Library, and I find the Ivers book an excellent reference. In the interest of disclosure, NAL is an imprint of Penguin, but I don't deal with Ivers because he is so far up the food chain. The Guide is still in print and can be had in a mass market edition for about seven bucks from Amazon.