This is the first comprehensive reference book for writers; a clickable guide to all the most useful accumulated wisdom, how-to books, magazines, blogs, and media resources, organized for practical writing application.
The Compendium features thousands of useful ways to develop story, character, and your writing process – equivalent to 400+ pages - all organized and annotated, with internal and external links, and illustrated with vintage graphics.
"Impressive amount of collecting and organizing... Such a great idea, and I think you have done it very well. And all in the spirit of creativity and telling better stories!" - Roy Finch, Chapman University
Over years of writing, and helping other writers write, I found myself seeking out lots of different formulas, concepts, and methods of writing. And there are so many great tools out there for writers - but they get buried in books or scattered online and where are they when you need them?
I realized that no one had ever tried to collect and organize all the different writers' resources in one place for easy reference and comparative delight. I nominated myself and started working on the Compendium.
Originally I thought it was going to be the appendix to my first book, "How To Be A Writer Who Writes", but when it got to be bigger than the book I realized it was a project of its own.
So for the last few years I've been gathering, compiling, organizing and editing – not to mention researching the graphics – and now, with your help, I'm ready to publish the First Edition of "Miller's Compendium of Timeless Tools for the Modern Writer".
The Compendium is an easy reference for familiar concepts and a way to brainstorm new ideas for any form or genre of writing. It's also an ideal teaching tool that lays out the breadth and history of perspectives on the art and craft of writing.
The book is already written and edited for content, and it's being copy edited right now. (Although, of course, I've found a few things that I will add or tweak in one final editorial pass.)
Your backing will finance production of this first edition e-book.
When can we get our hands on it?
- That's my question. I'm using a pdf proof for my latest writing project, and it's already really helpful, but when it's a fully-activated e-book and all those internal links are hot, it's going to be amazing.
The Compendium will be delivered to backers within three months after the end of this campaign.
Is it also a physical hardcopy book?
- Not yet. The beauty of an e-reference book is that it's flowable and clickable to all its internal links and external sources (including the graphics). It will be delivered to you as a epub file or a .mobi for Kindle (you can get the free program for use on any device at http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771).
First and foremost, the Compendium wants to be an e-book. If this campaign is successful, and there's enough demand, maybe we'll run a campaign for a 2nd edition hardcopy/e-book combo. Or team up with a publisher to do it. But all of that will take a year at least. Meanwhile, we can all be using the Compendium for our writing and teaching and browsing and brainstorming inspiration.
Why does 'production' cost so much?
- Because e-book production technology is still rudimentary. 1000+ links have to be hand-programmed and double checked – plus there's all the prepping and positioning of graphics you would have in any book.
Who's it for?
- The Compendium is for writers at any level of experience working in any form or genre. It's for writing teachers who want to give their students a bigger picture and more choices. Anyone writing a book, script, thesis, report or article will find relevant, actionable info about the practice and process. I think reference book collectors and librarians will love it. And vintage graphics enthusiasts will have a field day with all the public domain sources.
It's definitely not just for screenwriters. There are chapters on Movie Formulas and Movie Genres, but there are also hundreds of entries for book genres and TV drama formats. And there are all kinds of tools for character development, comedy, process and practice that apply to all writing. There are even chapters about legal issues for writers – and advice from other fields. Plus inspirational quotes.
Why can't you just search out all this info for yourself?
- You probably already have some of it in some form. And you can search out anything, you just have to a) think to do it, b) remember the source or keywords, c) stop writing to perform the search, d) find the best source url while e) not getting distracted by a million other things online, then f) find and extract the relevant actionable info within the site or document. The Compendium does all that for you. Plus, it's organized into practical categories so you can use it as a guide to the writing process or a brainstorming tool.
How did you decide what to include in the Compendium?
My priorities are utility and diversity. There are a lot of tricks of the trade – that work. I didn't include anything just because it's old and I didn't dismiss anything just because it's new.
The Compendium is designed to make your writing process wider, deeper, more productive and more fun. I can't wait for you to start using it.
Risks and challenges
RISKS & CHALLENGES:
- This is an e-book, so every link has to be individually programmed and double-checked. That means technical standards have to be high, but we have already beta-tested a full chapter with graphics and links, so we're confident about delivering a fully-functional book – and have left ourselves enough time to do it.
- The external urls referenced throughout the Compendium are live links online so, due to the fluid nature of the internet, they will inevitably change or become pages not found. The links will eventually need updating in a supplement or 2nd edition. Backers of this First Edition backers will receive priority, free or heavily-discounted updates and special bonuses.
- Self-publishing any book, much less one of this complexity, is challenging, but I have already self-published one book of my own, "How To Be A Writer Who Writes", http://www.amazon.com/How-Writer-Who-Writes-ebook/dp/B00AZ8CLY0/ ), and have advised numerous clients on theirs. I understand the process - and the possibilities - of the medium.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)