They Can Be Broken Unlikecan be broken Unlike craft texts the tone
IS LIVELY SASSY AND PLAYFUL RATHER THAN DRY DULLlively sassy and playful rather than dry dull condescending Two of my favorite lines from the book areThe only rule for "fiction is that it be interestingCreative writing is the one area where you don t want to be appropriate Appropriate is "is that it be interestingCreative writing is the one area where you don t want to be appropriate Appropriate is dinner partiesYesFinally because LaPlante approaches common topics from such fresh angles instructors also benefit a great deal from this book I m a better teacher for having read this book something that can t be said for a lot of craft texts that don t offer anything we haven t already read or heard a billion times I teach Creative Writing and Fiction and I have always relied on Janet Burroway s books as well as some of Charles Baxter s but this semester I decided to give it a try to Alice LaPlante textbook and what an amazing adventure this has been for me and my students It is so down to ath deep practical Any fiction writerprofessor would appreciate LaPlante s fuel to writing I bought this book because I was trying to write my own but I had come face to face with a particular realization I did not know what I was doing I was not capable of producing the kind of writing I desperately wanted to produce the kind of writing I wanted to read Now in all humility there may very well be readers who throw my book down in disgust and say he still doesn t know how but at least I got the manuscript out and in to the hands of readers And a lack of talent shining from my page does not mean that the resource was lacking in any way I found a way to study what I was doing and to critiue myself using this book It helped me through the diting process and also made me into a better reader of narrative than I ver was before I have a whole bookshelf dedicated to craft books on poetry and prose fiction writing The last thing I need is another one But I came across this obscure book at the library and I was just amazed by it Its a big fat book as Norton books tend to be But its packed with genuine information not just pep talks This is not a popular book but its a very highly regarded book I think this must have originally been intended for college writing courses but its filled with xercises and you can use it without a teacher It breaks down ach sta Finally reading this after having owned it for years This book is not only well written one would hope so but fun to read It s not only a great textbook for beginning writers but a resource and refresher for not so beginning writers and I think the xercises on how to xplode open your pieces will be very useful Each chapter nds with wonderful short stories and creative nonfiction pieces to illustrate A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, each chapter s lesson and they were all a pleasure to readven the ones I d read before though finding new to me writings by John Cheever Akhil Sharma and Maxine Hong Kingston just to name a few was The Shadow Reader especiallyxcitingThe only discouraging thing is that when I see minute typos and proofreading misses which are Cinderella Unmasked (Fairytale Fantasies ever so minor that I almost hate mentioning them I always feel I am on the wrong path that I should work as a copyditor instead of trying to write The one book I recommend to people about writing than anything Covering both fiction and narrative nonfiction the book deals with a topic per chapter from plot to dialogue to character Just like very other writing book But this book does a couple of things better than any other book I ve seen it has a less stringent focus on xercises and it includes full texts I don t like writing books that want to kick me out and send me off to do something and come back to it later I want a book to let me consume it sit with it for a while and then do xercises if I want to Frankly I m kind of down on. A Los Angeles Times bestseller wonderfully lucid and illuminating Alice LaPlante’s guide to writing fiction “recalls Francine Prose’s best. .
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Exercises as it is since I don t like being told what to write when it comes to fictionAlso a big problem with writing books is the way they tell you how writer X does something right then presents a passage from the story in uestion pulled out of context from the rest of the story Which does the job but wouldn t it be better to have the full story in front of you If you re telling me what an amazing job Flannery O Connor does characterizing the Grandmother in A Good Man is Hard to Find is it better to give me a snapshot or the whole story I understand this is likely a copyright issue xcerpts under a certain length being xempt from royalty payments But TMOAS opens the purse and pays for the reprint rights So if LaPlante is discussing how Cheever sprinkles details throughout The Swimmer you ll be able to see for yourself and read the story at the nd of the chapter with a trio of review uestions to help you crystallize in your mind what the story xcels at Simply
best book you can get on the technical aspects I actually had an Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling epiphany reading this book This neon green book is large inviting and unintimidating loaded with incrediblexamples Monsieur Pain exercises and advice that will forever impact my writing and approach Oftentimes I have struggled with what to write about that looming dark confidence shrinking uestion However after reading LaPlante s advice I have completely moved past this uestion because of a few simple life changing paragraphs in this book In anssay titled How to Discover What You Have to Say A Talk to Students Skinner asserts that writing is a much complex act than simply transcribing xisting thoughts into words as accurately as possible Ifthe best book you can get on the technical aspects I actually had an piphany
this were the case the writer would bewere the case the writer would be little than serving as a reporter of past thoughts and xperiences already processed by the brain Instead Skinner argues that the physical act of writing is the cause not the ffect of new and original thought and that any creative work that is not a journey of discovery for the writer will in turn bore readers It s like driving a car at night said novelist Robert Stone about how he copes with this uncertainty when writing longer pieces you can only see as far ahead as your headlights but you can make the ntire journey that way Beginning writers find it difficult and painful to tolerate this state of not knowing Yet accepting it mbracing it ven represents an important step in a writer s creative development Good creative writing is almost always conceived in doubt and is fueled by an urgent desire to understand something that Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. eludes understanding Thus the best writing is less about dispelling than acuiring wisdom less aboutxplaining the point of a given Patrick the Wolf Boy, Volume 1 experience to others than aboutxploring and learning about it oneself So what does one do with this information that not knowing and paying attention to personal mysteries leads to good creative writing First one learns how to recognize mystery Learn to understand when you don t understand Take note of it if possible literally by carrying a notebook with you mphasis mine pg67 68 I realized I have often approached writing as reporting hence I am The Reporter relaying facts However after reading this book I realized the beauty in pursuing writing as The Discoverer Hence discovering what you remember who you were at the time the meaning behind an interaction how you really feel about an interaction and discovering the implications of that interaction discovering what it all means This has completely opened a new door in my mind in writing And this is just one of the piphanies I had while I was reading this book The Making of a Story is over six hundred pages and includes fourteen chapters with two Glitter Bomb (A Scrapbooking Mystery, exercises per chapter and one to two readingxamples per chapter I won t go into Il morto di Maigret every single detail because this book is put simply an incredible writing course in a book at the low low cost of 2195 It contains advice on showing vs telling character development plot dia. Seller Reading Like a Writer” Library Journal The Making of a Story is a fresh and inspiring guide to the basics of creative writing both fict.