3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A cuff on the side of the head, 12 Dec. 2013
Bridget is giving away her secrets in this book. But then that is typical of the generosity and good humour of the author. I have a confession: I’ve been to her classes. And of course, like most writers, to those of others - sniffing around for ideas, and confederacies of writers.
So far, Bridget is unequalled, and now I live too far away to attend her classes in person, this book reminds me why. She has a knack of giving me a cuff on the side of the head and jolting my imagination out of the grooves into which it has unwittingly settled. Dabble in these exercises and you may find yourself writing about people and places far beyond your experience or subtly challenging unexamined habits in your dialogue, characterisation or plotting.
One of the book’s striking qualities is that it provides tools for writers at any stage of development and with any aspiration. Short stories, novel writing, poetry, screenplays and most genres are embraced, not in the turgid, formulaic manner of many creative writing books, but by someone who has a delight in writing, and who conveys that to her pupils and readers.
Some of the exercises in the book have reawakened me to a writerly mindfulness. How better to focus on the present than to quietly observe your surroundings, experiences and encounters, and then to go further - to mix senses and smell textures or see emotions as colours?
There are many unique ideas for exercises here that I've not encountered elsewhere, and also something that is incredibly hard to pull off - a writer who makes me feel she is talking directly to me. Bridget coaches without hubris, but with the gentle confidence that comes from being an outstanding teacher and writer.
I look forward to having the book in a hardcopy format. The exercises invite the reader to dive in and try the water, and I’d like to be able to do that without muddling my way through arcane ebook necromancy.
I was recently a prizewinner at the Bridport Story Slam. The story came from one of the exercises in this book...