Most helpful positive review
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Clear explanations of basic concepts and great writing exercises
on 13 February 2013
Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings is divided into five different sections of more or less equal length: writing fiction, poetry, life writing (including biography and autobiography) and going public with your writing (including editing your work and finding publishing avenues). The final section of the book contains different readings/ samples of published/ well-known writers that illustrate the points made in the different "theoretical" sections.
Basic concepts such as characterization, choice of narrative viewpoint, structure and plot, etc., are explained well in a way that makes them easy to understand, even for beginners, but the real strength of this book lies, in my opinion, in the numerous writing exercises that allow you to apply these concepts to your own writing. In addition, the exercises are "cumulative" and build on each other, which really helps to internalize the things you've learned. The exercises also help you to realize where your own strenghts and weaknesses as well as preferences as a writer lie.
I would have given this book 5 stars (the usefulness of the writing exercises alone would warrant this), if it weren't for the fact that it does not cover genre fiction (with the exception of one or two very short passages, it does not refer to sci-fi, romance or the detective novel, for example). Another, albeit minor, negative point relates to the weight/ size of the book. This is a very heavy/ bulky book indeed.
Still, as creative writing books go, I believe that this is one of the better ones on the market due to the clarity of the explanations provided and the very useful writing prompts/ exercises.