21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Inspiring and full of detailed advice,
This review is from: The Creative Writing Coursebook: Forty Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction and Poetry (Paperback)
"The Creative Writing Coursebook" contains a wealth of information for the aspiring writer. At 400 pages it is both substantial and comprehensive. It is structured so as to cover every stage of the writing process, from gathering first ideas, to characterisation, points of view, setting, plotting, and then to revising your text. Lastly it discusses the values of writing workshops and the practical business of finding an agent or publisher. Each of these topics is subdivided into a number of articles by different authors, which helps convey the variety of approaches and styles adopted by writers. This is the beauty of this book, as well as the thing which separates it from many similar titles on the market. This is no step-by-step guide claiming to guarantee bestselling success but a more thought-provoking book which encourages you to think for yourself. Sometimes you may even find yourself disagreeing with the authors on certain points, but this is legitimate as well!
The articles help you to explore how/why/when/where you write, and, from that basis, to develop your own methods and voice. At every stage there are also exercises to help loosen your creative muscles - useful as little thought-experiments even if you don't actually do them. There is also a useful bibliography, both of fiction and of other useful books on writing, to help you go further. It is possible to read it straight through or even topic-by-topic, almost as a reference book, if you like. I find it most useful to open it at a random page whenever I have a spare moment, since there is always good advice to be had no matter what stage you are at in your writing. However you use it, it is an excellent book with something to offer for every writer out there.