Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings Paperback – 6 Dec 2005
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‘For anyone getting going as a writer (and even for those who have already made a start), this is an invaluable how-to guide, full of useful tips, mind-freeing exercises, and inspiring wisdom from established authors. A book to banish the terror of the blank page.’ – Blake Morrison, journalist, critic and acclaimed author of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including the multi-award-winning And When Did You Last See Your Father? (Granta, 1993)
About the Author
Linda Anderson is an award-winning novelist (To Stay Alive and Cuckoo, both published by Bodley Head) and writer of short stories, poetry, performance pieces, and critical reviews. Her work has been published in Britain, Ireland, the USA, and Australia. She has taught at Goldsmiths' College and at Lancaster University for ten years, becoming Head of Creative Writing from 1995-2002. She has designed several successful courses including a training programme for new writing tutors and an MA in Creative Writing by distance learning. She has also worked as a producer and director for BBC Radio Drama. She has a PhD in Creative Writing.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
It suggests exercises to help you tap into your own creativity without being prescriptive and allows you to work out what is best for your own work, while providing readings that illustrate the techniques suggested.
Not just a book that you can work through but something that you can keep forever and flick through for inspiration whenever you get a little stuck.
The first section of the book is devoted to prose writing and develops characters and scenery, tense and narrative, and other technical aspects of writing short stories.
The second section is about writing poetry- about alliteration, where to break up lines, how to approach writing series and themed poems.
The third section gives a sensitive approach to 'life writing' or biographies and true stories.
There's also a section on how to get published, things like market, presentation and pitfalls.
Lots of readings and practcal exercises to work through, ways to encourage the muses and how to avoid writers block. Had a lot of fun writing poems about tea cups and stories about the neighbours...
It's not a quick book to get through- it's a university course book so it's not written for a quick read. It can be pretty intense, but maybe thats the time line associated with it in some aspects. The course does one chapter per week.
There are different writers writing different sections so it's not generalised by one author who thinks he/she knows all about writing. It's written pretty well, which is what you'd expect. So yes, i'd recommend.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has some excellent tips and exercises designed to help you find how you write. It is cleaver I'm it's description of subjects and has reading relevant to the subject.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Used this as my open university coursebook. Full of useful information. A good reference book for a writer, so put it on my Kniddle.Published 8 months ago by JohnG UK
It's perfectly pitched for the novice writer, love the mix of practical exercises and literary anecdotes. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Queenofthemed
Great book. Bought this for a writing course - was recommended and is also used by open university. Glad to say my course wasn't that expensive !Published 12 months ago by M. Gourley
Excellent book. There are lots of sections e.g poetry and memoir I am not interested in. The first half of the book is invaluable there are readings of many well known writers at... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Vanessa
I purchased this book as I'm doing an Open University degree in English Lang. and Lit. and part of the course will involve advanced creative writing. Read morePublished 14 months ago by maria