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Touching the Starfish Paperback – 1 Feb 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Unthank Books.com (1 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956422306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956422309
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,856,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Crisp, witty and scalpel-sharp, Touching the Starfish doesn't miss a trick in its arch description of the orthodoxies and absurdities of Creative Writing Programmes and the many varieties of pond-life to be found therein. It's deadly accurate too on the often hilarious miseries of the writing life." --Lindsay Clarke.

"A fine first novel." --Eastern Daily Press

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Never start a novel with a sentence like: Locally respected creative writing tutor Nathan Flack strode out through the double doors at the back of the Eudora Doon Building and watched the Folder-Holders as they arrived in the famous university's carpark below. Rethink a first line that utilizes the blunt, inanimate `was', like: Nathan was very hopeful, or: Nathan was in a well chipper good mood as he met up with his beautiful yet impossible ex-girlfriend, Frances and speculated on the new Folder-Holders and their potential for foibles, or `Nathan Flack - John Cusack in a crap leather jacket - was leaning forwards hopefully and in a well chipper good mood because he knew, and the much-admired poet Frances Mink knew that this was the last time he would have to do this job. Don't, like one student of mine, trigger a novel with: On the one less than half a dozenth storey of the building somewhere in the eastern city in the country exotic, she patted her fat belly pregnant and said, `C'mon, we've got to stop the genetically-modified Jesus from porking the nuns. Or, like another, kick off with: She needed his hot enormity suddenly inside her like she needed Coldplay on rainy afternoons. Never emulate the ex-student, a retired Deputy Chief Constable no less whose opening gambit was: The thatch of her pubic hair resembled a red squirrel's arse hanging from a laburnum tree in a small back garden on the outskirts of Hull .
Opt instead for something crisp and simple that locates our protagonist just before a moment that changes the status quo, and then try to hint at something consequential to come. Suggest that something has happened, is happening and will happen. If you can also supply a sense of the narrative voice, your unique style, your personality and moral perspective as it filters through your prose, then you're laughing.

12 customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

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