22 November 2014 Leave a comment
Author: Various, The Guardian
Summary: Liberate your inner writer with insights and inspiration from some of the world’s finest contemporary authors.
Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5
Review: I picked this book up randomly as i walked passed it in the library. I’m glad i did. Generally, i love books and quotes and reading about writing. I find it incredibly fascinating and inspiring. I don’t necessarily agree with everything said, or all tips and rules preached, but it is always interesting to hear about other people’s methods and thought processes.
This book is split into three main sections: Fundamentals, which includes a series of short essays focusing on different aspects of writing (characters, voice, dialogue, plot, editing, etc). Rules, which is a collection of practises different authors follow in their writing. And a ‘How I Wrote’ section, where authors wrote short pieces on their inspiration and method of writing a particular novel. At the end there were a few more essays on the more general topics of deadlines, stationary and copyright.
I was, predictably, hooked from the start. There is perhaps nothing i enjoy talking or reading about more than writing. Seeing other people put into words things that resonate so strongly with me. Seeing concepts and ideas shaped in such a way that it makes perfect sense, that i would never have been able to verbalise myself.
Sensitivity to language is [a] quality that really matters in writing; it is also, perhaps, the most resistant to any kind of formal teaching.
Good novels are completed by their readers. Bad novels by their authors: overwritten, over-detailed and over-plotted.
…to me fiction seems too important to professionalise. Leave it to the amateurs.
All the way through, i was itching to pick up a highlighter pen and a pencil to mark quotes and make notes i the margins. The fact that this was a library book made me refrain, but the urge was strong enough, that i’m looking to buying a second hand copy for myself to vandalise to my heart’s content.
Ultimately, this book has me thinking of ideas, plans, inspiration and generally just desperate to get writing. Definitely one to have, fully highlighted and scribbled in, on hand when i’m writing. To pick up and dive in at a moment’s notice.