Monday, 17 December 2012

Review: 'Now Write!: Fiction Writing Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers' edited by Sherry Ellis

Now Write!: Fiction Writing Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers edited by Sherry Ellis, 2006, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, $13.95, softbound, 269 pages. Category/Genre: writing how-to. Cover: kind of gives the impression it's a grammar book. Where we got it: borrowed it. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million.

This book doesn't even have an introduction; it's made up entirely of writing exercises by such authors as Steve Almond, Amy Bloom, Robert Olen Butler, and Jill McCorkle. 
Just a few of the exercises are: 'My Pet,' by Allison Lurie, in which you are to write about a pet you have never had (it may be a kitten, a dragon, whatever); you are to describe the animal, tell how you got it and how he/she gets on with others, and what the motives are for keeping this pet (protection, affection, etc.). 
'The Photograph,' by Jill McCorkle, has you choosing an image, such as a photograph or a picture in an art gallery, and write about it. Ask yourself how the image came to be and what came after it. She uses this exercise herself to sharpen or focus a scene. 
Clyde Edgerton's 'You -- Me -- I -- You in the Cafeteria' asks you to write about going into a cafeteria and seeing the person you dislike most in the world. Then you are to write the same scene from the other person's point of view. 
There are 86 exercises to help you with getting started, point of view, character development, dialogue, plot and pacing, setting and description, craft and revision. Some of them sound like they'd be fun to try. Author websites are provided at the back. 
If you're looking for exercises to help you with your writing, this book may very well do it for you. 

If you like this one, try: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creative Writing, Second Edition, by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D. 

No comments:

Post a Comment