The Creative Writing Coursebook : Forty Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction and Poetry, Paperback Book

The Creative Writing Coursebook : Forty Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction and Poetry Paperback

3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


The success of the writing courses at UEA belies the myth that writing can't be taught.

This coursebook takes aspiring writers through three stages of practice: Gathering - getting started, learning how to keep notes, making observations and using memory; Shaping - looking at structure, point of view, character and setting; and Finishing - being your own critic, joining workshops, finding publishers.

Throughout exercises and activities encourage writers to develop their skills.

Contributions from forty authors provide a unique and generous pool of information, experience and advice.

This is the perfect book for people who are just starting to write as well as for those who want some help honing work already completed.

It will suit people writing for publication or just for their own pleasure, those writing on their own or writing groups.




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Aother writing handbook - split into three main sections: gathering, shaping and finishing. Takes you through the process from keeping notebooks, diaries and clearing space, to training the eye, to plot, characterisation, point of view and setting and finishes with readig, revising, criticism and how to get published.

Review by

This book was set for a class, but was never really used. I've dipped into it now and again, but I haven't found it particularly useful, which is perhaps why we didn't use it. There are some exercises, but I didn't feel a burning urge to do them, they didn't inspire any immediate thoughts. There are some anecdotes, but I didn't relate to them all that well -- Julia Bell describing how a literature degree took away her hunger for books, for example, but while my degree has got in the way of my reading, to some extent, it hasn't taken away the love of it. (On the contrary, I love and adore digging into a book or books to construct an essay, and my degree opened up the world of reading and writing poetry in a way I'd thought I'd never really get.)<br/><br/>The strength and weakness of it is that it deals with a wide range of topics. It's very general. So if you're an absolute beginner, perhaps it's worth reading, but for deeper insights, not so much.<br/><br/>Actually, I can't think of many books on writing I've found genuinely useful in that way. Stephen Fry's The Ode Less Travelled made me write poetry enthusiastically, eagerly, yes, and Ursula Le Guin's Steering the Craft taught me about things I'd never thought about before, like thinking about the rhythm of my writing. I travel everywhere with those two books, just in case I feel the urge to turn to them again. And there are books which are fascinating because they're all about a personal view of writing, which works too. This one just ended up being none of those, really.

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