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How to Write: Advice and Reflections

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Uniquely fusing practical advice on writing with his own insights into the craft, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes constructs beautiful prose about the issues would-be writers are most afraid to articulate: How do I dare write? Where do I begin? What do I do with this story I have to tell that fills and breaks my heart? Rich with personal vignettes about Rhode' ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1995)
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This is simply one of the best books on the craft of writing. One reason for this is the author is one of the best writers of non-fiction that I have ever read. Filled with great examples and references for writing and reading, the book covers the tools, voices, and research necessary for writing. He then spends two chapters outlining the process to take the tools and research and create actual writing. Beyond that the book provides guidelines and principles that may be applied to other areas of ...more
In writing his masterful The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes immersed himself in the stories and the collective world of half a century’s worth of world-class theoretical physicists, men of extraordinary and intimidating expertise. The experience seems to have rubbed off on him. His pamphlet on the craft of writing is the work of a journeyman who is tellingly unsure of whether he himself should be considered an expert writer, and who in either case very much would like to be. After a ...more
Rhodes' first sentence is "If you want to write, you can." That was just the inspiration that I needed to push myself to collect all those little scraps of paper torn out of spiral bound notebooks, post it notes, and backs of deposit slips from my purse, and do something with them. The most interesting book I have read on writing. This should be required reading for college writing.
Pete Mackey
Rhodes' book is less than it promises, and his premise is achieved much more effectively by other books than by his. Meant to be a guide to writing and making it as a writer, the book veers too often between the obvious and pedantic, and along the way gets mired in technique, metaphors and generalities that simply didn't strike me as especially keen. The advice about how to write has been offered with greater clarity and usefulness elsewhere, the guidance on technique is so specifically related ...more
Rhodes delivers exactly what he promises: advice and reflections. He illustrates both with examples from his own work, sometimes detailed examples. If you like Rhodes' work, this is a great book to read. If you are a writer or aspiring writer, it is also a great book to read.
Rhonda Rae Baker
This is the most comprehensive as well as healing inspirations that I am so pleased to have found. Richard Rhodes has lived life and shares his heart as a writer of what a person can do to find that illusive dream which is buried in all of us.

I couldn't read this fast enough yet didn't want to hurry any piece so made myself put it down and take breaks to ponder what he is really saying. Then I would pick it up again and reread the section or chapter finding new treasures to mine. many
Leland William
Another excellent book on the craft of writing. Rhodes opens it up with a beautiful essay and then delivers thoughtful ruminations about the craft. I particularly enjoyed his inclusion of 'other voices' into the book. A splendid piece of verity.
Zachary Searles
Just in my opinion, too much reflection, not enough advice. Have yet to find a book about writing that is better than on writing by Stephen king.
Timothy McCluskey
This book was very helpful in learning how to write. I really found the section on voice to be most constructive
This is good. Rhodes has been generous with his knowledge. He blends the practical with the inspirational.
Great, very practical advice about writing.

"Apply ass to chair..."
This is geared more towards writing non-fiction than fiction.
Aug 17, 2007 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers
Shelves: writingbooks
On the long side but very informative.
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Richard Lee Rhodes is an American journalist, historian, and author of both fiction and non-fiction (which he prefers to call "verity"), including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986), and most recently, Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race (2007). He has been awarded grants from the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation a ...more
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“the process of writing is always a healing process because the function of creation is always, always, the alleviation of pain—the writer’s, first of all, and then the pain of those who read what she has written. Imagination is compassionate. Writing is a form of making, and making humanizes the world.1” 0 likes
“A page a day is a book a year. Listen to that again: a page a day is a book a year.” 0 likes
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