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The Pocket Muse: Ideas & Inspirations for Writing

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  888 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Brainstorm a list of complications for your work in progress. Make it a big list--at least fifteen items. Go crazy with it. At least three of the complications must be preposterous, requiring of you (and your reader) huge leaps of faith. Write about the praise you've received for your writing, whether from a high school English teacher or an editor or a friend. When doubts ...more
Hardcover, 77 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Writer's Digest Books (first published 2002)
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Annemieke Windt
Dec 23, 2012 Annemieke Windt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My collection of books with prompts on writing started when I taught Writing at the institute I work at. The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood is one of those books and it's one of the most fun books in that department that I own. It's the combination of the design, the variation in prompts, quotes on writing by famous authors and small assignments Woods gives the budding author.

One of the prompts in the books set my off on a small adventure of my own. I read the prompt: ,,Imagine a coat. Imagine the p
Jan 05, 2012 Cornelius rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with ADD.
Recommended to Cornelius by: The jerk from the library.
A lot of books on writing tend to at some point centralize on the author and how awesome he/she is. This book does not do that. Rather, the author keeps it random and just posts random thoughts throughout the book that are for the most part useless.

I highly recommend this book for prospective writers with ADD. That's about it.
Jul 27, 2013 Joseph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Monica Wood has put together a mash-up of various writing prompts. Some are photographs, some are questions, some are scenarios and all are aimed at helping you get through your writer’s block or giving you ideas for new stories.

This volume is pretty helpful, as far as these types of books go. There aren’t any page numbers, which can make it hard (if you’re using it in a class or something) to keep track of certain prompts you need or might like.

A lot of the prompts are fun but they seem like th
Mary Jo
May 18, 2012 Mary Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Borrowed this little pocket book from the library, along with several other writing books. It sat on my desk, then my bookshelf and finally made its way to my bag where I found it one day during my lunch break. I'm so glad I gave this little book a read. I flipped through the book, marking pages, taking notes, mostly prompted with ideas and scribbling happily in my notebook. It gave me energy. It gave me excitement for words and characters and conflict and the whole pulse of writing that had gon ...more
Paul Smith
Nov 20, 2015 Paul Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An inspiring and interesting book for writers of any genre or type, whether it is the amazing images or the advice - both useful and thought-provoking. Cannot recommend this writerly inspiration highly enough.
Jul 14, 2015 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
If you're a writer of any type you need to read this book. Very inspirational and made me feel like I could find my place anywhere in the world as a writer.
Jun 24, 2014 Hairil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the title says; "Ideas and Inspirations for Writing".

This is a nice little book for those (authors, columnists, bloggers, etc.) who often encounter writers' block. Just flip to a page at random, and you've almost immediately got yourself something to think of, and subsequently write about.
Elisabeth Bridges
This isn't really a book you "finish"... It's a lovely little thing to dip into whenever you're needing a creative boost.
Jul 21, 2011 Suzanne marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
Pooh-pooh to the lack of page numbers. Bucking that convention does not promote creativity which is the only reason I can think of for their omission.

What it DOES do is make it a headache when I am trying to locate specific exercises or recommend one to a friend. What should I say? "Do the exercise after novelty chattering teeth picture but before Robbie the Robot?" It's maddening.

Other than that, it's only a mediocre prompt book. Nothing special. Mostly pictures and fluff. And while it is smal
Aug 25, 2015 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing, 2015-list
I've used this to create a set of writing prompts for my students… and for myself, of course. :D
JJ Lynne
A writing guide worth adding to your arsenal of inspiration. As a young writer, I found that many of the suggestions and springboards in this text proved to be valuable fodder for the imagination.
Mar 01, 2016 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, own
Entertaining and dead useful tool for writers.
Oct 30, 2011 jmjester rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who write
Recommended to jmjester by: found it at Borders a few years ago
Shelves: non-fiction
I bought this a while ago, but never got around to reading it. I pulled it off my shelf in anticipation of NANOWRIMO, thinking my students and I might need some help throughout the month. We will definitely turn to this book when both our word counts and will power are waning. It's a super quick read with lots of white space and gorgeous, thought-provoking photographs. It's meant to be dipped into with advice on both generating prose and poetry as well as revising it. I can't wait to see how it ...more
Nov 19, 2013 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers, artists, creators
I have started this book many times, but I have finally read it all the way through. I found myself surprisingly pleased with it. It was both instructive and inspirational. I would recommend it for any writer or would-be writer who wants a little push, or a little pull; Ms. Wood works well in both directions. Some people may find it a little pricey for what it offers, but I got it back when it was $13, rather than the double-sawbuck it currently sells for.
Patti K
3.5 stars. This is the kind of thing you own as a writer, so I will probably purchase it someday and use it much more than I did while borrowing it from the library. Lots of writing prompts, suggestions, etc, to help you get going, get unstuck or find a way to look at your writing in another way. I mostly got it from the library because I wanted to know if it would be worth buying. The answer is yes.
Trisha Williams
May 20, 2012 Trisha Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
writing prompts are scattered through out the book mingled with advice for writers and topped of with her personal writing and teaching experiences. The useful messages and prompts never exceed the length of a single page so you don't feel weighed by a lecturer. she drops her little gems and then moves on to something else when you turn the page.
Rebecca N. McKinnon
I read this book front to back years ago but only used a few of the prompts back then. I'm re-reading it as well as its sequel this month for Story a Day in May. I'm going to read all the prompts, write daily off my choice of them, and update this review with my favorite prompt at the end of May. Happy #SADIM!
Cute book, but I doubt that it's worth the asking price. There are certainly cheaper ways to find prompts, and aside from the little quotes and occasional bits of useful advice, it really doesn't offer anything that you can't already find elsewhere.

I suppose that it might make a nice gift, at least.
Dec 12, 2012 T.J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers
My first read through of this book cover to cover took less than an hour. It serves it's purpose well. I have several small ideas for stories now that I may or may not work on. The point is it was inspiring without being overpowering.
Jun 29, 2009 J.M. rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
Cute book full of writing prompts to help writers free their creativity. We once used a few of these in a writers' group of mine, but I didn't find too much use for it on my own and sent it to a friend who needed help with her writing.
There are only two of these Pocket Muse books....they are amazing! Anyone who writes should get these little pocket sized books. They are full of prompts, pics, and inspiration when you are having writers block. I love them. Debi
Apr 11, 2011 Elise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers
Some really great ideas for both the craft and when to start an idea. Loved the photos, loved her voice, loved her story. I really have this next to me all the time now. I want the second one! Anyone seen it?
Jul 19, 2012 Anastasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not really a book you sit down and read through but it is full of wonderful prompts and ideas for writers. This is another well used book in my collection. I can't thank my Dad enough for gifting it to me.
May 22, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A re-read for me. This book is great to flip through and give you ideas for writing, inspiration and tips on writing style, structure, dialogue and theme.
Nov 17, 2013 Corbin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute little book to read on the go. A quick read with good prompts, and fun little stories. Good for inspiration to writers, be they beginner or not.
A slight, but enjoyable, book meant to give writers creative nudges and break them out of their boxes. Evocative photos and formatting enhance the effect.
Debbie Petersen
Jul 15, 2008 Debbie Petersen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book to keep around for inspiration when you get a bout of writer's block. Fun little vignettes, stories, pictures and writing prompts.
Mar 01, 2013 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
love this books so great and helpful for when you have writer's block. great prompts and interesting tips to fit beautiful pictures.
Jul 15, 2008 Stacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this book. It is a bit sparse compared to other "muse" books, but that is the nice thing about it. Leaves a lot to the imagination.
Dec 25, 2007 Kent rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Future and Current writers
A good book for anyone looking to find their inner muse or any writer who just needs a nudge towards writing the next great epic!!
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Monica Wood is the author of four works of fiction, most recently Any Bitter Thing, which spent 21 weeks on the American Booksellers Association extended bestseller list and was named a Book Sense Top Ten pick. Her other fiction includes Ernie’s Ark and My Only Story, a finalist for the Kate Chopin Award.
More about Monica Wood...

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