Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings, and Everything In Between” as Want to Read:
Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings, and Everything In Between
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings, and Everything In Between

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  65 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
How do writers approach a new novel? Do they start with plot, character, or theme? A. S. Byatt starts with color. E. L. Doctorow begins with an image. In Off the Page, authors tell us how they work, giving insight into their writing process. Gathered from some of today’s best writers—Paul Auster, Martin Amis, Gish Jen, Dan Chaon, Alice McDermott, and many others interviewe ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 17th 2007 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published December 10th 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Off the Page, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Off the Page

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Shonna Froebel
Jan 23, 2013 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it
This is a lovely collections of short comments about different aspects of writing, taken from interviews that Burns did on Besides beginnings and endings, it covers characters, places, inspiration for writing, style, language, relation to reality and the differences between writing novels and short stories. Besides the actual writing, it also covers the life of writing, the relationship with readers, and with other writers.
I found especially interesting the bits from writers
Jan 04, 2013 Kate marked it as reference
I've read about 20 pages of this book in non-sequential order, and I'm really enjoying it. It's a book of opinions, so for one question, 15 different authors will give a paragraph-long response, and they'll all be completely different. I love the variety, because it's not only broad and instructive, but also inclusive. The best books about writing are the ones that show you something new but don't instruct; through showing the struggles of other writers, I feel less like my own writing is ...more
I hadn't heard of a lot of these writers, but they still had some good things to say. I finally got an idea, while I was reading this, which enabled me to start writing a story I'd been planning for half a year, so I'm grateful for the opportunity to think about writing on a technical level. And I definitely have some new books and authors I'll be wanting to check out.
Jul 03, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok
A lot of great wisdom in this book, but too much of the advice relied upon knowledge of the individual authors' oeuvre, and since all of the contributors are contemporary, I unfortunately have read very little of their work. Since most of the contributors appear in several different chapters, I almost would have preferred to have some longer essays instead of the short snippets that are sometimes profound but often don't say very much. Also, as a nonfiction writer, I would have loved to have ...more
Imogen Smiley
The only fault I personally had with this book was that I was unable to relate most of the writers and their comments to their stories due to not having read any but 'The Hours' by Cunningham. The advice was great but I believe I would have benefitted more so if I had known more of the writers featured in the book.
May 05, 2009 SmarterLilac rated it really liked it
I really liked this one. There were a lot of good anecdotes in here from some modern masters, including my beloved Michael Cunningham. The contributing authors shared a lot; nothing in these pages is contrived or superficial.
One of the most heartening books on writing. This is a series of interviews witha uthors like Martin Amis, A.S. Byatt etc., and have been arranged by subject rather than by interview and therein lies the magic of seeing what such fine writers have to say about any given writing-related subject.

Linda Bonnin
Mar 22, 2008 Linda Bonnin rated it it was amazing
Inspiration for any writer. You can pick it up when you have fifteen minutes or an hour. A must-have for any writer.
Jun 07, 2012 Holmes rated it liked it
Writers writing about writing - advice for writers and writers yet to be. Not my cup of tea though...
John Donnelly
John Donnelly rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2012
Somesuchlike rated it liked it
Sep 29, 2011
Kristi rated it liked it
Apr 05, 2013
Alex Adams
Aug 29, 2013 Alex Adams rated it liked it
time to start that summa reading
Matthew Feser
Matthew Feser rated it it was ok
Dec 26, 2013
Natalie rated it it was ok
Apr 02, 2013
Andrew Binks
Andrew Binks rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2014
Alan rated it it was ok
Jul 21, 2010
Lorin Kleinman
Lorin Kleinman rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2009
Kendra rated it really liked it
Feb 18, 2011
Kristen-Paige Madonia
Kristen-Paige Madonia rated it really liked it
May 14, 2013
Simonetta Broughton
Jul 26, 2015 Simonetta Broughton rated it liked it
Great to know how hard it is. I learnt about new authors too so I'll be following some of those now
Holly Woodward
Holly Woodward rated it liked it
Apr 06, 2011
Natalie rated it really liked it
May 05, 2011
I'm always game for a book full of how writers work with tidbits of inspiration along the way.
Jamie rated it liked it
Jun 03, 2012
Jacqueline115 rated it liked it
May 18, 2008
N. rated it liked it
Aug 08, 2011
Shayla rated it liked it
Jun 03, 2011
Molly rated it liked it
Mar 22, 2008
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Carole Burns’s book of short stories, The Missing Woman, was awarded the 2015 John C. Zacharis First Book Award by Ploughshares.

She is a reviewer for the Washington Post and editor of Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings, and Everything in Between, a book based on interviews with 43 writers including Andrea Levy, Colm Tóibín, Richard Ford, and A.S. Byatt.

She is Head of Creative Wr
More about Carole Burns...

Share This Book