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The Writer's Idea Book

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  594 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Writers will jump start their creativity with over 500 unique idea-generating prompts, from clustering to role-playing to automatic writing, that get the words flowing.
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published May 15th 2000 by Writer's Digest Books (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,649)
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Suzanne Lagrande
If you’re looking for a treasure trove of writing exercises to get you started writing, look no further than The Writer’s Idea Book by Jack Heffron. He starts by identifying what he calls the Enemies of Creativity: The Procrastinator, The Victim, The Talker, The Critic and the Judge and discusses how to subdue them strategies to subdue them. He then outline some genereal techniques for generating story ideas (such as clustering, listing, cut and paste in Chapter Four: Getting Ready to Write). Su ...more
Many good prompts, but they are not the true value of this book. The book's tone keeps me writing when I want to stop. It's about "quit your whining and just WRITE for god's sakes." And it makes me keep writing and writing even when I want to stop because it's all crap flowing onto the paper, and nobody will ever want to read this crud, and how in the world am I going to convince anyone I'm a writer, and on and on. I keep this book on my desk as inspiration for those critical sessions of debilit ...more
Michelle Lynne Widmann
I really enjoyed this book of over 800 writing prompts because the prompts help you, not only to develop as a writer, but to develop your ideas when you may not know how to get started. As I progressed through the book, the first few chapters of prompts were very general - they helped me to get some interesting story ideas onto the page. Continuing on, the book continued to encourage more and more specific prompts that had to do with molding the characters you'd created earlier, or editing some ...more
Luca Ciavatta
Il concetto alla base di questo libro è che non sia la pratica che nasce dall'idea, ma che, al contrario, le idee nascano col praticare la scrittura. La legge che viene insegnata è quella dello scrivere come parte del proprio quotidiano, la necessità di ritagliarsi uno spazio, perlopiù mentale, che renda la scrittura una vera e propria disciplina. Fin qui nulla da eccepire, la parte teorica è ben redatta e ricca di esempi tratti da testi più o meno importanti. Per contro, la parte pratica, gli e ...more
I love the writing prompts in this book. I have been keeping a journal off and on for 25 years. I'm planning on writing down some of Neil great stories and I even got a voice recorder app to record them so that when I write them down, I don't miss out on details. I love to write true stories. I'm not very good at writing fiction.
Overall: The doctor's medicine for writer's block? Maybe.

This is quite simply a book of writing prompts. I've found it useful when I have been wanting to practice particular writing techniques to dip into this book and try a random prompt. For me, this book is good but I'd rather learn how to prompt myself into inspirational sparks than just have a never ending book of Heffron's ideas.

So... If you've suffered or are currently suffering from writer's block then this could be the book for you. Jus
Chad Hall
I've been reading this book for a few months, not because of the difficulty but because of the density. Heffron offers a heap of advice and suggests hundreds of writing prompts, all designed to enforce the lessons in the preceding text. I found myself only able to absorb one short chapter a day. In may ways, this book is the closest thing to a textbook for creative writing. I look forward to going back through this book and actually doing the writing prompts. If you want help learning to write, ...more
Juan Maestas
I've had this book for many years- twelve, actually. It's been a great source to kindle ideas to start writing when you're feeling creatively blocked. It's accessible to a degree, but nothing I'd want to read cover-to-cover (though I feel that wasn't the author's intent to begin with, which makes it feel slightly dodgy).
Victory Wong
I'm reading sections out of this book to help inspire me to write and push myself back into the writing realm and I believe it's doing a good job. It's my first book like this, so it maybe seem obvious to some people some of the stuff in the begining. There is a begining part about different stresses that writers have on them to not write-- like feeling we have other more important responsibilities, or writing/thinking as "The Author" rather than just letting the creative juices flow. So far I q ...more
Mark Lewis
I didn't actually finish the book. If I am easily distracted while reading, I won't ever finish it
Chris Bridges
One that every writer should have on the shelf and use often
It's rare for a "self-help" kind of book to really make an impact with me. They all seem so cookie-cutter, filled with the same endless diatribes and platitudes. Within the first few pages, Jack Heffron's book grabbed me by the horns and left me shaking with my eyed filled with tears. Here, at last, was someone who understood the writers' struggle. I recommend it heartily to any and all of my writerly friends.
Diane Hester
Informative articles. Fun writing prompts.
3.5 The advice and ideas in this book are really splendid.
Aug 05, 2012 Kym rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone attempting to write
This is a fantastic book! I will be using it for years I'm sure! Each chapter starts out with a description of what you'll be working with whether it is the basics of making sure you are writing every day or more complex topics as character development. Then throughout the chapter you get different prompts and exercizes to work through to help work on those topics.

I found the backstories to be very interesting and the exercizes to be fun and ones that can be done many times.
Rhonda Browning White
I picked up this book because it's full of writing prompts, though only a portion are fiction-specific. There were some good tidbits of advice sprinkled throughout, but some of the book's encouraging nature became tired after a while. This book is one I would recommend to writers who feel they suffer from so-called writer's block (I personally feel that's a lame excuse for laziness), or to writers in the early stages of the craft or who are in need encouragement.
Can't say I read this but interesting to browse through. Lots of useful exercises some of which I even tried.
Amy Saunders
Oct 13, 2008 Amy Saunders rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any writer.
Shelves: writing-prompts
One of my favorite prompt books. Heffron offers a little coaching but this book is all about the writing. I've found it very helpful in tapping into my own life, past and present, for traits and emotions I can project onto my characters. It makes you dig, even into things that hurt, and as a result my characters and stories now go deeper. It's excellent for getting a handle on raw emotions but also for jump starting ideas.
Lisa M
Heffron provides "Prompts," i.e. writing exercises, to jump-start your creativity in various areas, such as exploring ideas to start with and what to do when when your project goes flat and you need to up the stakes. The latter is what I found to be particularly helpful, and why I gave the book 4*s. I'm not usually into books that involve writing exercises, but this one got me thinking outside the box I was in.
So I didn't actually finish this one. It was due back at the library. But while I had it, it was great. I'd certainly check it out again. I picked it up for some, you know, 'ideas', of which there were plenty. In some ways it's 'just another writing' book. Good ideas and plenty of excercises to do that are helpful. As far as advice, etc. it's nothing I haven't heard before. Just keep writing!
Ruric Amhari
Excellent book packed with ideas to get the creative thoughts going. Twenty nine chapters in 4 main sections: bending and stretching, exploring, finding form, assessing and developing.

Each chapter has a brief introduction and is then packed with prompts giving writers and aspiring writers plenty of opportuity to noodle around and explore different ideas.
This book is really great for just getting some ideas rolling around in your head that you can turn around and do something with. A couple of times, the prompts were confusing and the reading got stale. Though this was only a few instances, otherwise his tone was light and encouraging and the prompts were really unique.
E. George Morrison
This is an excellent resource for prompts. This book contains well thought out ideas in a variety of categories...quite enough to keep any writer busy for quite some time. I have read through all the prompts and have already written many.
I just stared this last night and so far it's talking about one of the most important things any writer can do, getting your butt in the chair.

Good advice so far. Stop thinking about it and just get your butt in the chair.
Jane O'Reilly
Some interesting ideas in this for anyone looking for writing exercises, but best bought in paperback - it's the sort of book you will want to dip in and out of. I ploughed through it on kindle, and it was a long, hard slog.
An exceptional book of great value to all writers whether novice or professional. Wonderfully informative with above-average exercises. A must-have for anyone involved with writing.
Nisah Haron
Recommended to all writers and writers-to-be. If you are running out of ideas, there are lots of prompts that you can use to get yourself writing, again.
This is a book that keeps giving. There's so much depth in each of the writing exercises (prompts) that I continue to reference the book again and again.
This is an excellent resource for writers! I thoroughly enjoyed Jack Heffron's voice and his advice. The prompts are some of the best I have seen!
Such a fun little motivational book. I dont "read" this book as much as I scan it for ideas of things to write. Lots of great prompts.
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