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Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers
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Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  67 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Toddlers--and drunks--bang around hitting walls, tables, chairs, the floor, and other people, trying to find their legs. Writing fiction is a similar process. Sometimes it might take a while before the story gets some balance and moves forward. Sometimes the story takes off as if motor-driven, then crashes into something not foreseen or expected. Learning to be a writer is ...more
Hardcover, 213 pages
Published October 22nd 2008 by Writer's Digest Books
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(showing 1-28 of 105)
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Ryk Stanton
I almost always rate nonfiction books 3 out of 5 stars. Generally speaking, they are merely okay: they tell whatever they said that they were going to tell, or they offer whatever advice they said they were going to offer, and that’s about it.

Not so with this book – I don’t give five stars easily to anything, but this is one of the most helpful, interesting books about writing that I have ever read. My one complaint about the book is that I think it’s organized wrong: the Pep Talks section is by
...more
Dayne
A Good Book on Writing is (Now) Easy to Find

I don't like books on writing--as a rule. I try not to read them anymore. It's not because I'm out of new things to learn, but because I know learning about writing seems to occur best when writing and when reading good literature--not when reading endless tomes about writing. However, George Singleton is THE evil genius of Southern letters. I am inclined to listen up when he speaks. A week or two ago, I saw a review of Pep Talks. About five minutes la
...more
Janna Kaixer
So, I didn't exactly finish this one. Let me explain. It's a fantastic read, it truly is, the advice written is beyond valuable and I can see myself applying it to my writing in the future, the pep-talks are inspiring and the how-to's are all lovely to read; this is, however, not a book to be read in one sitting but several, preferably over a month or so of continuous writing either for an event like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), or for the sake of finishing a first (or second, or th ...more
Becca
I wish I would have read this book before I decided to become an Creative Writing Major in college.
Carmen Sisson
Years ago, I read an essay in Oxford American called "How to Write Stories, Lose Weight, Clean Up the Environment, and Make $1,000,000." It was light and cute; I smiled and went on with my life.

But every once in a while, I'd find myself staring at the ceiling, looking for just the right word. I'd check the mail. Then I'd check it again. I'd return to my keyboard, stare at the blinking insertion point and wonder why I torture myself with writing.

And then I'd think about that crazy essay by Geor
...more
Michael Wilson
Maybe I just need to get out of the review of writing books game. This one is nothing new really. A prolific writer of fiction who has taught at all levels of education tells us the wise things that he’s learned by both through his work and teaching of how to work to others.
It is loosely organized into three sections entitled Pep Talks, Warnings and Screeds. But the advice really doesn’t strictly fall into the category in which it is organized.

Each tidbit of advice is just a paragraph or two lo
...more
Lee Ann
Singleton's first mistake was claiming that writing groups are a waste of time. His second was calling fanfiction writers "really bad writers." His third mistake was telling writers not to bother majoring in creative writing. His fourth mistake was making the snobby distinction between "literary" and "genre" fiction, as if genre fiction (or popular fiction in general) cannot be worthwhile. His fifth mistake was a really disgusting comment he made about prostitutes.

Basically, Singleton sounds pre
...more
Sarah Key
George Singleton and I talk shit about the same kinds of people, and this is something I can appreciate. Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds is a dangerously clever book and one that I will definitely be passing along to my fiction writers in the coming year.
Marie
Cute and playful but not to be used for instructional purposes. There's a lot of good advice in here and I think it would be helpful to read on my own, but using it as an aid for a class felt like cheating for me. Also, Singleton contradicts and repeats himself a lot. I feel like he was just spouting words to reach a page count or something. I was also told I didn't understand the humor in the book, so there's that. Sure it was clever at some points and that's cool. Just not my cup of tea but th ...more
Sehar  Moughal
A must read for literary writers.
April
Jul 04, 2010 April added it
I would be concerned ifa lot of the advice in these pages wasn't yet known to one wishing to write, but there is somethinsg reassuring about that. Kind of a confidence builder and the curmudgeon voice of the author makes everything that much more entertaining.
Pat
I read a lot of writing craft books but this one was one of the funniest. Short paragraphs and clever illustrations make this a fun read. A perfect gift book for a writer friend who takes themselves too seriously. Or maybe this is yourself?
Lex
Just adorable. I love the way he writes with these short blurbs. You can't lose interest, because they're short enough for our little attention spans. Hilarious, too!! Every fiction writer should read this.
Karen
Funny book--just what I needed to brighten my darker writing days. (And my kids enjoyed hearing about the Li family and Singleton's hilarious argument for not writing in cafes.)
Kate LeDonne
Funny, and very well done. This book is a go-to reference for any writer. Really good advice, and very handy to work through a tough rough draft.
Frank
Standard advice, but with a wit that, ironically, is usually missing from these type of books. Plus, it has some cool illustrations.
Margaret
Even if you don't like books about writing, check out the section on writing in coffee shops (he's against it). It's hilarious.
Bill
Bill added it
Feb 18, 2015
Sheri
Sheri marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2015
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