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Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life
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Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  132 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life, seventeen award-winning writers--all expert teachers--share the secrets of creating compelling, imaginative stories and novels. A combination handbook, writer's companion, and collection of spirited personal essays, the book is filled with specific examples, hard-won wisdom, and compassionate gu ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 4th 2001 by University of Michigan Press
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Daniel
Feb 08, 2012 Daniel rated it liked it
I'd say the value of any book on writing can be based on its ability to instruct or inspire. Most people buying these kinds of books are looking for advice on how to be better writers, or simply the spark that'll get them started. (I'm not counting the thornier issue of publication.) This collection of talks/essays from the Warren Wilson MFA writing program includes the following:

"Omniscience," Russo -- Claims that the all-knowing third person narrator is the most mature and thereby most desirab
...more
Tl Wagener
Sep 26, 2013 Tl Wagener rated it it was ok
This is a VERY inconsistent anthology of essays about writing and the writing life. All the authors teach at Warren Wilson in Asheville. Some of these essays I LOVED (Sparks, I will follow you. I will.) . And a few I skimmed. The latter are the very academic ones -- and I know the authors ARE academics, but if the writing doesn't capture the reader, what's the good in those days and days of writing work. . . ?

The essays I enjoyed most are clearly transcribed lectures. They incorporate specific e
...more
Laura
Sep 11, 2007 Laura rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: wanna be and actual writers; fiction lovers
I am still reading this (very slowly). Each chapter is by a different author about some writing topic. I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in writing or reading fiction. I am enjoying reading various writers' views of other writers, their analyses of how outstanding writers "do it", and their strong views on things like omniscience, epiphany, and other topics. It also is a way to discover new writers.
Jeanette
Jan 15, 2017 Jeanette rated it really liked it
I read this for a class. Essays for those interested in the craft of writing. Overall a nice collection of some writers' best advice.
Derek
Apr 08, 2009 Derek rated it it was amazing
Most collections like Bringing the Devil to His Knees tend to be hit or miss, given the fact that there are multiple authors contributing writing of varying quality. Blame it on the exceptional editors, but aside from one seemingly misplaced essay (Pablo Medina's take on "democratic" writing, which appears to be aimed at the litcrit community and not writers), this collection was illuminating and entertaining, full of well-reasoned insight for any practicing and/or struggling writer.

There are, o
...more
Maurice Carlos Ruffin
Dec 29, 2011 Maurice Carlos Ruffin rated it really liked it
Raises some interesting philosophical questions about writing stories. Why are stories without evil i.e. villainy inherently less dramatic? How are great stories related to stand-up comedy?

This is a collection of essays by a variety of writers. It's worth checking out for anyone interested in craft.
Caroline
Jan 04, 2016 Caroline rated it liked it
Most of the essays in this were great but I ended up skipping the one by Medina half way through. I really disagreed with every point I'm looking forward to reading some of the stories focused on in the essays and then rereading those essays. Fortunately most of their examples were famous stories I was already familiar with.
Tim Lepczyk
Dec 24, 2007 Tim Lepczyk rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
So far this is a good collection of essays, but you need to read them over time, and this copy was requested by another library user.
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Charles Baxter was born in Minneapolis and graduated from Macalester College, in Saint Paul. After completing graduate work in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo, he taught for several years at Wayne State University in Detroit. In 1989, he moved to the Department of English at the University of Michigan--Ann Arbor and its MFA program. He now teaches at the University of Minnes ...more
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