Wonderful glimpse inside the character's heads. Raw emotion. Lots of internal monologue In a stream-of-consciousness style at times. It's amazing to mWonderful glimpse inside the character's heads. Raw emotion. Lots of internal monologue In a stream-of-consciousness style at times. It's amazing to me how well Gates can develop a character in such a short time through language choice in use of dialogue, a lot of internal monologue, and descriptive beats. He paints an incredibly clear picture of who these characters are as people in only a few pages. I've never read anything like it. A must-read if you're a writer.
The stories are not happy, although some of them have happy endings (most don't, and some are seriously depressing). But the writing is excellent and powerful. The characters are so strong that Gates is able to provoke strong emotions in me and put me in a very pensive mood.
The most biting, emotional, hurtful (powerful) dialogue I have ever read (especially the last line of "The Intruder"), although in my first novel I strive to achieve a similar feel woven through one POV in the first ~half. (This is only one element of the novel, and it's something for the character to grow from, so I hope it doesn't put people off too much. Reading this collection of stories is kind of depressing, because Gates doesn't show much of an upside.)
All of the stories have really poignant endings, most of which leave you a bit stunned. Of the 10, only 1 ends in action; the rest end in either dialogue or inner monologue (mostly the latter). I think I should keep that in mind for my own writing......more
Incredibly insightful book on how to get more out of reading, as a writer. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to or is currently doing anIncredibly insightful book on how to get more out of reading, as a writer. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to or is currently doing any kind of writing, particularly fiction. I think i've only read one or two of the books Prose used as examples, and that was ages ago, but she quoted enough of the material and explained it in a way that it made sense, and made me want to at least take a look at all the books on her reading list, so I created a tag for them and added them to my queue. A lot of them are classics that should be available free for kindle that I've been meaning to read anyway, although they do span a wide range of genres and time periods.
The book includes chapters on close reading, which is something I've been learning to do, how to pay attention to how different authors use Words, Sentences, and Paragraphs differently. It then discusses Narration, Character, Dialogue, Details, and Gesture, and how some different authors approach these subjects, and how to pay attention to how they approach these subjects as you're reading.
I think it will be a good book to re-read once I've read all the books on her list of recommendations, many of which she references throughout the book....more