Gus Sanchez's Reviews > The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction

The 3 A.M. Epiphany by Brian Kiteley
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Aug 21, 12

bookshelves: writing-resources

For us writers that need swift and frequent kicks in the ass when it comes to shaking off the writing doldrums, The 3 A.M. Epiphany is precisely the tonic you'll need to cure the writer's block blues.

Daniel Kiteley's exercises are indeed uncommon. Broken down into categories like Point of View, Characters, Women and Men, Children and Childhood, Conversation, Thought and Emotion, Biography and Autobiography, History, Work, and Travel, just to name a few, the writing prompts you'll find here will certainly frustrated you at times, but that frustration will lead to unexpected and rewarding results. The prompts themselves are both puzzling and outright hysterical: try writing a 500-word piece in which you can only use the pronoun "I" only 3 times. Go on. Try it. Dare you. Post your results in the Comments section below.

Did I care for all the exercises? Nope. But there have been plenty that I dove into, then regretted doing so while bashing my head on my desk, only to learn that your best writing often comes from a place where you're taken out of your comfort zone kicking and screaming. You need something to get those creative juices flowing. No, vodka doesn't work. I mean, it works for me because I hate my liver, and I'm always channeling my inner Bukowski, but that kind of creativity isn't for everyone. Hence, this fantastic resource of a book. Keep this one with you at all times, whether it's on your desk or your messenger bag or backpack or wherever. Flip it open to any page, and dive into one of the hundreds of prompts that'll make you curse out loud, then curse up a longer blue streak from the joy you've just encountered.

But I'm not sure what 3AM has to do with this. Mind you, I'm a night owl, but by the time 3AM rolls around, I'm pretty much bleary eyed and brain dead, so trying to get an epiphany at that time is a fool's errand.

I enjoyed many of these prompts. I also enjoyed Kiteley's observations about writing, as well as his sense of humor. Because if you're a writer, you're clearly a lunatic, so why not laugh about yourself?
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01/20/2012 page 45
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