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Escaping Into the Open
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Escaping Into the Open

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,216 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
Elizabeth Berg touches women's lives with heartbreakingly funny and true novels -- including the New York Times bestseller Talk Before Sleep -- that distinctly capture the essence of their lives. Now this critically acclaimed author and writing instructor offers an inspiring, practical handbook on the joys, challenges, and creative possibilities inherent in the writing lif ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 30th 2000 by Harpperen (first published 1999)
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Sep 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those wanting to write
As I read this book, I feel as if I am having tea with my friend and we are sharing our joy of writing.
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Aspiring Writers
Shelves: biography-memoir
A few years back, I had the pleasure of hearing Elizabeth Berg speak at a literary event. This memoir / writing manual is consistent with the message she gave then. Berg was a 'regular person' (mom, wife, and nurse) when she started writing and had relatively instant and big success early on in her efforts, which gives the impression that anyone can do this. She is of course extraordinarily talented, so perhaps it simply came easy for her. However, her suggestions for beginning and/or developing ...more
Apr 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this one, but I just didn't. I've found that if I like someone's non-fiction (like Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird), then I don't like her fiction very much. I think the reverse is true here, since I like Berg's fiction. As an aspiring writer I really wanted to like this book and find it helpful, but it was almost too condescending. I didn't like the tone and ended up returning it to the library unfinished.
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Practical writing advice and inspiration.
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Like many book fanatics, I fantasize writing myself. This book opened my eyes as to how to dip my toes into the experience of doing just that. I really enjoy most of Berg's books and stories so I appreciated the biographical section of the book. Since I admire her writing style it was impactful for me to know how she got started and her tips to get started myself. I do feel a certain kinship with Berg after reading almost all of her novels and her book of short stories. The writing exercises to ...more
Ruth Knox
Aug 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Yikes! What a wonderful book by a very readable writer. This is Elizabeth Berg's book for writers on writing, and it is one of the best I have had the pleasure of devouring. Not only is she an engaging writer, Elizabeth's take on the art and business of writing is open and fluid. She believes in listening to one's own heart and paying attention to intuition.

In addition to good, common-sense advice and exercises for writers at every level of their career, Elizabeth weaves in stories for the hear
Nov 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
This is a writing book - part account of how Berg writes herself, part exercises to help readers create some writing.

I have read the book twice. the first time I read it through without stopping, ignoring the creative writing exercises completely. The second time I read it slowly, and completed those exercises that inspired me. I will never write as simply and beautifully as Berg, and the things that I did write were autobiographical, not fiction, but they were very meaningful to me. I shall ke
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in writing. Anyone who likes Elizabeth Berg's books.
Recommended to Nicki by: Someone on Facebook
Absolutely loved this book. Its very encouraging and makes you want to have a go at writing everything and anything. It's not just for professional writers but for people who feels like they want to try expressing themselves through this media. There are lots of exercises to get you started, which I haven't tried yet. There is also lots of information if you want to become a professional writer. As soon as I finished it I felt like I could read it all over again and still enjoy it immensely.
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Most of this was skimmable. I didn't find the "homework" very valuable.
I think she's a great writer but not really very sure how to teach it.
I did love the chapter on writing about the senses.
Pam Laird
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: students of writing
There are some truly great writing exercises that always work for me, no matter how many times I've used them. Elizabeth has captured so many that I keep her book near my writing desk at all times.
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Elizabeth Berg is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including We Are All Welcome Here, The Year of Pleasures, The Art of Mending, Say When, True to Form, Never Change, and Open House, which was an Oprah’s Book Club selection in 2000. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year, and Talk Before Sleep was short-listed for the ABBY Award in 1996. The w ...more
More about Elizabeth Berg...
“The best thing that can happen to me when I'm writing fiction is to lose sight of the fact that I'm writing at all. It's as though I enter into a kind of trance. I know I'm writing, but I don't THINK about it. I just let my fingers type--it's as though the feeling comes out directly through them, bypassing the brain altogether. When that happens, I feel completely transported. There is nothing else like this feeling, very little else is more important to me. That intimacy I feel between myself and my work is what makes me feel at home on the earth. I am basically a shy person, basically a loner and an outsider; and I have been all my life. But when I achieve the kind of connection I can through writing, I feel I'm sitting in the lap of God.” 2 likes
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