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The Creative Writing Coursebook: Forty Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction and Poetry
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The Creative Writing Coursebook: Forty Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction and Poetry

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  254 ratings  ·  27 reviews
This coursebook takes aspiring authors through every stage of the writing process. Exercises and activities encourage writers to develop their skills, and contributions from forty authors provide a generous pool of information, experience, and advice. This book should be of interest to those who are just starting to write, as well as those who want some help honing work a
Paperback, 391 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Pan Macmillan
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3.90  · 
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 ·  254 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Jun 11, 2009 rated it liked it
This book was set for a class, but was never really used. I've dipped into it now and again, but I haven't found it particularly useful, which is perhaps why we didn't use it. There are some exercises, but I didn't feel a burning urge to do them, they didn't inspire any immediate thoughts. There are some anecdotes, but I didn't relate to them all that well -- Julia Bell describing how a literature degree took away her hunger for books, for example, but while my degree has got in the way of my re ...more
Katie Higgins
May 14, 2019 rated it it was ok

rather uninspiring
Sean Gainford
Aug 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Does not have everything, but has a lot.

40 writers share advice, and they share very good advice at that.

The book offers some of the following:

How to start writing and keep writing
Reading and Research
Training the eye
Showing and Telling
Developing Character
Point of View
Rereading and Revising
Advice on Publishing

I believe this book could have offered more technical detail, i.e. like on different types of character dialogue; more on different methods of character development, direct and in
Ruric Amhari
Dec 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
Aother writing handbook - split into three main sections: gathering, shaping and finishing. Takes you through the process from keeping notebooks, diaries and clearing space, to training the eye, to plot, characterisation, point of view and setting and finishes with readig, revising, criticism and how to get published.
Olga Tsygankova
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
Це начебто підручник, але написаний у вигляді есе з порадами від різних авторів і викладачів творчого письма. Ідея, може, й гарна, а виконання, як на мене, не дуже. Поради повторюються різними словами, більша частина книги - просто набір кліше (з якими автори пропонують боротися) про написання художніх текстів. Show, don't tell. Як це ново й оригінально. Revise thoroughly. Справді? І так далі.

Можна було б сказати, що книга для тих, хто ще жодної не читав по написанню художки, але тоді вона зана
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of the better textbooks I have read on Creative Writing. It is clearly laid out and I enjoyed reading it. The different perspectives of the various experienced teachers was useful and I liked the handy little exercises all the way through the sections.
Lizzy Perkins
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A helpful book for creative writers with interesting and creative expanding exercises.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I applaud myself for having the idea to read this book again. It's reminded me of everything I've forgotten since I left uni. I can't recommend it enough to any writer. 👏
Tommye Turner
May 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: year-1-uni-books
Not very useful past age 15...
Robert Day
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing, knowledge
I attend a Creative Writing group called Pen to Paper in York (UK) and the host is Lizzi Linklater and she recommended that I read this book; so I borrowed it from the library.
The book is a collection of essays, by various creative writing related bods, organised into sections: Gathering, Shaping and Finishing. The sections are helpfully sub-sectioned, and the editors provide linking essays, which summarise and ease transitions between the various parts. Most of the contributors seem to have a l
Nick Sheridan
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
No one writing guide can give you all the answers you want, and I'm pretty sure all of them together couldn't either. As such you have to pull your information from various places and your own confidence.

I was a little underwhelmed by this compendium initially because so much of it seemed second nature to me, and wasn't helping shift my mind on a few issues. Then in the space of half a page a sudden influx of information that was presented quite casually completely shifted the block I was strugg
Dec 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: creative-writing
I read this book about four-five years ago. I didn't find it very memorable, and now, flicking through it again, I struggle to see the focus of the book. It is too broad and too general to give anything else than a general insight into creative writing. Yet, at times it gets very detailed, but doesn't succeed in showing the link between a micro and a macro level. Although there are exercises that go with each chapter, the examples aren't too compelling. All in all, this is book tells you how cre ...more
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Personally my favourite book. I received it from the open college of arts in 2013. Since then I've been reading bits of it whenever in the mood of writing and only finished it yesterday. I feel like I've reached a milestone! It influenced me so much in terms of the writers eyes. Its cardboard smell and baige papers will probably last for decades in my memory.
So far I haven't read a book as flowing and easy to read as this.
I'm sure I'll be using it as a reference, and the book to pick up whenever
Apr 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-writing
I bought this book many years ago but never really read past the first few pages until now.
Having read a dozen similar books and attended seminars in the meantime, I have to say that I didn't find it as useful as perhaps I would have all those years ago.
Most of the essays were great to read, some were inspiring, and many of the exercises sounded pretty great. There are definitely some good stuff in here; it's just that I didn't find it as practical as other creative writing guides.
Creig Sigurdson
Very Helpful, gave me great exercises to breakthru the block that sits on my brain and halts the flow of pages I like to turn out every day. Big book to charge through so I will have to revisit it often, great resource.
Lauma Lapa
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
a decent collection of essays, tips and tricks of the trade.
the scope is broad, the exercises logical and encouraging.
not sure how it works for a workshop, but it might just be a book to have in a creative writing teacher's arsenal in an educational establishment.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was in the very fortunate position to be one of the students that experienced these exercises first first hand. This is a very useful book for writing educators and a blast from the past for me personally.
E.M. Sutherlin
Jul 17, 2014 rated it liked it
I really enjoy reading advice on writing from writers who have actually written best selling novels, compared to "writers" who only write books on writing. This book has advice from 40 different writers, and has a lot of great references I can use in the future.
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: guides, non-fiction
Very helpful advice and guidance which I shall return to on a regular basis. There are lots of exercises to complete if you follow it as a true course book, but even without completing these exercises there is more than enough to inspire and tempt.
Ellie Porter
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Think this book is designed for people who want to teach creative writing as alot of the exercises are aimed at groups of people, which made a few of them tricky. Still some sound advice though. Worth a read for the budding writer.
Karen Madej
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm dipping in and out of this book, think I probably should have almost finished it, as I'm on the last assignment. I just seem to find a whole lot of other things to do, rather than read it, like writing.
Jul 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: creative-writing
good, useful info and helpful
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
A smorgasbord of sensible, useful and entertaining advice, something to keep dipping back into.
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent book for those interested in (creative) writing. Lots of advice and useful strategies.
Andy Luke
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Thorough walk-through on many aspects of writing, each by a field specialist. Very little disagreeable flab, I'd recommend this treasure for returning reads.
Kit Waal
rated it really liked it
Jun 25, 2015
Mr P Chadwick
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Dec 02, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2012
Tom Tolkien
rated it it was amazing
Dec 01, 2018
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Librarian note: there are multiple authors with this name on Goodreads.

I was born in Bristol but raised in Wales (I can speak Welsh!) and have published two novels for young adults - Massive and Dirty Work, both published by Macmillan in the UK. In the US Massive is published by Simon and Schuster and Dirty Work by Walker Books. Massive has also been translated into ten languages, including Thai!
“Write every day. Even if it's only a letter.” 6 likes
“I find it helpful when I stop for the day to leave the last sentence unfinished or the last paragraph only lightly sketched out, so that when I start again I can pick up where I left off the day before.” 3 likes
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