Rebecca Reid's Reviews > Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
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Aug 25, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: b-nonfic-read-write-educate
Read from August 25 to 30, 2011

Bloggers near and far have mentioned, at various times in the life of my book blogging career, the writing help book Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose (first published 2006). Subtitled “A guide for people who love books and for those who want to write them,” it was just the literary criticism reminder that I needed to retrain my reading. It reminded me to look at literature – both classics and modern literature – as the writer I’ve always dreamed of becoming. Just what, about a work of fiction, makes it a specimen of great writing?

Prolific novelist Francine Prose examines classic works of literature – both new and old – with a critical eye. She examines the word choice, sentence structure, paragraphing choices, narration techniques, methods of developing characters, the significance of dialogue, details that make a work sincere, and the gestures that add or detract from a scene. As she quotes from the great works, we come to believe her initial claim: there is no such thing as rules when it comes to what makes writing good writing.

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