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A Recommended Creative Writing Book

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

I noticed recently that this book - Creative Writing (ed. Linda Anderson, ISBN 0415372437) - can be bought in all good book shops. It's highly recommended. It was the main text for one of the creative writing modules I did for my recent Open University degree (which I promise to stop going on about) but I assumed that it was, you know, just an OU book and not generally available.

It's split into five sections : The Creative Process, Writing Fiction, Writing Poetry, Life Writing and Going Public. Not all sections will be of interest to everyone, but I'm sure all developing writers will find much of interest in it. I know I learned a lot from it. In fact, I could usefully dip back into it and remind myself of one or two things now. I don't think you ever stop learning as a writer. But beware that it isn't a quick read. Although it is self-contained, it is designed as a university course so there are many exercises and activities to attempt if you're to get the most out of it.

Now, of course, books on how to write are a bit like sex manuals. They suggest approaches you might not have thought of and tell you the best ways to do things you have, but they're not as good as doing the real thing. There's obviously no substitute for just writing. Or for reading fiction, come to that. Still, this is a book I keep by my desk. I've just dipped back in and re-read the discussion of Raymond Carver's wonderful I could see the smallest things for example. Fantastic stuff.


  1. The recommended book looks helpful. I'll check it out. More important, I went straight to Amazon after reading the first part of your synopsis of Hedgewitch, and, woe!, on further investigation discovered it is searching for a publisher. Don't give up! I want to read it.

  2. Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for your comments. I promise not to give up. You just might be the first recorded case of someone searching on Amazon for my novel!


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