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This is a whole book of writing exercises, but unlike many writing exercise books, it's interesting and useful to read without doing the exercises. Of course, I recommend doing the exercises as well, but it's fun to be able to enjoy reading through the book in its own right.

There are twelve sections covering topics like beginnings, dialogue, plot, characterization, meaning, and learning from the greats, with a total of 83 exercises distributed between them, and examples of the responses students have written for the exercises. It may be that not everyone would respond as positively to these prompts as I have, but for me, it's the Writing 201 book I've been looking for, with more interesting ideas than the very basic beginner stuff in the majority of how-to-write books.

This one is going on my list of books to recommend and use constantly. :)

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kelly_swails
Mar. 27th, 2008 12:22 am (UTC)
I love my copy. When I think of that book I always remember the exercise where they want your character to be in the shower and hear a noise. The student example they use has the character thinking about the cat getting on top of the fridge and getting into the onions, but the cat doesn't answer when the character calls, so you just know the cat's dead and the stalker is about to get her. That's where my horror-background mind took the story, anyway.

I also think about this opening-line prompt: "Where were you last night?" So much fun with that. Endless possiblilities!
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