Contents
  1. Creative Writing
  2. Creative writing books
  3. African Books Collective: A Creative Writing Handbook for African Writers and Students
  4. All Creative Writing & Creative Writing Guides

The professor of creative writing at UEA says Joseph Conrad got it right when he said that the sitting down is all. He chooses five books to help aspiring writers. But, in my opinion, these are the best books on writing available. 12 Books Every Aspiring Author Should Read. More than fifty fiction and nonfiction authors share how they discovered they were writers and how they work. Find out more about “Creative writing book”, write a review or download online.

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Creative Writing Book

Write your own stories and comics with Usborne creative writing books. download Creative Writing Book by Louie Stowell (ISBN: ) from site's Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Last week Hanif Kureishi dismissed creative writing courses as 'a waste of time', yet they have never been more popular. Other leading.

Scroll down for a free creative writing activity booklet. There are story starters and ideas for characters, settings and actions and a story to write. Dr Diapers! These beautifully designed journals are perfect for carrying around and jotting down ideas as you go. With specially selected website links for more inspiration. Stargazer's Journal. Nature journal. Travel journal. Find lots more tips and inspiration at Usborne Quicklinks , where there are links to carefully chosen websites with writing tips from children's authors, video guides on how to plan a story and lots more. Visit Usborne Quicklinks. Sign Up. Home Catalogue Creative writing books. Story writer's ideas journal Creative writer's handbook Make your own comics Write your own adventure stories Write your own mystery and ghost stories Write your own story book Creative writing book My first story writing book Write and draw your own comics.

Tessa Hadley is a professor of creative writing at Bath Spa University. Gary Shteyngart It helps to be clean and presentable when teaching. Students react to sharp odours. It can't be like the University of Iowa during John Cheever's time when you could just wander in drunk and fall asleep for two hours.

Today's MFA students expect you to be awake. I also try to get students to bring in snacks because I have low-blood sugar. But the snacks are really for everyone. Gary Shteyngart is associate professor of creative writing at Columbia University. Naomi Alderman 1 The most useful thing you can do is read someone's work and give them specific advice regarding what is and isn't working in their particular book. That is what goes on. It's the non-universal stuff that is the most useful.

Are you using description to cover the fact that you don't really know your characters? For me, when I'm working on a book, it's around words a day every single day. Five hundred words a day is too few. A thousand is too many. I can't take the weekend off; if I do the book has dissolved to mush when I get back.

Creative Writing

So a teacher can talk to you about your process. Suggest different ways of working, different times, places, different rituals to get you in the right mental place for it. Again, this is very particular to the individual.

You watch them blench. You say: so if you're going to do this, you have to think about how you're going to support yourself. I tell my students about journalism, about other kinds of writing, about crowdfunding, about grants, about balancing the day job with the novels, and the pitfalls of all of these.

Most people can't make a living only from selling their art, but almost anyone can put together a life in and around the artform they love if that's what they really want. You help them work out how to do that. Naomi Alderman is a professor of creative writing at Bath Spa University. Don Paterson At St Andrews, we tend to teach that most problems writers encounter have already been solved by other writers: students learn to be good readers first.

Often the most useful exercise is just to compare some bad writing with some good, and then learn how to articulate the difference between the two. This is most bracing when the bad writing is your own. Here's Robert Frost; here's you. What's the difference? I teach in three ways: seminars on poetic composition I take a fairly technical and linguistic approach, but not everyone does ; workshops, where students can hone their editorial and critical skills; and one-to-one sessions, which address the very personal business of "art practice".

There are many useful textbooks that can help with the first two, though very few of those are about "creative writing" a term I try to avoid anyway. Almost no books I've read address "practice" very satisfactorily, though many students have benefited from reading ex-marine! Don Paterson is a professor of poetry at the University of St Andrews.

Photograph: Tim Knox for the Guardian My classes are undergraduates only. It's as simple as that. No use of "exercises" or discussion of "technique". Chang-Rae Lee is a professor of creative writing at Princeton University. Kathryn Hughes 1 Lots of people can write beautiful prose, it's structure that's tricky. Novelists can afford to just start writing and see where it takes them, writers of non-fiction need to have a plan. Draw up a list of "landing places", points in your narrative where your reader can have a bit of a sit down and admire the view so far.

Your job as narrator is to lead them from one landing place to the next, neither chivvying them along nor allowing them to lag behind. Make sure, though, that you don't come over like a drill sergeant. The trick of good narrative non-fiction is to allow the reader to feel that they have worked it all out for themselves.

Be ruthless about cutting out any word that you wouldn't use naturally in everyday speech. In real life no one calls a book "a tome" or says "she descended the stairs" or refers to "my companion". A book is a book, people walk down the stairs and a companion is actually a friend, or a lover, or a colleague or someone you were standing next to at the bus stop.

Be specific and be real. At some point in the relationship between a creative writing tutor and a student, there will be a conversation that runs exactly like the closing lines of Samuel Beckett's novel, The Unnamable: You must go on. I can't go on. I'll go on. When you hear these words coming out of your mouth, the best thing to do is shut up shop for the day and go and read someone who is writing the kind of stuff that you would like to. You'll start work the next day with a better pair of ears.

And good ears, actually, are what good writing is all about. Toby Litt Illustration by Adam Gale Photograph: Adam Gale Although we give classes on the technical aspects of writing, one of the most important things we give is more basic. It's permission. Permission, for example, for a student on the MA to say, "I'm sorry, I really can't come out on Friday night — I have coursework.

And, for most of us, it's easier to say, "I have coursework" than "I'm writing a novel — it'll take me about five years, and might not get published.

Creative writing books

Even quite late on in the course, when I'm advising students about what to write for their final dissertation, they will ask me, "Can I try this? Last week we spent half an hour or more looking in minute detail at two versions of a paragraph from Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea.

She seems to achieve the compression and electric intensity of her final version through minimising the connective engineering of the syntax in her sentences, taking out explanations, excising the mediating voice from around the things seen. The students went home to work on a paragraph of their own, cutting and intensifying in that way, taking out what's flabby and banal.

In the short-story class, we spent lots of time thinking about endings. Why do the endings of short stories carry so much more weight, in proportion to the whole, than the endings of novels? We wrangle over the endings of particular stories we've been reading together — Dubliners , Eudora Welty, Agnes Owens and others. What satisfies, what doesn't? How can the writer tell when it's enough?

Why has taste turned against endings that clinch too tightly, or have too much twist in the tail? The students are working on their own stories: Rehearsing these things collectively loosens the tight fit of fear and inhibition, imagination relaxes.

The writing course offers an audience. Everyone lifts their game in response to the exacting readers they'll face next Tuesday.

African Books Collective: A Creative Writing Handbook for African Writers and Students

Student writers are under pressure to learn to hear themselves, to hear how they sound, to make essential judgments about tone and pace and transition. Of course, all writers have always had to learn this; a good writing course just crystallises the opportunity.

In the past apprentice writers practised with a coterie of friends, or with their family, or with a mentor. Writing courses aren't free; but I'm sure they do help to widen the circle of opportunity, beyond the metropolitan and university cliques. It helps to be clean and presentable when teaching. Students react to sharp odours. It can't be like the University of Iowa during John Cheever's time when you could just wander in drunk and fall asleep for two hours.

Today's MFA students expect you to be awake. I also try to get students to bring in snacks because I have low-blood sugar. But the snacks are really for everyone. That is what goes on. It's the non-universal stuff that is the most useful.

Are you using description to cover the fact that you don't really know your characters? For me, when I'm working on a book, it's around words a day every single day. Five hundred words a day is too few. A thousand is too many. I can't take the weekend off; if I do the book has dissolved to mush when I get back. So a teacher can talk to you about your process. Suggest different ways of working, different times, places, different rituals to get you in the right mental place for it.

Again, this is very particular to the individual. You say: You watch them blench. I tell my students about journalism, about other kinds of writing, about crowdfunding, about grants, about balancing the day job with the novels, and the pitfalls of all of these.

Most people can't make a living only from selling their art, but almost anyone can put together a life in and around the artform they love if that's what they really want. You help them work out how to do that. At St Andrews, we tend to teach that most problems writers encounter have already been solved by other writers: Often the most useful exercise is just to compare some bad writing with some good, and then learn how to articulate the difference between the two.

This is most bracing when the bad writing is your own.

All Creative Writing & Creative Writing Guides

Here's Robert Frost; here's you. What's the difference? I teach in three ways: There are many useful textbooks that can help with the first two, though very few of those are about "creative writing" a term I try to avoid anyway.

Almost no books I've read address "practice" very satisfactorily, though many students have benefited from reading ex-marine! My classes are undergraduates only. It's as simple as that. No use of "exercises" or discussion of "technique". Novelists can afford to just start writing and see where it takes them, writers of non-fiction need to have a plan.

Draw up a list of "landing places", points in your narrative where your reader can have a bit of a sit down and admire the view so far. Your job as narrator is to lead them from one landing place to the next, neither chivvying them along nor allowing them to lag behind.

Make sure, though, that you don't come over like a drill sergeant. The trick of good narrative non-fiction is to allow the reader to feel that they have worked it all out for themselves.

Be ruthless about cutting out any word that you wouldn't use naturally in everyday speech. In real life no one calls a book "a tome" or says "she descended the stairs" or refers to "my companion". A book is a book, people walk down the stairs and a companion is actually a friend, or a lover, or a colleague or someone you were standing next to at the bus stop.

Be specific and be real.

At some point in the relationship between a creative writing tutor and a student, there will be a conversation that runs exactly like the closing lines of Samuel Beckett's novel, The Unnamable:.

When you hear these words coming out of your mouth, the best thing to do is shut up shop for the day and go and read someone who is writing the kind of stuff that you would like to. You'll start work the next day with a better pair of ears. And good ears, actually, are what good writing is all about. Although we give classes on the technical aspects of writing, one of the most important things we give is more basic.

It's permission. Permission, for example, for a student on the MA to say, "I'm sorry, I really can't come out on Friday night — I have coursework. And, for most of us, it's easier to say, "I have coursework" than "I'm writing a novel — it'll take me about five years, and might not get published. She draws on the Method Acting approach to explain and adapt characterization techniques for novelists. I resonate with her honesty about how grueling the craft can be. This is one of the best books on writing available.

It informed the way I wrote the Left Behind series, which has sold more than 60 million copies and still sells six figures every year, nearly a decade since the last title was released. I use this as a textbook when I teach writing. His career spans decades, and he shares insider stories of famous novelists and their work, as well as everything he learned along the way. I sat under his teaching years ago and still follow his advice.

He was a graceful classicist as a writer, and this million-seller has been lauded for its warmth and clarity. Zinsser offers sound tips on the fundamentals of writing any kind of nonfiction you can think of.

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