Saturday, August 26, 2006

Writing like a person

Always fascinated by stories of creative writing classes and books discussing the same, I went straight to Emily Barton's review in the NY Times of Francine Prose's interesting-looking book Reading Like a Writer. The title is promising for sure.
Prose’s chapters focus on potentially challenging topics: dialogue, narration, even where to take paragraph breaks. (I wish she’d included one on getting characters in and out of rooms.)
Reading this, I felt relieved to be the kind of writer who worries only about one of these topics. I think: if you're uncomfortable with dialogue, don't write it! If you have a problem with paragraph breaks, don't use them! Find another way. And if you have a problem moving characters around, let the reader.

I tend to believe that if you have a problem with literature, it's probably a problem with literature, not you. Think of it that way and it might be a problem no longer. But where would such an attitude leave the creative writing industry?


  1. But she's called Francine PROSE. How brilliant is that!

  2. Anonymous11:28 pm

    It is a fantastic book. I am eating it up with a spoon.



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