I hope you can, because I have to confess to skipping in Creative Writing – The Essential Guide. That would be because I’m really not interested in scriptwriting, but I was interested in finishing up the book 😉
I was sent this for the purpose of review following an exchange on twitter with the author, one Mr Tim Atkinson, a blogger I’ve met a time or two 🙂 So there you go, multiple disclosure – not only was it free, but I know the bloke behind it as well!
Now that I’ve disclosed any potential bias I’ll (finally) get on with the review. I’ve read a lot of books on how to write before – I’ve been writing (other than this blog) since I was in my teens. I’ve never been (properly) published, other than a couple of poems a couple of decades ago, for which I received £2 a go I think. But my prose has gathered me a whole host of mainly polite rejection letters, and I keep meaning to get back to it.
I hoped this book would give me the kick that I needed to do that, and I rather think it has. For one thing, it’s approachable. This may be partly because I could hear Tim’s voice through it as I read, but I don’t think that was the main attraction. Instead of stating rules that you must follow ( eg write three pages every morning – failed at that within a week 🙁 ) there are tips and techniques in the form of exercises that were inviting and challenging, instead of formidable and offputting. There are quotes and examples from real life writers, Tim included, that make you realise that writing is possible for normal people who have real lives as well. It’s realistic, letting you know what the possibilities are, and up to date, with tips on ebooks and self publishing. It also encourages you to think outside of your self chosen box and recognise all the potential you may have for writing, non fiction as well as fiction, a variety of genres, poetry and prose and scriptwriting. (If you don’t skip chapter 9 😉 )
Reading through it carefully, I decided that some of the exercises may well work with my offspring, so I’m going to be adapting them to see if I can liven up our (home education) English lessons a little. I may even sit and do the exercises alongside them, that might make them more attractive yet!
So, to summarise, an approachable book, easy to read, with lots of excellent inspiration to get you off your backside and actually writing, if not the next bestseller, at the very least something that you can submit for publication with a more realistic set of goals. Well worth the time and money.
(Final disclosure, that link up there to the book on Amazon is an affiliate link.)