(Don’t) Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before by Peter Turchi

Here is another book on writing from my list. It is somewhat unique in my experience. It doesn’t talk generally about the normal aspects of writing, like theme, plot, and characters. It also doesn’t discuss the mechanics of writing or publishing, no schedules or how to find an agent. Instead, it gets into the nitty gritty of how to apply specifics using the general tools of creative writing.

As an example, the first chapter gets into how to write more dynamic scenes. The author shows how this is done with examples from published fiction. Then he breaks down how it works. Similarly, in chapter two, he goes into the classic advice “show don’t tell” and dismantles it a bit. Sometimes you have to tell. And he shows how to do this well, again, using published examples. What I appreciate most about this writing book is that it is a fantastic combination of writing advice and literary critique, showing how using these together can improve your writing.

The most direct advice and how to are in the appendices. These include direction on how to workshop, how to annotate and read like a writer, and a resource list of other books on writing. If you are serious about creative writing, this might be a really good place to start your self-education.

My rating: 4/5

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