A Writing Textbook

Writing War book cover

I am a member of the Veterans Employee Resource Group where I work. This spring the group offered a creative writing course. Sign up was limited, so I put my name in right away. Doing so much reading has my head swimming with ideas for writing, and I was looking for some guidance on starting. Fortunately, I was included in the class which finished up this past week. We used as our text Writing War: A Guide to Telling Your Own Story by Ron Capps.

This is a well-known book that has been used for many years as the curriculum for seminars and workshops provided by the Veterans Writing Project. As the subtitle suggests, its focus is on veterans writing about their experience, whether as a part of therapy or as a record for their families. The book uses excerpts from veteran authors to illustrate concepts such characters, plot, and dialog. I was surprised that many well-known authors are in fact veterans. It is a very practical book with exercises.

As part of the course, we were invited to share some of our writing for feedback and critique. I submitted a short story that I first started many years ago. What I learned in the class and the feedback of my classmates helped me to improve it. Perhaps I will share it one day here. I learned a lot in the course and from this book and look forward to continuing to grow as a writer.