Friday, April 3, 2009

"Writers Workshop in a Book" by Alan Cheuse, Lisa Alvarez, and Richard Ford

I purchased this book at Squaw Valley in 2007. At that time, I read a few of the articles and then put it on my bookshelf. At my retreat last week, I was reminded of this book by seeing Debbie's copy.

The book isn't really a "workshop" in any sense of the word. Rather, the essays (given orally at the conference over its forty years, and then transcribed for this book) are pep talks on all aspects of writing. Plot, description, setting. And stories of triumph. Like Michael Chabon's "Wrecked," in which he talks about letting go of a five-year, 1,500-page manuscript, and writing the superb Wonder Boys.

I am most thankful for Diane Johnson's essay, "How to Write a Novel," in which she gives writers permission to count pacing and staring out the window as a productive writing day.

1 comment:

Lee Ryan said...

Sweet! In that case I often have VERY productive days.