Lately, it seems I’m reading just as many books on the craft of writing as I am novels. I wanted to recommend a book I just finished. It’s From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction.
It’s written by Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author in fiction. This is the description of the book from Amazon.
Robert Olen Butler, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, teaches graduate fiction at Florida State University — his version of literary boot camp. In From Where You Dream, Butler imagines the process of writing as emotional rather than intellectual, and tells writers how to achieve the dream space necessary for composing honest, inspired fiction. Proposing that fiction is the exploration of the human condition with yearning as its compass, Butler interprets the traditional tools of the craft using the dynamics of desire. Offering a direct view into the mind and craft of a literary master, From Where You Dream is an invaluable tool for the novice and experienced writer alike.
Even though I found parts of the book a little “far out” I’ve got to say the chapter entitled The Anecdote Exercise, is sensational.
The book is a series of intense lectures known as “Boot Camp.” In the chapter I mention, he takes written work from his students and goes sentence by sentence and teaches them how to flesh out every detail.
Two weeks ago when I checked Amazon, the price of the book was close to $50.00, but today, I checked and it’s less than $10. I don’t know what happened there, but as soon as I get done with this post, I’m going to order it.
Since I didn’t feel like spending $50 on a book I wasn’t sure I’d like, I went to my local library. They didn’t have it, but borrowed it from another library for me. That’s a really good deal. It cost me a buck fifty to get the book and now I know it’s one I want in my personal library.
It’s worth the read, because he approaches writing a little differently than most. At least I thought so.
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