Books as Teachers

Writing is a solitary act with a communal spirit among writers and readers. As writers, we need to be close readers, not only to learn from the masters, but also to be the audience that we would like to have for our own books. In this blog, we’ll examine good books to learn craft and technique, as well as to enrich our appreciation of writing. We’ll ask, “What makes fine fiction? How or why did that author do that?” 

Lessons for writers

We’ll discover the lessons that masterful writing and wonderful books can teach us. Topics include: Gatekeepers (first & last sentences)& Story Seeds (inspirations, triggers, starting points); Voice, Style & Point of View; Character; Place; Tension; Time & Consciousness; Love & Other Emotions; Image & Senses; Theme & Gestalt; and more. Some of the material investigated comes from a course curriculum I designed for a workshop series at Copperfield’s Books.

I hope you’ll read to write and join the discussion when you have a discovery or question to share with this blog.

I’ve just read for the third time “The Days of Abandonment” by Elena Ferrante. From the first sentence to the last, this unassuming, raw domestic drama riveted me to care about Olga and her world as it broke around her and came together again. In the next posts, I’ll examine what this book teaches.

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