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Reading like a writer : a guide for people…
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Reading like a writer : a guide for people who love books and for those… (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Francine Prose

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2,950782,832 (3.76)206
Member:Librarianlacey
Title:Reading like a writer : a guide for people who love books and for those who want to write them
Authors:Francine Prose
Info:New York : Harper Perennial, 2007.
Collections:Your library
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Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose (2006)

  1. 00
    Lady with Lapdog and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov (sturlington)
    sturlington: Prose refers to the short stories of Chekhov extensively.
  2. 00
    How Novels Work by John Mullan (ajsomerset)
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» See also 206 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
This book was assigned for me for a writing class. It's an interesting read. ( )
  KatelynSBolds | Nov 12, 2018 |
I was tempted at first to give it three stars, but that would be a bit unfair to the text. The book did make me think, and did point out several things that I hadn't thought of before. Particularly, I found the section on gestures interesting - the dialogue section as well. A lot of what Prose discussed were things that I took note of unconsciously, which I found mildly distressing. Thinking about dissecting any sort of work for all the things she mentioned struck me as not only impossible, but also confusing - the harder I tried to think about some things, the more I confused myself. If I'm already absorbing a lot of this innately then where's the pleasure in dissecting it? I don't know, literary criticism tends to evade me.

I found the book, on the whole, a bit difficult to get through. The writer's that she highlighted, with the exception of Chekov, were ones that didn't very much appeal to me. I found the Samuel Johnson snippet at the beginning entirely unreadable. I realize that this is the fault of me, as I don't tend to spend a lot of time on some "classic" authors, rather than any fault of the book. I just haven't rightfully trained my mind to be able to absorb some of the older texts.

On the whole, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get more out of their reading, and consequently, improve their writing through a better understanding of what makes good writing so very good. Do not be deterred by my inability to deeply examine some concepts. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
She’s a little sensual, but there is something to be said for enjoying your life.
  smallself | Jun 4, 2018 |
One of the best books about writing I have read to date. Fantastic topics and explanations with examples from well known authors. I will return to this book for inspiration when I am upset with my own writing. It has already helped me improve a prologue I have been working on for some time to the point where I was happy enough to show it to someone for their opinion. Not always an easy decision as we all know. I have always tried to learn from the novels I read. This book has helped me understand exactly the things I should be analysing. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys writing, and reading critically. ( )
  KatiaMDavis | Dec 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
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This book is dedicated to my teachers:
Monroe Engel, Alberta Magzanian, and Phil Schwartz.
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Can creative writing be taught?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
In this book — subtitled "A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them," — Prose shares how she developed her writing craft through writing and reading. She uses examples from literature to demonstrate how fictional elements, such as character and dialogue, can be mastered.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060777052, Paperback)

Long before there were creative-writing workshops and degrees, how did aspiring writers learn to write? By reading the work of their predecessors and contemporaries, says Francine Prose.

In Reading Like a Writer, Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and the tricks of the masters. She reads the work of the very best writers—Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Kafka, Austen, Dickens, Woolf, Chekhov—and discovers why their work has endured. She takes pleasure in the long and magnificent sentences of Philip Roth and the breathtaking paragraphs of Isaac Babel; she is deeply moved by the brilliant characterization in George Eliot's Middlemarch. She looks to John Le Carré for a lesson in how to advance plot through dialogue, to Flannery O'Connor for the cunning use of the telling detail, and to James Joyce and Katherine Mansfield for clever examples of how to employ gesture to create character. She cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which literature is crafted.

Written with passion, humor, and wisdom, Reading Like a Writer will inspire readers to return to literature with a fresh eye and an eager heart.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:03 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

An insider's report on how professionals read and write instructs aspiring writers on the methods employed by such literary figures as Kafka, Austen, and Dickens, in a resource that draws on key examples to demonstrate the essentials of good plot and character development.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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