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Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Zen in the Art of Writing (1990)

by Ray Bradbury

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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
I'm not saying this book is bad, but rather it turned out to be a lot less useful than I was hoping. Here are my few scattered thoughts:

1. The essays here span several decades, and yet Bradbury's writing style and tone of voice don't tend to change much. I guess he settled on his voice early on and it just stuck.

2. He talks about his own novels a lot - where the inspiration came from, what it was like to write the story - but he does so with the right modest:humblebrag ratio. In other words, it doesn't grate.

3. There's not a lot of highly usable info here. The central point is this: write more and you will get better. I'm not sure I agree. While it's true that the more you write, the better you will get at writing more, I think without feedback you might find that the writing is simply never improving. There's just more of it.

4. Bradbury lived in a time that has vanished - writers don't get the opportunities he had, and while he certainly worked to achieve his success, the path was not strewn with the obstacles that the writer of today must somehow get past.

5. Boy, he really wanted to get his poetry published somewhere! I didn't read much of it - I'm a poor judge of anything more free-form than a sonnet - but how this ended up here is a mystery.

So should you read this book? I picked it up for a few dollars, and it was probably worth the read. It motivated me to write, so there's that to go in the plus column, if nothing else. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jun 9, 2018 |
No one writes quite like Ray Bradbury. Perhaps that’s an understatement, but as I was reading Zen in the Art of Writing, I was again reminded of his brilliance. He has impeccable control of the English language. But at the same time, his sentences are playful and colorful. His thinking is philosophical and, at the same time lighthearted.

“But ideas lie everywhere, like apples fallen and melting in the grass for lack of wayfaring strangers with an eye and a tongue for beauty, whether absurd, horrific, or genteel.”

Picking up this book, at this moment was kismet for me. As I said out loud to someone recently, I’d like to write more and maybe even get paid for it again. In this collection of essays, Bradbury reminds me that I have to do my work first. Writing a thousand words every day is a given. And Bradbury talks about what it was like for him to develop the discipline. But he also describes how he created writing prompts based on his world, past, present, and future.

“When people ask me where I get my ideas, I laugh. How strange—we’re so busy looking out, to find ways and means, we forget to look in.”

Full review at TheBibliophage.com. ( )
  TheBibliophage | Mar 20, 2018 |
Oh, I'm going to have to go with 3 stars for this one. Maybe...I'm tossed between 3 and 4.

Don't expect to learn anything new about writing. Instead, expect to see the world of writing through the eyes of one of the best. Easy read, but Bradbury does tend to ramble on at times (aka, long winded). Boy does he have a way with sentences and words. He is a poet at heart and you can really see it in his prose.

This didn't have me hooked like On Writing or Bird by Bird. I would put it in the same vein as Writing Down the Bones. ( )
  Katrinia17 | Dec 30, 2017 |
You know how happy people can be really annoying? Well, writers who tell you that writing must be a complete joy (or you should quit writing) are annoying too. No matter how good a writer they are. ( )
  graffiti.living | Oct 22, 2017 |
Although there is some fun writing in here, and some good points for other writers, mostly it is about Ray Bradbury and his successes and pleasure in writing. So I would not so much recommend it as a book for someone wishing instruction or inspiration for their own writing as I would for a fan of Bradbury to get some insight into him and his fiction.

Oh, and don't be deceived by the title. This is not Buddhist writing.
  thesmellofbooks | Sep 2, 2017 |
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To my finest teacher, Jennet Johnson, with love
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Sometimes I am stunned at my capacity as a nine-year-old, to understand my entrapment and escape it. -- from the Preface
Zest. -- from chapter one
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553296345, Mass Market Paperback)

"Every morning I jump out of bed and step on  a land mine. The land mine is me. After the  explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the  pieces back together. Now, it's your turn. Jump!"  Zest. Gusto. Curiosity. These are the qualities  every writer must have, as well as a spirit of  adventure. In this exuberant book, the incomparable  Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, experience, and  excitement of a lifetime of writing. Here are  practical tips on the art of writing from a master of  the craft-everything from finding original ideas to  developing your own voice and style-as well as the  inside story of Bradbury's own remarkable career  as a prolific author of novels, stories, poems,  films, and plays. Zen In The Art Of  Writing is more than just a how-to manual for the  would-be writer: it is a celebration of the act of  writing itself that will delight, impassion, and  inspire the writer in you. In it, Bradbury  encourages us to follow the unique path of our instincts  and enthusiasms to the place where our inner genius  dwells, and he shows that success as a writer  depends on how well you know one subject: your own  life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:04 -0400)

Provides practical tips on the art of writing from a master of the craft, from finding original ideas to developing voice and style, as well as the story of Bradbury's own career as an author.

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