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How to Write: Advice and Reflections
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0688149480, Paperback)"If you want to write," says Richard Rhodes in the beginning of How to Write, "you can." That is not to say it will be easy. Rhodes is the author of short and long works of fiction and "verity" (he dislikes the word nonfiction, because it defines such a broad range of writing by what it is not), including The Making of the Atomic Bomb, which won a Pulitzer Prize. "Even now," he discloses, "all these books and articles later, writing often feels to me like groping in darkness along a wall."
While Rhodes has much solid advice about the grit one must bring to the writing life--"the best remedy for fear of writing ... is ... ass to chair"--it is his analogies about writing that are most refreshing. "Writing is a craft," he says. "I mean craft strictly: like carpentry or pottery, writing is handmade. Like other crafts as well, writing can sometimes be organized to the special depth and resonance people call art." Elsewhere, Rhodes compares structuring a work of writing to generalship. "A general," he writes, "needs to know what troops and weapons he commands and how they're deployed, but he also needs to develop a strategy for fighting battles and winning the war. The battles probably won't go as he plans, of course. If his strategy is sufficiently flexible, he'll be able to adapt it to circumstances and still come out victorious." And finally, he says, "writing is always like scuba diving, a descent as deep as you can or dare to go, given your capacity and your level of skill."
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:33 -0400)
"How To Write will appeal to those who desire a career in writing, who want to express themselves better through language, or who are interested in the beauty and the magic of language. Comfortably and familiarly, Rhodes addresses the concerns of all writers: finding your voice, researching your subject, the business and process of writing - including getting your manuscript published once you have finished it - and keeping grounded in your work." "Rich with personal vignettes about the author's sources of inspiration, How To Write is also a memoir of one of the most original writers of our day. Readers will be drawn to Rhodes's frank and honest remembrances of his difficult childhood and his testimony to how writing acted as a form of therapy. How To Write sparks new excitement about writing and language and provides a deeper look at a master of both."--BOOK JACKET.
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