When Thomas Merton entered a Trappist monastery in December 1941, he turned his back on secular life--including a very promising literary career. He sent his journals, a novel-in-progess, and copies of all his poems to his mentor, Columbia professor Mark Van Doren, for safe keeping, fully expecting to write little, if anything, ever again. It was a relatively short-lived resolution, for Merton almost immediately found himself being assigned writing tasks by his Abbot--one of which was the autobiographical essay that blossomed into his international best-seller The Seven Storey Mountain. That book made him famous overnight, and for a time he struggled with the notion that the vocation of the monk and the vocation of the writer were incompatible. Monasticism called for complete surrender to the absolute, whereas writing demanded a tactical withdrawal from experience in order to record it. He eventually came to accept his dual vocation as two sides of the same spiritual coin and used it as a source of creative tension the rest of his life.
Merton's thoughts on writing have never been compiled into a single volume until now. Robert Inchausti has mined the vast Merton literature to discover what he had to say on a whole spectrum of literary topics, including writing as a spiritual calling, the role of the Christian writer in a secular society, the joys and mysteries of poetry, and evaluations of his own literary work. Also included are fascinating glimpses of his take on a range of other writers, including Henry David Thoreau, Flannery O'Connor, Dylan Thomas, Albert Camus, James Joyce, and even Henry Miller, along with many others.
- beyond showing versus telling
- your story's emotional world
- moral stakes
- connecting the inner and outer journeys
- plot as emotional opportunities
- invoking higher emotions, symbols, and emotional language
- cascading change
- story as emotional mirror
- positive spirit and magnanimous writing
- the hidden current that makes stories move
Readers can simply read a novel...or they can experience it. The Emotional Craft of Fiction shows you how to make that happen.
For a quarter century, more than a million readers--scribes and scribblers of all ages and abilities--have been inspired by Anne Lamott's hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. Advice that begins with the simple words of wisdom passed down from Anne's father--also a writer--in the iconic passage that gives the book its title:"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'" An essential volume for generations of writers young and old, Bird by Bird is a modern classic. This twenty-fifth anniversary edition will continue to spark creative minds for years to come.
- New statistical information to help you create true-to-life characters
- Corresponding exercises that show you how to put the material to work in your stories
- A quick-reference index to make cross-referencing a snap
- Idea sparkers to get your thoughts out of your head and onto the page Plus, you'll learn about common - and not so common - psychological, physical, and relationship disorders; delve into the minds of criminals; find out what it takes to be a professional athlete, scientist, and truck driver; discover what life is like for a gang member, suicidal teen, and alcoholic; and more. In Writer's Guide to Character Traits, 2nd edition, note psychologist and author Dr. Linda Edelstein takes you beyond generic personality types and into the depths of the human psyche where you're sure to find the resources you need to make your characters stand out from the crowd.
"On Writing Well is a bible for a generation of writers looking for clues to clean, compelling prose." -New York Times
A beloved classic, this definitive volume on the art of writing nonfiction celebrates its thirtieth anniversary.
On Writing Well, which grew out of a course that William Zinsser taught at Yale, has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity, and for the warmth of its style. It is a book for anybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does. Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts, or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you both fundamental principles as well as the insights of a distinguished practitioner. With over a million copies in print, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valued resource for writers and would-be writers.
Natalie Goldberg's word-of-mouth hit has sold well over half a million copies. Goldberg, who has conducted writing workshops for both beginners and professionals all over the United States, sees writing as a practice that helps us comprehend the value of our lives. With insight, humor, and practicality, she inspires writers and would-be writers alike to take the leap into writing creatively and well.
Wild Mind will change your way of writing. It may also change your life.
alone volume, On Writing is a handbook every fiction writer, whether novice or master, should keep within arm's reach. Like The Elements of Style, On Writing is concise and fundamental, authoritative and timeless--as was Eudora Welty herself.
The first comprehensive work on nonfiction as an art form- Shows how nonfiction, especially how-to and self-help, can take on the same power and luminosity as great fiction - Develops processes to reliably induce the dreaming state from which all writing comes - Teaches the skill of analogical thinking that is the core perceptual tool for writers - Explores the subtle techniques of powerful writing, from inducing associational dreaming in the reader, to language symmetry, sound patterning, foreshadowing, feeling flow, and more Approaching writing as a sacred art, Stephen Buhner explores the core of the craft: the communication of deep meaning that feeds not just the mind but also the soul of the reader. Tapping into the powerful archetypes within language, he shows how to enrich your writing by following "golden threads" of inspiration while understanding the crucial invisibles essential to the art of both fiction and nonfiction: how to craft language with feeling and vision, employ altered states of mind to access the writing trance, clear your work by recognizing the powerful sway of clich d thinking and hidden baggage, and intentionally generate duende--that physical/emotional response to art that gives you chills, opens up unrecognized aspects of reality, or simply resonates in your soul. Covering some very practical aspects of writing such as layering and word symmetry, the author also explores the inner world of publishing--what you really will encounter when you become a writer. He then shows how to develop a powerful and engaging book proposal based on understanding the proposal as a work of fiction--the map is never the territory, nor is the proposal the book that it will become. This book, written using all the techniques discussed within it, offers a powerful, experiential journey into the heart of writing. It does for nonfiction what John Gardner's books on writing did for fiction. It is one of the most significant works on writing published in our time.