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."
I really like what Mr. Richard Rhodes had to say and it was a very informative book. It certainly made me think that just because I haven't ever written anything does not mean that... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I've recently read several books on writing, and this is the best. I am reading it for the third time. Rhodes encourages and challenges. Read morePublished 4 months ago by carolyn parr
To be succinct, this book is excellent. Richard Rhodes has been down the difficult path of ups-and-downs that all writers of long experience endure. Read morePublished on June 11, 2011 by Robert Beattie
Richard Rhodes' writing chops are unassailable. His majestic "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" combines thorough historiography with a lyrical style that makes reading it... Read morePublished on April 16, 2011 by Michael Faherty
When Rhodes stresses the necessity of checking facts, he writes that "I'm as corny as Kansas in August" is a line from a song in "Oklahoma." Nope--it's from "South Pacific. Read morePublished on September 4, 2009 by Blue Pencil
Every page is valuable. I underlined so many points that some pages are filled with ink from my pen.Published on March 8, 2007 by Erin Murphy
Got all sorts of great information out of it including how to focus better, and how to set up my writing process. Read morePublished on January 12, 2007 by Donovan Ritttenbach
However, if you're looking for a book full of knowledge (such as a theory that once a creative person exhausts they're creativity they perish) anchectdotes that bring the life of a... Read morePublished on January 11, 2001 by "melissaps"
I felt cheated after getting half-way through this book,which I will not bother finish! It seems as if the author simply wants to talk about himself and his works, not give... Read morePublished on September 29, 2000 by Donna Tidwell Hickman