The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition
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In "The Getaway Car" Patchett writes with verve and sparkle about what that decision to become a writer has meant to her and how she went about fulfilling her unwavering ambition.
The getaway car in the title is a reference to the novel she was thinking about at the time she was working as a waitress. That novel was to be her getaway car to get her away from the restaurant for good. "The Patron Saint of Liars" became that novel.
Part autobiography, part primer for people who are or want to be writers, "The Getaway Car" is a whopping good way to get instruction from someone who grew up being very good at what she does.
Here are a couple tips:
Be linear: "Even if you're writing a book that jumps around in time, has ten points of view and is chest deep in flashback, do your best to write in the order in which it will be read, because it will make the writing, and the later editing, incalculably easier."
Revise aloud: "One method of revision that I find both loathsome and indispensable is reading my work aloud when I'm finished. There are things I can hear - the repetition of words, a particularly flat sentence - that I don't otherwise catch."
Come up with 10 titles: Develop a list of ten alternatives. "Do it fast. Don't think about it too much." Type each of the ten on a separate piece of paper. Tape pages to wall. On your own, or with friends, eliminate the one you like least.Read more ›
Obviously working from outlines and notes from past lectures, she's woven together a Goldilocks (not to long, not to short) length author memoir. If it were a full-length book, her jabs at wannabe authors would have have definitely grown irksome. Yet limited to 30 or so pages, she comes off merely as amusingly elitist -- a pretty impressive accomplishment when part of it is devoted to her stint as a waitress at a Nashville fern bar.
That's why I say she may have created a new genre: An extended essay, packaged in an hour-long-read ebook format, providing a length and approach that can allow authors to let off some steam about how hard it is to be them, without requiring them to pad out a book-length manuscript trying to prove it.
At this length, Patchett's humor is tight and her drifting into self-reverence is only limited.
Don't expect a lot of encouragement if you're a writer, however. Despite her obvious wit, there's no joy when she turns the topic to her own writing. Have I mentioned how hard being a novelist is?
The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life (Kindle Single)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Can't believe I'm giving Ann Patchett an "it's okay" review, but I was disappointed with this book. Read morePublished 17 days ago by A book-reader's wife
Concise advice. Ann tells about how she got her start a reiterates what we all know. If you want to be a writer put your butt in the chair.Published 1 month ago by Susan Haven
I liked this book by Ann Patchett. I am as of yet an unpublished writer and have grown very weary of those "How to write novels" books. This is not one of those. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Thomas J. Wood
I enjoy Ann Patchett's writing, and so was happy to find her book on writing. I enjoyed this book, and wished it had been longer. :)Published 5 months ago by brenda cavanagh
No writing secrets , but her candid reflections are full of wisdom and humor. As a new writer, I am reassured by our common experiences. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MaggieG
For writers new and advanced to lend a window into the heart of one of the best. I highly recommend this quick read.Published 6 months ago by A. S. K.
I love everything she writes. She's so candid and smart and funny and warm.Published 7 months ago by topaz
I really enjoyed reading about her process.I found I have been able to stop beating myself up for not getting my writing finished. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kate B. Reseda,CA
Very insightful and interesting read about the writing journey and this amazing author. Fast read and totally enjoyable.Published 8 months ago by SusanKL
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