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The Writer's Block: 786 Ideas to Jump-Start Your Imagination Paperback – April 17, 2001

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The Writer's Block: 786 Ideas to Jump-Start Your Imagination + The Writer's Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the 'Write' Side of Your   Brain
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

OK, so it's a gimmick. A book in the shape of a 3-inch block. It'll take up too much space on your bookshelf. Its 672 pages are unnumbered, making it nearly impossible to find the same one twice. It is full of contradictory advice. And once you've used the book a few times, it'll more closely resemble a splayed slinky than a block.

So what? Author Jason Rekulak believes that inspiration "can be found anywhere--in dreams, highway billboards, newspaper personal ads, the Yellow Pages, restaurant menus, family photo albums, and bizarre morning TV talk shows." He has packed his stubby little book with kindling aplenty to ignite the fire of your writer's imagination. Open randomly to photographs and spark words ("traffic jam," "waiting," "hitchhiker," "prom"), writing challenges, and writing topics. "Chronicle the longest amount of time you've ever gone without sleeping," recommends one page. "Write about the biggest secret that you failed to keep," advises another. Describe "ten minutes that still make you cringe," urges a third. Write about one of the 300,000 Americans who consume at least 10 cups of coffee every day, or one of the 100 people who have registered with the Florida Department of Corrections to witness an execution, or one of the 3,500 members of the International Flat Earth Society. If none of that is enough to bump up your production rate, follow the lead of crime writer Charles Willeford. "Never allow yourself to take a leak in the morning until you've written a page," he says. "That way, you're guaranteed a page a day, and at the end of a year you have a novel." --Jane Steinberg

About the Author

Jason Rekulak has an MFA from the University of Miami, where he received a full scholarship from the novelist James Michener. His short stories have appeared in several literary magazines as well as PIECES, an upcoming anthology of fiction from MTV Books/Simon and Schuster.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (April 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762409487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762409488
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Jason Rekulak's "The Writer's Block" is a memorable item--it's nearly a perfect cube, 3 inches on a side, containing hundreds of pages meant to get you writing when you're feeling stuck. It includes three types of content: "Spark words" pair a single word or phrase with a photograph. Many are meant to be ambiguous or controversial; others are simply meant to be challenging, interesting, or unusual. "Writing topics" provide a brief discussion of some issue in writing, usually relating it to various published and well-known writers. "Writing challenges" give you short assignments--exercises you can play with and try out.
The sheer volume of photos, words, exercises, and writing suggestions is astonishing! Beyond that, however, I'd call this book very good, but not amazing. The spark words are interesting; the photos didn't wow me quite as much, however. Many of them had that excessively posed look to them; most of them seemed to illustrate the most stereotypical or expected aspect of the spark word rather than leading the reader to new ideas.
The three different types of content are scattered nicely throughout, making it quite easy, if you're looking specifically for a spark word or challenge, to find one no matter what page you open up to. Certainly you'll be able to make use of this little block for a long time to come without running out of material.
Also, while the "writer's block" cube is a cute gimmick, it does have a downside. When I first opened it I found the pages very stiff and difficult to open all the way. Once I'd played around with it for a short while the binding started to separate from the pages even though I handled it very carefully. Perhaps it would have been better to sell these as cards in a memo cube.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By V. Marshall VINE VOICE on June 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
This little book is fantastic for those of you stumbling with the ever ready writer's block.
Jason Rekulak has provided 786 ideas within this little block to jumpstart your free wheeling imagination. Each page contains something different and friendly to kick your writing into another fresh story idea. Some pages are photographs, others are just inspirational words or statements, still other pages ask you to describe an event or situation you have endured (I feel a memoir coming on), but every page requires the same thing: a committed time frame towards your craft.
So fork over a few bucks and enjoy the rewards this little block will bring you year after year. I challenge you to knock your block off!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
I received this book as a gift from another writer. At first, I thought it was a cutesy idea -- nice gift with a nice thought behind it, but I probably wouldn't do more than use it as a paperweight.
Suprisingly, I've found this book to be fine source of inspiration. Great for those days when you are stuck in a chapter (or story, or article, or concept for an ad campaign) and you really need something to kickstart your creative brain. Also, oddly enough, it acts as a sort of oracle. I always seem to find exactly the word or phrase or question I need to fix my literary problem when I turn to this little gem.
Sure, it's corny. Yes, it has gotten as splayed as a revival minister's bible. But it works! Give it to the writers you know -- or to your own inner muse.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
As an aspiring writer, I am constantly seeking ideas to inspire me. When writer's block hits (which is often) I open THE WRITER'S BLOCK and flip to practically any page and find numerous ideas on which to write. I have even gone through the book and flagged the ones that I like the most with post-it tags. The only unfortunate thing is -- I don't have enough time to write on all of these awesome suggestions! BUY THIS BOOK. YOU WON'T REGRET IT!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sophia willen on May 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
WOW. This book is amazing. I am taking my first writing course and was suffering for ideas for what to write about. A friend recommended this book to me and I haven't been able to stop writing since. The Writer's Block is a small book - 3 x 3 x 3 [handy to fit in your bag!] that has a story idea on every page. Some are writing exercises, some are an image and a 'spark' word, and others are an author's view on writing and how to write. A must-have for anyone who writes!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Green on May 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
One of my creative writing students brought this book into class, claiming that it had inspired her to start churning out stories. After I browsed through some of the exercises, I could see why the book worked for her! My favorite exercises were paired with some really provocative photographs (but nothing that's inappropriate for a teenager or a mature child). There's also lots of great advice from some of my favorite authors, esp. Anne Tyler and Nick Hornby. And the section on Joan Collins novels is just hilarious! I've seen writing books that cost twice as much, and they're not nearly as good. All books should be as GOOD and as AFFORDABLE as this one!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn J. Lizee on June 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
My husband bought this book for me and I love it. It's cute, it's useful and it's fun. Just flipping through it, I came up with so many useful ideas.
This little block book makes ya think. It caused me to ponder events long ago, and rework them into my current book. It really is helpful. I like the one word nudges....words that spark your thinking, bring up different kinds of images. For example, the word LOST. Lost Dog? Lost Soul? Lost child? Sooo many possibilities.
A great gift for a writer, or for anyone who likes to keep a journal. Fabulous, creative idea. If you write, you will LOVE this little book.
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