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Write from Life: Turning Your Personal Experiences Into Compelling Stories Paperback – July, 2002

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About the Author

Meg Files has taught creative writing for thirty years. She now teaches at Pima College in Tucson, Arizona. She is the author of two works of fiction, Meridian 144 and Home is the Hunter. She has also published a collection of poems titled The Love Hunter. Her short stories, articles, essays and poems have been published in numberous literary magazines as well as large-circulation publications.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 1 edition (July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582971544
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582971544
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,711,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Meg Files' first novel, Meridian 144, is a post-apocalyptic novel set in the South Pacific. It was translated into German and Japanese. She is also the author of Home Is the Hunter and Other Stories, The Love Hunter and Other Poems, and Write From Life: Turning Your Personal Experiences into Compelling Stories. Galapagos Triptych: Three Ways of Seeing the Galapagos Islands features her poems and watercolors by Susan Reimer and photographs by Sally Cullen. She edited Lasting: Poems on Aging. Her novel The Third Law of Motion, forthcoming, is set in the Midwest in the early Sixties, when the worst thing a girl could do was get "in trouble" and where domestic abuse was hidden in basements. Meg's stories, poems, and articles have appeared in anthologies and periodicals including Fiction, Oxford Magazine, and Crazyhorse. She was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship and was the James Thurber Writer-in-Residence at Ohio State University. She directs the Pima Writers' Workshop, teaches creative writing, and chairs the English and Journalism Department at Pima College's West Campus in Tucson.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nancy E. Turner on March 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
Meg Files gives the push needed to enable any writer to take a risk, which, as she says, is the secret to real writing. However, more than being a pep-talk in a thousand words or less, this is a HANDBOOK to GOOD WRITING. It covers practical matters, style, voice, substance, and challenges you at every level. This book is wonderfully insightful into the writing process, particularly the fears that will hinder a writer, regardless of experience level. I sent one to my mother and she called me two days later to say that after reading the book she had to stop everything and sit down and write a story she'd been wanting to write for 72 years! Give this book to anyone you love who yearns to write. Keep a copy yourself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joan Mazza on September 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
Meg Files has given us a book on writing that offers help with many of the problems that beginning writers face: being afraid to write about personal secrets, of offending editors or readers, not writing often or well enough. She reminds ALL writers, including experienced ones, that the best writing comes from passion and the deepest places of the author's emotional life. Her many technical suggestions will help new and experienced writers access that personal place. She also has excellent advice for disguising the facts or making it too personal by "telling it slant," paraphrasing Emily Dickenson. While this books isn't presented as one on writing blocks, it does address all the issues that contribute to blocks with practical solutions in short, readable, conversational prose.
~review by Joan Mazza, author Dreaming Your Real Self and 3 books in The Guided Journal Series with Writer's Digest/Walking Stick Press.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "racantwell" on January 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
An inspiring guide for writers at every level. Meg Files goes beyond the "How to" genre and delves into the writers psyche to explore the ways many of us try to limit ourselves creatively. Sometimes Ms. Files plays the stern writing professor with specific advice --("Stay at the desk, just stay at the desk"), and compelling writing exercises (worth the price of the book just for these) other times she is the pragmatic therapist ("writer's block is just fear of writing badly") but mostly she is the strong voice of a compassionate and knowledgeable friend.
Throughout the book you will find specific and useful advice on everything from jump-starting your own writing to how to take (and deliver) criticism, dealing with fear of failure and how to define your own success (hint: not usually tied to publication thankfully). I'm glad this is the first writing book I read in the New Year -- I feel charged up and ready to rumble! Good reading!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Stewart on August 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
As an aspiring writer, I found Ms. Files' book extremely helpful. Several writer's guides I've purchased that were written by editors and established authors seemed pretentious, condescending, and downright dull, but I found Ms. Files' book quite the opposite. She shares her experiences and her struggles as a writer and lets the reader peek into her writing process. She covers a wide variety of issues that every writer faces and gives excellent tips for improving writing and adding authenticity to any work. Her book will help turn any amateur into a polished professional.
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