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Profile for Eilis Ferreira > Reviews


Eilis Ferreira's Profile

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Eilis Ferreira RSS Feed (Connecticut)

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Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew
Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Edition: Paperback
72 used & new from $1.59

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, July 1, 2010
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It is a concise, but rich experience in learning and practicing the craft of writing, and of all of my writing books, a favorite. Some of the specific things I love about it are

a) her genuine enthusiam for writing and for literature sparkles off the page. She takes writing very solemnly as an art but also as something fun and delightful and playful, and her love for it is infectous and inspiring.

b)the many examples, from a wide variety of sources. There is some Tolkien, some Virgina Woolf, some Gertrude Stein, some Kipling, some Twain. A great variety to show writers how things have been well done by previous writers.

c) she has a very open, creative mind, and hands you all the tools to write in many different ways, rather than according to a narrow perscription of "rules" that excludes some tools (for example, certain POVs) in favor of others.

d) her general philosophy of writing, story, and of the use of language rings true.

e) her openness and her wide variety of examples and excersizes are helpful for learning to find your own voice as a writer and stretch it. She shares what she knows to help you develop yourself, but she does not teach you to write just like Ursula K. LeGuin. She is not condescending, not a do-it my way captain, rather she feels like a fellow crewmember on the craft, although one who has been on many many more voyages.

This is not a book if you want 10 Rules for Instant Bestselling Fiction. But it is an excellent book if you want to put in the work to develop your craft and find your own voice as a writer. I find that I return to this book again and again.

How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy
How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy
by Orson Scott Card
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.34
125 used & new from $1.80

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars How to write very generic SFF, July 1, 2010
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I did not find this book particularly helpful for me. I think if might be helpful if you want to write very generic SF hero-narratives written in first person or third limited. It is mostly SF, very little emphasis on Fantasy, and his discussion of speculative fiction feels shallow and perscriptive, for creating a product, rather than really getting in depth into the meaning of what is being written. His section on characters and POV are written in such a way to assume that Omniscent doesn't even EXIST. He does have a negative view of literary fiction, which I don't think is a healthy attitude for any writer to have. I feel like it teaches you how to write like Orson Scott Card, rather than helps you find your own voice.

Books that have been more helpful to me are Gene Wolfe's Shadows of the New Sun and Ursula LeGuin's Language of the Night, which are much more in depth and more liberating for the SFF author. For craft tools, Steering the Craft and Gotham Writers Workshop are excellent.

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