"Revis's book should find its way to the keeper shelf of both aspiring and accomplished writers." --Publisher's Weekly
From the Author
When I say this, I do not mean that it was my job. I mean that it was a part of my identity. Of course, there were some bits of the job I didn't like (grading, politics, more grading), but the part I did like--teaching--was something that I loved so wholly that it became an ingrained part of who I was.
Or perhaps it was who I always was, and I just didn't know it.
Whenever there was a concept or theory or problem that I couldn't quite grasp, I taught myself by breaking it down into its elements and thinking of how I was learning, not just what I was learning. My notes when I was a student were always a mess of charts and arrows and connections between ideas (and short stories and poems scribbled in the margins).
Everyone has a different way of thinking, and my way of thinking tends to be an analysis of how an idea develops. I do not at all believe in muses, although I do believe in inspiration. I don't get writer's block--I discover bad story structure. Stories themselves are layers--not just in history and symbolism, but also in structure and plot and character development. Just like when I was a teacher and would find lesson plans in the oddest places, now I read stories and tend to see beyond the words, Matrix-like, into the scaffolding.
I say this now so that you understand any advice I give is merely what has worked for me, and this all comes from my own self analysis. I am not at all an expert, and you should never entirely trust anyone that tells you "how to write." Write the way you write--if it gets words down on paper, it's more than good enough. But this book is the sort of thing that would have helped me when I was starting out, so I thought I'd share it with you.