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The Portable MFA in Creative Writing
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Top Customer Reviews
can truthfully say that not only would The Portable MFA in Creative Writing have helped me then, but it certainly would have proved invaluable if I had decided to forego the MFA experience and write on my own in a cabin by
a lake in Ontario.
I knew Tim Tomlinson in a former lifetime and I'm happy to see that he has become a wise, helpful guide
in leading readers through the section on fiction writing in The Portable MFA. There definitely is a craft to
fiction writing, which goes along with a writer's innate ability, and Tim approaches the subject as one who
could almost be considered a friend trying to offer sincere advice from experience, experience which includes years of teaching.
Likewise, Charles Salzberg comes off as a natural born teacher in offering practical advice about the craft of magazine writing. As you read his insights, you can't help but feel that Salzberg is a three-dimensional person
and extremely dedicated teacher who wants what's best for each individual reader,
There are many good books on the craft of writing but I rank The Portable MFA certainly up within the top five.
I am not a poet or a playwright but the sections on these disciplines in The Portable MFA are also interesting and enlightening. In short, this book is a great investment for both beginning writers, as well as experienced writers with many publications to their credit. One can always learn new things and The Portable MFA refreshed my creative drive and also prompted me to see truths I knew from a new perspective well worth
many, many times more than the cost of this great book.
My own favorite lesson was about flashbacks and the potential drawback in their tendency to be used for explanation, esp when writing a memoiresque piece (there's a separate chapter on personal essay and memoir but there is of course a lot of overlap) - so many writers, including myself, write to be understood, to share, to have others point and say, 'Yes,that is just how I feel,' but the danger is that we write for catharsis not for storytelling - that we write when we should simply be visiting a therapist. The flashback is a tell-tale sign that I'm sinking into the pitfall, though it does have its merits. Also, appreciated the comments about peppering description into a heavily-dialogued passage in order to ground the characters in space and time. I know some of my dialogue can drift into the abstract void otherwise.
Overall, it's a fun read and an encouraging experience - just what you'd expect from an MFA program.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Instead of investing $35,000 into a graduate program, take that money, buy lots of blank paper, find some solitude and write for two years. Read morePublished 9 days ago by cathy
This is basically just a definition book. There is no helpful information in here.Published 1 month ago by Terresa O'Leary
For a writer that has never investigated the courses involved in an MFA, this is excellent overview of what to expect.Published 6 months ago by TriedandTrue
An excellent guide that you can use to craft your own self-study in creative writing. Takes the reader step-by-step through the various facets of an MFA program, without having to... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Charles A. Ray
I read several books like this as I worked to complete my novel and it helped me tremendously in building my skills.Published 9 months ago by Wise bird