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642 Things to Write About Diary – April 11, 2012
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"This is a great book if your creative juices are running dry."
--Portland Book Review
About the Author
San Francisco Writers' Grotto, also known as The Grotto, is a workspace for professional writers. Thirty-five writers from The Grotto contributed to this journal.
Po Bronson is a journalist and author, and a member of The Grotto. He lives in San Francisco.
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Not all the prompts are meant for creative writing purposes. This may disappoint some, but it is a good way to really put your writing skills to the test. Some prompts ask you to just describe an object or your surroundings. Of course, a person can find ways to make that creative too.
This book is meant for older writers. Some of the prompts are to describe your first sexual experience and to talk about a time you wanted to orgasm but couldn't. I believe that this publisher did put out another book with writing prompts for younger writers, in case you are a parent or teacher who want to nurture a budding writer. This book is not really appropriate for young people, either because the themes would be inappropriate or because they would not have had the experience yet to imagine it.
Some prompts may make you go "yuck". It may not be something you want to write about. For instance, one of the "yuck" prompts for me was imagining that I was a serial killer and asking what was in my video library (though part of me thought it would be funny to write about a serial killer who had unexpected titles like "Too Cute"). Of course, no one is holding a gun to your head, and with 642 ideas...you can find plenty of other prompts to choose instead. However, what is nice about this book is that it does explore many emotions and character types...so you have the ability to try and expand. For instance, I am writing my first love story. I've never written a love story before, and I am pleased with how it is going considering that.
My only complaint is that some of the prompts seemed to repeat themselves. While there are tons of ideas to still make the book worth the purchase...it seemed to me that the authors started running out of ideas and reusing some.
Some of the prompts IMO work better as simple writing exercises, which they of course are, and IMO will help anyone who wants to write develop their creativity, but there are certainly plenty of prompts that may help someone build scenes or develop characters or even come up with whole plots for new stories.
Developing that creativity and getting used to writing really is the key for any aspiring writer, so a book like this is perfect. IMO, a book like this may even be more helpful for an aspiring writer than buying a "how to" book. I'm not suggesting someone not buy a book that will teach lessons to develop and hone your craft -- of course you should -- but they should supplement the writing, not stand in for it.
So, as I said in my headline -- go write! And I think this book is a helpful place to do it in, providing you a place to hone your skills and develop good writing habits until your stories start writing themselves.
This is a personal purchase which was bought in full. This review is an honest and unbiased review of the product.
Love it, so if you can... But it, I bought it used and 1\2 the price, with prime ;) and it was as if it was new.
Great for young school aged writers. Would work to generate daily writing habits but don't expect much more than that.