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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
This is a personal purchase which was bought in full. This review is an honest and unbiased review of the product.
I have two complaints about this book. First, the pages are not numbered. How in the world did this happen? I am an English professor, and I want to use this book in my class by having students choose a page number and then letting them write about the prompt on that page. This is impossible. And if it was used by all students in a creative writing class, the professor can never say, "Turn to page 100." This is extremely frustrating and a huge oversight by the writers/publisher.
Also, the lines on the page are useless. Some prompt come four to a page, meaning they are in boxes--none of this is enough to write a creative response, unless you write each letter as small as the smallest ant on the planet. No, all of your creative writing will take place outside the book, either on a computer screen or your own notepad, which defeats the purpose of this being a "workbook."
I love the ideas that this book presents. Yes, it will help with my creative writing, and I assume it will help yours. I I really like most of the prompts (and some are very funny). I just did not like the physical execution of the book, which should have been figured out before it went to print.