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Write Away: One Novelist's Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life Paperback – March 15, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Here's a useful book for the novice writer battling the fears and insecurities that attend when she contemplates her first novel. Highly successful as the writer of a dozen novels of suspense (A Place of Hiding, etc.) and a teacher with significant experience, George reveals that those same fears and insecurities still bedevil her. She quickly moves beyond that to a consideration of the craft of writing-mastering the tools and techniques that a writer needs in order to create art. While George illustrates her points with passages from both her own works and those of numerous writers she admires (Martin Cruz Smith, Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Michael Dorris), this remains more of a how-I-do-it book than a how-to-do-it book. Thus George will typically discuss an aspect of writing, such as creating the landscape of a novel, illustrate it with examples from various writers and then show how she approaches it. The result is an informative, instructive and idiosyncratic examination of the structure of the novel and of one writer's rigorously disciplined approach to creating one. George makes clear that writing is a job and that mastering the tools and techniques of the craft can go a long way toward making a writer successful. Finally, she advocates self-discipline, or what Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One) calls "bum glue." As George puts it, "A lot of writing is simply showing up... day after day, same time and same place." Both aspiring writers and fans of George's novels should enjoy the author's insights into the creative process.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“An impressively thorough and down-to-earth guide...a perfect DIY guide for the determined new novelist.” (Sunday Times (London))
“Elizabeth George knows her stuff. How well she knows it is readily apparent in Write Away.” (Bookreporter.com)
“An inclusive and enlightening examination of George’s thoughts on the craft of writing.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
“You should buy the book to learn her novel-writing specifics. They’re there in spades.” (Orange County Register)
“A fabulous book for writers.” (Birmingham News)
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Where George differs from many other writers is that she writes about a place (England) where she was not raised and does not live. However, the process she uses to ensure her mysteries are realistic is interesting in and of itself.
People who believe the writing process is some mysterious and murky voodoo only a few are lucky enough to know will be pleasantly surprised at how clearly George describes the writing process, even if the path that they discover works best for them is not identical.
I was thrilled to find that Write Away by Elizabeth George offers it all -- inspiration, an authentic look at the writing life, and practical advice readers can begin implementing today.
George gives readers a glimpse into what it means to be a writer -- the hard work, the insecurity, the commitment required. But she also offers her own, very practical plan for writing a novel. Certainly, her system won't be the perfect system for everyone, but it's doable and provides an excellent starting place for anyone who longs to write a novel but has no clue where to start.
Write Away will, without a doubt, be given a prominent spot on my bookshelf.
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- Her method must work for her if she's on the NYT bestseller...Read more