- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: Wallingford Press; F First Edition Used edition (July 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0984242104
- ISBN-13: 978-0984242108
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 61 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Writer's Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life F First Edition Used Edition
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Well, mediocre was the best I could call it. The ideas were fabulous, the execution - not so much.
Ms. Long's Writer's Portable Mentor was exactly the book I needed to move from meh to compelling. This book is the best book on writing I have ever read, and I've read nearly a hundred books on the craft of writing. Most are books that encourage you and give examples, and I was always left wondering how to apply that to what I was doing. I was missing something. I was missing this book and the tools it provides.
The chapters on word choices made me love language again. Writing stopped being a burden. "Ugh, I hate editing" has become "How can I play with this to make it even better?"
I am keeping a lot of different exercise books and journals, but I am also writing more productively on my stories. My stories aren't word salads, they're thematic, structured gourmet meals. Those exercise books and journals are feeding into my stories, not distractions from them.
Ms. Long's book has also gotten me out of my head and isolation and into the world to do real life observations.My observation and writing venue of choice is the zoo - not only the visitors and zoo employees but the animals provide characters and ideas and actions for improving stories, filling journals with descriptions I can draw on some other time, and providing me with so many quotes and anecdotes. If you're writing about children, there are few places where you can sit quietly in the shade and watch how they behave with their parents, with others, and with their environment from a nice cozy distance. If not for Ms. Long's book and the exercises therein, my world would be a stark place. I would never have considered the zoo as a place to fill an observation journal. Did you know flamingos play Marco Polo? Or that peahens are loving despots?
Even my non-fiction writing has improved dramatically from these exercises. Experienced or novice, the tools Ms. Long generously shares in The Writer's Portable mentor are useful.
I stopped lending my copy out and will now just buy copies to give instead. It's worth every single penny.