Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity 0th Edition
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Frequently bought together
- Publisher : Joshua Odell Editions; 0 edition (August 1, 1994)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1877741094
- ISBN-13 : 978-1877741098
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #48,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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If you ever need to be inspired in your writing, read this book. He will draw the passion of writing out of you, remind you why we do what we do, and slowly build you a blueprint on how to do it daily. I highly commend this book for any writer and any level.
All eleven essays were previously published, over the 30 years prior to the collection's original 1994 publication. There is a little bit of repetition in the stories because of that, but not enough to be annoying.
The essays are, for the most part, rah-rah, get your imagination out cheerleading. Bradbury writes in direct sentences, with lots of energy and plenty of exclamation points. An important lesson is to take your experiences, especially your fears, and use them in your creations. He gives many examples of how this worked in his own writing. I found the most interesting tip in the final essay (the last chapter is poetry): "Remember: PLOT is no more than footprints left in the snow AFTER your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations. PLOT is observed after the fact rather than before. It cannot precede action. It is the chart that remains when a action is through."
I think plot and action and characters are more of a balancing act, but I understand what he's saying and it's something to keep in mind. I have to admit, though, that I thought "The Martian Chronicles" could have used a lot more PLOT.
Overall, I liked Stephen King's On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft a bit better, but the first part of King's book is a biography which, though interesting, isn't about writing. For me, "Zen in the Art of Writing" is 3.6 stars rounded up to 4.
The essays are for the most part autobiographical and tend to be repetitive, with several of the anecdotes repeated several times.
Here are Bradbury's main points:
1. Write every day and write a lot. It is the only way to improve.
2. Be enthusiastic about writing. Don't think about possible profit or fame. Write for the love of writing. (Bradbury is an extremely enthusiastic author.)
3. For inspiration, write longs lists of titles made of nouns. The Trapdoor, The Window, The Lighthouse, etc. Look at the list from time to time and your subconscious will provide a story.
4. Ray Bradbury was fascinated by skeletons and carnivals as a kid. He loved Buck Rogers comic strips.
5. Did I mention that Ray Bradbury was fascinated by skeletons and carnivals. Don't worry. He'll repeat it several times.
Even the prose at times becomes a little unintelligible. Looks like someone slapped these essays together to make an easy buck. Diappointed.
Even though I haven't notice him giving me step-by-step instructions on how to write, his wisdom is found intertwined in his words and I'm afraid when I finish this little book, I'll be left wanting more. Great read!
If you are interested in a career as a wordsmith, you MUST READ THIS (and the younger you are, the better). But do note, it is not about technique; or selecting a genre' to express yourself; nor is it about style; simply it is about his journey from novice to master. A journey of love, of enthusiasm, of 110% dedication. What a journey that was! ! !
Top reviews from other countries
However, it is a book of a general mood of writing, about fun about discoveries and about his personal experience. Written in an excellent and lively manner, lots of fun to read.