Author: Philip Pullman
Release: July 27, 2007
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin’s
Original Review: October 8, 2012
Strangely enough, I love this textbook.
This is the first time in a long while that I’ve heard something new about writing. This book isn’t going to repeat “show don’t tell” mantras and pour reasons on your head like it’s trying to exorcise you of your bad writing habits. There’s no repetitive grammar exercises, either.
Instead, the book is a fast track for a person who’s already capable of putting words on the page, to become a real writer. If you’re thinking about making something that a lot of people will actually want to read, these are the things you need to know. You’re going to see all the pieces that activate the real power in any piece of writing. It shows you how to master energy and tension, where to find the beats in the story, how to make scenes matter and skip the ones that don’t.
This textbook is my #1 motivation for going back and rewriting my book, from the beginning. All these techniques will really make it something amazing! It made me really excited to tear the whole thing apart and build it back up again, making it the best it can be.
This book has that kind of power, and I really think any serious writer needs to read it. Where nonfiction goes, it has my highest recommendation.