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Creative Writing: A Practical Guide
By Julia Casterton

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Creative Writing: A Practical Guide

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Creative Writing: A Practical Guide
Third Edition
By Julia Casterton
Palgrave MacMillan, (2005)
Standard Print Edition
ISBN: 1403942633
Genre: Writing & Publishing

Reviewed by Simone Bonim - March 13, 2006

Creative Writing: A Practical Guide is an engaging book for novice writers that helps to both explain the creative process and the fundamentals of creative writing. Written by Julia Casterton, who teaches creative writing at the City Literary Institute, this is a book that will help get you writing - and more important, keep you writing! Now in its third edition, this book has withstood the test of time. It has served as an introductory text for untold thousands of students and independent learners, and it has been expanded and augmented by the input of Casterton's students, interviews with other writers, and her own experiences.

The advice proffered by Casterton in Creative Writing: A Practical Guide will help to expose the writer hidden within you. This may be a writer destined to become a famous novelist or simply someone who writes for their own pleasure without any desire to have their work read by anyone else. Either way, this book provides a realistic and relevant introduction into the world of creative writing and the various forms of fiction writing. Casterton begins with an essay titled Why Write? that not explores why people write, but also how to get started writing. She then moves onto topics such as how to craft a short story, how to make your characters speak, how to create tension in your stories, and how to write vibrant descriptive passages. She also discusses the narrative form and the role that mythology has traditionally played in story development and structure. In addition she provides advice on writing poetry, and how to prepare yourself, and your poems, for publication or public readings. Casterton rounds out this edifying book with a discussion on doing background research for your story, writing for yourself, writing for an audience, and how to reach your desired audience.

Reading Creative Writing: A Practical Guide is almost like listening to a private lecture on the craft of creative writing, and the information provided in this book can be applied to many different forms of writing from autobiography to novels. Casterton's book is based upon years of experience, and she easily distills the fundamentals of creative writing down into manageable portions that you can easy internalize and apply to your own writing. In addition, if you are having trouble getting started, this book will help you to discover that everyone has within them a virtual treasure trove of stories, emotions, and experiences that can be used to jump start writing. Basically, if you want to write, this book will get you writing and if you are already writing, this book will help you hone your skills and provide the encouragement you need to keep writing!

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