Refracted Input

Clare O’Farrell’s blog on books, TV, films, Michel Foucault, universities etc. etc.

Kate Grenville, The Writing Book. A Workbook for Fiction Writers. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 1990.
My rating: ****

The Writing Book: A Workbook for Fiction Writers The Writing Book: A Workbook for Fiction Writers by Kate Grenville

This is a really excellent work book for people who want to write or who are currently writing fiction. It is also an incredibly useful book for people like myself who are running workshops on creative writing.

Each chapter is divided into 3 sections. The first section explains the category – eg character, voice, point of view, dialogue, the second section offers examples and the third offers large numbers of practical exercises which can be used either by the solitary writer or in a workshop.

The other thing I like about this book is that it uses Australian material which makes it easier to engage my students, who are of course all doing the course in Australia. Kate Grenville also writes in an easy conversational style which makes for enjoyable reading.

2 thoughts on “The Writing Book (1990)

  1. Annette Quayle says:

    Not just for creative writers….
    I sat next to the Dean of research at Said Business School last week at a dinner – and one of his most interesting suggestions was that academic researchers (and PhD students like myself) need to learn the art of creative writing because it improves the style (and ultimately impact) of your academic work… I am now looking for just such a book…


  2. Clare says:

    Hi Annette,
    You might be interested in the work of Robert Boice who has written books such as Professors as Writers This is the best book on writer’s block – for any sort of writers – that I have come across. Janet Burroway’s book is also good and has lots of practical exercises. As is often stated one of the best things any writer, academic or otherwise, can do is read as much well-written work of any kind as they can. Some academic writers often seem to go out of their way to be as turgid as possible which makes it a bit of a chore for the reader. This certainly hinders the easy spread of ideas and discourages people from reading said academic work. On the other hand, if you are a good stylist people will want to read your work.


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