|Caroline Sharp: A Writer's Workbook|
Martin's Press (Hardcover), ISBN 0312242727
A Writer's Workbook will help you overcome this hurdle, and begin the writing that will become a torrent of words. Sharp admits, readily and often, that a lot of the time writers don't like to write, would rather do anything than sit down and go about their writing. This admission brought a laugh of relief from this amateur writer. Sharp's acknowledgement that the desire to avoid writing constitutes a normal state of affairs assured me that I was not alone.
Besides this feeling of camaraderie, the book offers sound and intriguing ideas to get the pen or cursor moving. Exercises help you develop your characters, plots and settings convincingly -- and provide an excellent jumping off point for long-simmering ideas.
Sharp mixes "Obstacle Pages" with the exercises. Obstacle Pages give practical ways of getting past the common stumbling blocks, such as over-revision, fear of failure (or success), as well as plain old writer's block. It helps to read these pages any time you feel these writer's nightmares coming on, if only to alleviate the inevitable sense of isolation that comes when staring at the blank white expanse before you.
I find this book indispensable. When I'm writing, and especially when I'm not, I keep it as close as my coffee cup. Its true genius lies in Sharp's ability to unlock the ideas, stories, characters and settings that you already possess.
Ceridwen S. Lewin
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