Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Book Review - Reading Like a Writer

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose

My non-fcition book this month was about how to write. I'm trying to write a novel. It's incredibly hard. It seems like it should be so easy but it's really not.

I picked this one up because of the title. It's for people who love books - perfect!

It was useful read. She takes apart scenes and dialogues, which is interesting to see. A lot of the time I get so caught up in the plot, I miss how the author is keeping me interested, keeping the momentum going, feeding me information I need, making me see the places and connect with the characters.

The lessons of this book can really be distilled by one quote quite near the end.

"Read carnivorously . . . it involves reading for sheer pleasure but also with an eye and memory for which author happens to do which thing particularly well."

Great advice. I shall try and take it.


  1. Oooh, I love how she phrased that "read carnivorously" What a rich image! Best of luck with your book!

  2. The hardest part of writing for me is not stopping. I started a novel almost three years ago and shame on me... I stopped writing after a year after being 100 pages into it.
    My advice to you is that once you start writing don't stop because you'll just come up with excuses about why you can't start up again.


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