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Craft Books

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If I just had the time I know I’d be able to finish writing my novel... Oh yeah? Prove it. As readers many of us also fall into the category of aspiring writers. But isn’t time always the excuse, the easy way out? I’ve used it myself over and over. Wait until things slow down; you won’t be able to keep me from it, just wait. You’ll see. So here’s your chance; here’s that time that’s eluded you. What’s the excuse now? I don’t have the right music, the right desk, the right mug, etc. Let’s just put all that aside and try to make something, try to write that short story you’ve had in your head for years, that poem you have the first line to but nothing else, that novel whose first chapter you swore you’d finish (surely there’s a chapter two). Below you’ll find a selection of craft books with different paths into the creative process, but their basic premise is the same: Start! Come on. What are you waiting for? You have all the time in the world. 

The Writing Life: Writers On How They Think And Work Cover Image
Currently Unavailable
ISBN: 9781586481490
Availability: Special Order
Published: PublicAffairs - May 8th, 2003

Sometimes what keeps writers paraylzed is they’ve built the writing process as something mystic in their minds, something only few can crack. This fear keeps the writing world at a distance. In THE WRITING LIFE, Marie Arana compilates 55 famous writers’ insights, anecdotes and advice surrounding the creative process. Throughout these essays, the reader glimpses the human side of writing and its grandeur is demystified. Here you’ll find even the best writers still fear blocks. Don’t you already feel better?

FLASH!: Writing the Very Short Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393352351
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 7 - 14 business days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 13th, 2018

One of the most exciting budding genres of fiction is flash fiction (microfiction, sudden fiction, short shorts, etc). In this groundbreaking examination of the form, author John Dufresne takes readers through the form’s possibilities. The book is structured like a craft class with example texts followed by instruction and exercises. Dufresne will have you addicted to the form, and though you might have come to this book with a bigger project in mind, the skills developed throughout will help with all your future fiction. Less is much much more. 

Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393334166
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 16th, 2009

I was lucky enough to interview poet Kim Addonizio when she visited East Texas from Los Angeles. She was the epitome of cool and her poems are nothing short of lyrica gut-punches. If you haven’t read any of her work, get to it! When we were talking about poetry, she lit the room up; she’s such a champion. In ORDINARY GENIUS, Addonizio tosses aside pretension and inaccessibility and gets to the heart of what poetry writing can be: your life composed in lyric This is hands down the best book for anyone looking to be energized, whether you’ve written poems for years or are just beginning.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Cover Image
Currently Unavailable
ISBN: 9781439156810
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Scribner - July 6th, 2010

I must admit I was skeptical of this book for a few years. Even though I had a copy, it sat on my shelf. When I was in undergrad, my fiction professor and several classmates praised this as the quintessential book on writing. I wrote it off, no pun intended. I recently picked it up for the first time and was struck by how clear and approachable King presents the life and work life of a writer. This memoir/craft essay weaves King’s daily living with plain advice for any aspiring writer. He speaks of the beauty writing offers yet balances it with truths that keep the process grounded; he makes writing feel possible and that’s the biggest hope someone of his caliber can offer. Don’t wait as long as I did.       

In addition to the books above, our friends at Writing Workshops Dallas have a full lineup of seminars and community events on Zoom in the coming weeks. They have also migrated a lot of writing workshops online and folks can use discount code Interabang at checkout for 20% off any class. Here is the link to the online classes: https://writingworkshopsdallas.com/online-classes/ (check back often as they continue to add and update).

So what are you waiting for? You can do it! Go write.