The reasons why I’m considering trying my hand at creative writing are another story for another day, but today I’d like to tell you about a book that has been indispensable in my self-directed learning on the topic. Despite having a BA in English I have never, ever taken even a single creative writing class. I simply had no interest in writing fiction, and the concept of creative nonfiction was unknown to me until very recently. All of my English classes focused on literature and theory and I wrote a lot of papers, a few poems, but never a single story.
I know that one does not simply write a book without any prior knowledge or experience. I knew that writing the kind of book that I would like to read would be difficult. I had no idea where to start the process of learning how to write fiction. So I googled and read reviews and this book was a clear frontrunner. The paperback version is relatively inexpensive on Amazon, but because I wasn’t sure whether this would be more than a passing interest I checked it out from my local library instead. I should’ve just ordered it straight away because it is excellent. I’ve been taking copious notes and will probably purchase the paperback to keep for reference. I checked out another title on creative writing in audiobook form and didn’t even finish it because it was so theoretical. The Making of a Story offers concrete guidelines, examples, and exercises. It really is like taking a class, but it was free and I don’t have to go anyplace (my two reservations about taking an actual class).
If you’ve ever wanted to get into creative writing but didn’t know where to start, or if you’ve tried it and weren’t pleased with your results, give this book a read. I feel so much more confident now and am excited to start writing soon (I’m still in the planning and contemplation stage now).