Becoming a Writer

( 3 )

Overview

A reissue of a classic work originally published in 1934 on writing and the creative process, Becoming a Writer recaptures the excitement of Dorothea Brande's creative-writing classroom of the 1920s. Decades before brain research "discovered" the particular roles of the right and left sides of the brain in human endeavor, Brande was teaching students how to see again, how to hold their minds still, how to call forth the inner writer. She had novice writers note the effects of everything in their environment on ...
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Overview

A reissue of a classic work originally published in 1934 on writing and the creative process, Becoming a Writer recaptures the excitement of Dorothea Brande's creative-writing classroom of the 1920s. Decades before brain research "discovered" the particular roles of the right and left sides of the brain in human endeavor, Brande was teaching students how to see again, how to hold their minds still, how to call forth the inner writer. She had novice writers note the effects of everything in their environment on their writing. She showed them how to harness the unconscious, how to fall into "artistic coma," then how to reemerge and be their own critics. Becoming a Writer is Brande's legacy to all those who have ever wanted to express their ideas in written form. A sound, practical, inspirational, and charming approach to writing, it fulfills on the expectation in her introduction: "This book, I believe, will be unique... I think there is such magic and that it is teachable. This book is all about the writer's magic."

A reissue of the inspiring 1934 classic. Brande believes that writing is a magical process "and that it is teachable."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874771640
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/1981
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 165,794
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword by John Gardner
In Introduction

1. The Four Difficulties
The Difficulty of Writing at All; The "One-Book Author"; The Occasional Writer; The Uneven Writer; The Difficulties Not in Technical Equipment.

2. What Writers are Like
Cultivating a Writer's Temperament; False and Real Artists; The Two Sides of a Writer; "Dissociation" Not Always Psychopathic; Everyday Examples of Dual Personality; The Slough of Despond

3. The Advantages of Duplicity
The Process of Story Formation; The "Born Writer"; Unconscious and Conscious; The Two Persons of the Writer; The Transparent Barrier; Keep Your Own Counsel; Your "Best Friend and Severest Critic"; The Right Recreation; Friends and Books; The Arrogant Intellect; The Two Selves Not at War; The First Exercise

4. Interlude: On Taking Advice
Save Your Energy; Imagination Versus Will in Changing Habits; Displacing Old Habits; A Demonstration; The Right Frame of Mind

5. Harnessing the Unconscious
Wordless Daydreams; Toward Effortless Writing; Double Your "Output"

6. Writing on Schedule
Engaging to Write; A Debt of Honor; Extending the Exercise; Succeed, or Stop Writing

7. The First Survey
Reading Your Work Critically; The Pitfalls of Imitation; Discovering Your Strength; A Footnote for Teachers

8. The Critic at Work on Himself
A Critical Dialogue
Be Specific in Suggestions
Correction After Criticism
The Conditions of Excellence
Dictating a Daily Regime

9. Readings as a Writer
Read Twice
Summary Judgment and Detailed Analysis
The Second Reading
Points of Importance

10. On Imitation
Imitating Technical Excellence
How to Spend Words
Counteracting Monotony
Pick Up Fresh Words

11. Learning to See Again
The Blinders of Habit
Causes of Repetitiousness
Recapturing Innocence of Eye
A Stranger in the Streets
The Rewards of Virtue

12. The Source of Originality
The Elusive Quality
Originality Not Imitation
The "Surprise Ending"
Honesty, the Source of Originality
Trust Yourself
"Your Anger and My Anger"
One Story, Many Versions
Your Inalienable Uniqueness
A Questionnaire

13. The Writer's Recreation
Busmen's Holidays
Wordless Recreation
Find Your Own Stimulus
A Variety of Time-Fillers

14. The Practice Story
A Recapitulation
The Contagiousness of Style
Find Your Own Style
The Story in Embryo
The Preparatory Period
Writing Confidently
A Finished Experiment
Time for Detachment
The Critical Reading

15. The Great Discovery
The Five-Finger Exercises of Writing
The Root of Genius
Unconscious, Not Subconscious
The Higher Imagination
Come to Terms with the Unconscious
The Artistic Coma and the Writer's Magic

16. The Third Person, Genius
The Writer Not Dual But Triple
The Mysterious Faculty
Releasing Genius
Rhythm, Monotony, Silence
A Floor to Scrub

17. The Writer's Magic
X Is to Mind as Mind to Body
Hold Your Mind Still
Practice in Control
The Story Idea as the Object
The Magic in Operation
Inducing the "Artistic Coma"
Valedictory

In Conclusion: Some Prosaic Pointers
Typewriting
Have Two Typewriters
Stationery
At the Typerwriter: WRITE!
For Coffee Addicts
Coffee Versus Maté
Reading
Book and Magazine Buying

Bibliography
Index

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 10, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Helpful. I first read this in college. It inspired me to wr

    Very Helpful. I first read this in college. It inspired me to write (I'm a published author.) Also, not everyone knows Dorothea Brande wrote a mega-bestseller on living well, that still has many fans: Wake Up and Live.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Well done

    This book hits the nail on the head (as they say) and is extremely informative and essential for all the would-be writers out there.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2006

    Read It

    Want to be a Writer? Then read this book. It is bound to become a classic in the genre. If you are a blunted/stunted Artists for whatever reason? This book is for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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