How to Write: Advice and Reflections

How to Write: Advice and Reflections

by Richard Rhodes
     
 

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Uniquely fusing practical advice on writing with his own insights into the craft, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes constructs beautiful prose about the issues would-be writers are most afraid to articulate: How do I dare write? Where do I begin? What do I do with this story I have to tell that fills and breaks my heart? Rich with personal vignettes

Overview

Uniquely fusing practical advice on writing with his own insights into the craft, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes constructs beautiful prose about the issues would-be writers are most afraid to articulate: How do I dare write? Where do I begin? What do I do with this story I have to tell that fills and breaks my heart? Rich with personal vignettes about Rhode's sources of inspiration, How to Write is also a memoir of one of the most original and celebrated writers of our day.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rhodes (The Making of the Atomic Bomb) has enjoyed a long career as a magazine writer and as an author, mainly of verity-his preferred term for nonfiction-but also of some (less heralded) novels. This book has the virtues and defects of a long chat at Rhodes's table: the author offers worthy encouragement for fighting psychological barriers, and useful advice on tools and research. His discussion of voice and structure, though aimed at both writers of fiction and writers of verity, is a bit sketchy for fictioneers. Similarly, while his guidance on writing magazine articles is interesting, his take on the business of writing-after the usual caveats regarding its difficulty-relies a bit much on his happy war stories. Most useful, and unusual in books of this genre, is the author's textured account of the editing process, including his own blow-by-reworked-blow example of an essay-in-the-making. This isn't quite a comprehensive guide but an encouraging companion, especially for those familiar with Rhodes's work. (June)
Library Journal
A winner of numerous literary trophies gives advice to aspiring writers.
School Library Journal
YA-True to his word, the Pulitzer-prize winning author records in detail his writing process, and in so doing comes full circle. "Ending can also be beginning," he says. "If you want to write, you can." Citing his own works and those of Anthony Trollope, John McPhee, Fran Lebowitz, and Iris Murdoch (to name just a few), Rhodes abundantly illustrates each of his 10 chapters with caveats, encouragement, and helpful hints. Practically everyone will find a useful nugget or two in this basic, yet diverse, text. The notes for each chapter and the index show the author's breadth of reading, and should serve as encouragement for YAs who want to venture further.-Pamela B. Rearden, Centreville Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Bill Ott
Books on how to write continue to be published, much as would-be inventors still search for the key to the perpetual-motion machine. Rhodes, the Pulitzer Prizewinning author of "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" (1989), recognizes the ultimate impossibility of his task, which gives him a decided advantage over most of the competition. Mixing impressionistic thoughts on the psychodynamics of writing with very specific advice on everything from using a computer to finding an agent, Rhodes manages to be both inspirational and practical. He speaks eloquently on the relationship of writing (and not writing) to fear, and he shows how the act of writing--not necessarily for publication--offers therapeutic value for the author. On the other hand, he is very frank about what one must do to get published: "Networking ad hoc means, essentially, finding the right strings and pulling them." Rhodes accomplishes here the most one can hope for from a how-to-write book: he gets would-be authors geared up for the hard work that awaits them.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061868573
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,248,782
File size:
390 KB

Meet the Author

Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Richard Rhodes has also won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Prize, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim, Ford, and MacArthur foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of a dozen books amd more than seventy articles and lives in rural Connecticut with his wife, writer and pilot Ginger Rhodes.

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