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A Writer's Workbook : Daily Exercises for the Writing Life

Gilbert, Elizabeth (Foreword)
Sharp, Caroline

St. Martin's Griffin
Published:June 14, 2002

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After nine months of not writing--nine months of morning sickness--Caroline Sharp had a new baby and an urge to write again. Trouble was, she was out of practice. So she devised a series of 32, mostly half-hour exercises to get her writing muscle back in shape. Thus was born A Writer's Workbook. In it, Sharp embraces warming up with a journal. She is personable and humorous, often returning to the subject of her addiction to coffee. Although her book is recommended in Elizabeth Gilbert's (Pilgrims) introduction for any reluctant writer in need of a jump-start, it seems best suited to fictioneers. "Write a character description of yourself," an early exercise suggests. "Write down as many food memories as you can recall," urges another. "Take yourself through 24 hours in your character's day," and "See if you can come up with a true list of bad behavior." While the exercises cumulatively don't help you create a greater whole, if they get you writing, they've done their job. And as you write, keep in mind: "You've got to get in the habit of harvesting all the acreage," says Sharp. "The pretty flowers are great, but the bent and twisted and screwy ones are more interesting." --Jane Steinberg --This text refers to the

Hardcover edition.

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