Sunday, May 3, 2009

Learning about Writing

I'm a lifetime learner. If I could stay in college forever, I would totally do it. I love doing projects and researching all types of things (I'm not so crazy about math or science, though, since I am not very good at them!). Here are a few of my favorite books on writing that help give me reminders, tips, and exercises to keep that lifetime learner happy.

1) In my first semester of college at MSUM, I took an Expressive Writing course. The book that the teacher had us use was Writing the Natural Way by Gabriel Rico, Ph. D. It really breaks down how the the two sides of the brain, that she calls Sign and Design, work. Design is "the productive, generative, or 'unconscious' phase" and Redesign is "the highly conscious, critical phase, which edits, refines, and revises what it produces". The books teaches us to balance Design and Redesign by reaching back to the "attitude of wonder" that children exhibit.

2) I was in Barnes and Noble in college when I found Stephen King's On Writing. I loved reading about how he became a writer and his tips for fellow and future writers. One of my favorite tips that I like to remind myself about came from an editor he worked for at his local newespaper growing up, John Gould. He told King, "When you write a story, you're telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story."

3)Gail Carson Levine's Writing Magic gives you advice, but wonderful exercises. I wrote one of my favorite short stories from one of her exercises (someday I will post). The book is written for young aspriing writers, but anyone who wants to write can pick this up and use the tips. This is one of my favorite parts I just rediscovered during this blog post:

The Writer's Oath

I promise solemnly:

1. To write as often and much as I can,
2. to respect my writing self, and
3. to nurture the writing of others.

I accept these responsiblities and shall honor them always.


(Now to write!)

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