The Soul of Creative Writing

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 132 pages
5 Reviews

"I have a faith in language," said the poet W. S. Merwin. "It's the ultimate achievement that we as a species have evolved so far." Language is a deep ocean of living words, as varied as undersea life. It is a gift inherited by each person when he or she is born; it can be corrupted and regulated, but it cannot be owned. It is an enormous, complex, inexhaustible gift. The Soul of Creative Writing is a tribute to language and to its potentials. It explores the elements of language, style, rhythm, sound, and the choice of the right word. Richard Goodman paints an image of how language can produce a life and meaning that otherwise cannot exist in the symbols themselves.

Goodman's stunningly creative collection was written after a lifetime of working and struggling with language. He collects rich examples from writers of the past and present, both great and small, and uses them to illustrate how each element of our written language can be used. The book begins with an analysis of words and how they can be used to create music on the page. Goodman uncovers the strength of words, writing about the shades of meaning that make the search for the exact word both arduous and immensely rewarding. He discusses how to find the proper title and how to find a fitting subject. He show how to create nonfiction work that is vivid and memorable through the use of the same techniques fiction writers employ.

Goodman's volume is written with humor and clarity--with fascination and reverence. Writers will find it an indispensable source of creative inspiration and instruction. In Goodman's words, "reading is a tour of a writer's efforts at manipulating language to create art, to create flesh and blood and mountains, cities, homes, and gardens out of inky symbols on the page." To literary critics, this book will be a guide to understanding the tools and devices of great writing.

Richard Goodman is the author of French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France. He has written for many national publications, including the New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, Harvard Review, Commonweal, Grand Tour, AWP Writer's Chronicle, Saveur, Louisville Review, Ascent, French Review, Pilgrimage and the Michigan Quarterly Review. He has taught creative writing in New York City for a number of years and is now associated with the New York Writers Workshop. Goodman teaches writing at Spalding University's MFA in Writing Program in Louisville, Kentucky.

  

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Review: The Soul of Creative Writing

User Review  - Marcela - Goodreads

A wonderful book full of tips for writers. Read full review

Review: The Soul of Creative Writing

User Review  - Wayne Gilbert - Goodreads

This is a quick read with a different perspective on the subject. Read full review

Contents

The Music of Prose
7
In Search of the Exact Word
19
The Secret Strength of Words
29
Some Things English Cant Doand Shouldnt
39
The Nerve of Poetry
49
Using the Techniques of Fiction to Make
63
Finding a Great Title
77
The Eminent Domain of Punctuation
87
Finding Subjects
99
Maxims about Writing
107
Notes
119
Name Index
125
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Richard Goodman is the author of French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France and The Soul of Creative Writing . He has written for the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Harvard Review, Saveur, Commonweal, Creative Nonfiction, Louisville Review, Ascent, French Review, and the Michigan Quarterly Review . He teaches creative nonfiction at Spalding University's Brief Residency MFA in Writing Program in Louisville, Kentucky.