Friday, 22 March 2013

Monkeys with Typewriters by Scarlett Thomas

The writing of fiction has had a lot written about it by writers of fiction. I have no intention of writing fiction, but enjoyed this ‘how to’ guide by British author and creative writing teacher, Scarlett Thomas. While aimed at the aspiring writer, the interested reader will also get a lot from this playful introduction to the key ingredients of ‘good’ fiction.

Thomas engagingly discusses well-known works of fiction (and film) to illustrate how stories are constructed, how you can create your own, and how to avoid the pitfalls of bad writing at the scene and sentence level. You'll find out why vague, over-inflated sentences are cautioned against, as well as the need to eschew the excessive use of unnecessary adverbs and other flashy tricks which detract from quality prose.

Her approach to teaching creative writing is not endless workshop-type exercises. Instead, this book gives clear examples that highlight her key points in an appealing, chatty, yet informative approach.      Reviewed by Spot

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Monkeys with typewriters by Scarlett Thomas, 2012      

About the Author
Scarlett Thomas was born in London in 1972. She is the author of the novels Bright Young Things, Going Out, PopCo, The End of Mr. Y, and Our Tragic Universe. Scarlett’s work has been translated into more than 20 languages, and she has been longlisted for the Orange Prize, and shortlisted for the South African Boeke Prize. In 2001 she was included in the Independent on Sunday's list of the UK's 20 best young writers, and in 2002 she won an Elle Style Award for the novel Going Out. She has written short fiction and articles for various anthologies and publications, including Nature Magazine, the Guardian and the Independent on Sunday. She has also had stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She currently lives in Kent, UK, where she teaches Creative Writing. In her spare time she is studying for an MSc in Ethnobotany. She is currently working on her ninth novel, The Seed Collectors.    

From the author’s website

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