Posted by E.S. Wynn on Friday, June 11, 2010
Several months ago, I released the monstrosity that is A Modern Creative Writer’s Workbook. At 708 pages, it’s intensive, a commitment in paper and ink that can be daunting to pick up and page through.
That’s where this book comes in– think of it as a “light” version of the larger book. It’s smaller, easier to carry, less expensive and the only difference is that you have to break out your own paper when it comes to writing. I prefer to use my own paper when I write anyhow.
Both books utilize an approach within the “modern” context of writing as it evolves over and through the digital medium into its eventual future as opposed to working to further the archaic and overdone forms which, while useful in their own right, haunt and pull at the heels of our modern writing like so many forgotten ghosts clustered in haughty bookshelves. Words are a medium for meaning. Whether or not they follow a specific prescribed set of arcane rules is immaterial. What matters is the feeling within the words, the way a writer uses the paints of his or her vocabulary to craft a masterpiece of ink and paper that blossoms in the mind with all the colors and sound of a traffic jam in a field of wildflowers.
The modern writer has to be everything. You have to be the diplomat between ideologies and words, the interdimensional painter who breathes light into papyrus with musical notes and the knowledge of strains and refrains. You have to be the teacher and the student, all within the same poem or story, and you have to do it through the eyes of every culture, ethnicity and as yet non-existent viewpoint. It isn’t easy, but it isn’t hard either. Like anything, it just takes practice, and that’s exactly what this book is meant to give you. Lots and lots of powerful and meaningful practice in making true, boundless art.
The prompts in this book come in all shapes, sizes, lengths and formats to give you the maximal amount of leeway and possibility for creative expression. Many of them may seem disturbingly vague; some are even just a collection of words and phrases. That’s intentional. The idea is to get you thinking and creative while allowing you the maximum amount of room possible to create something truly unique, instead of just another machine-molded workshop piece. Most of these prompts are specifically designed to have multiple meanings and to mean as much (or as little) as you want them to mean. Your imagination is the key to your reality. Discard all limits and craft your way to the ends of the sky and back.
And remember– the electric age ushers in shorter and shorter attention spans and, like any other artist, we as writers must adapt. Rules are meant to be broken. Every word is sacred. Thus ends my introduction. Short and realistically sweet.
Get the book here.