Review: Fiction Writer’s Brainstormer by James V. Smith Jr

Quick review for a quick read. I do believe this is the first time I’ve given any writing or creativity guide 1-star.

Man, this book was supremely annoying. I’m equal parts left brain and right brain, so I appreciate pretty much any guide that would help sow the seeds of creativity and help people to use it to generate ideas for story, but James V. Smith, Jr.’s narrative is haphazardly presented and organized. There are definitely some useful tidbits of information contained in this book, but it’s so hard to wade through all the exercises and even the odd headings that I had such a hard time getting through it. I don’t think this was done well at all, even for the intention. I was able to complete some of the exercises without trouble, but having to flip back and forth to the end of the book to see the answer (ergo, see the overarching point he was making in a given section), was tedious. Some of the exercises were decent, but many of them were just…odd.

It is true that you can be inspired to create great work by pretty much anything you can get your hands on – it’s what drives you. But honestly, I found this work to be more cumbersome than inspiring and I’ve read other creativity guides (as well as fiction generating prompts) that were better to follow than this one.

Not recommended, personally, but then again someone might be able to glean some seeds and good ideas from this if they haven’t already read other creativity guides in expansion. I just think there are ones that offer the same advice but far less awkward and far more organized.

Overall score: 1/5 stars

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