Review: Where the Stories Come from: Beginning to Write Fiction

Quick review for a quick read. This was a decent compilation, but I’ll admit I expected a bit more from it, even for an introductory text. Probably some of the most useful advice Sibyl Johnston provides are in the considerations for the writer at the end of each chapter and exercises. There are some interesting questions prompted for readers as well, though I think it functions better when you’re in a critique group environment.

I didn’t always agree with some of the advice given with critique groups in this work, but then I had to realize a lot of the students picking up this work are learning the basics of what critique and being critiqued entail. Same goes with some of the writer’s glossary of terms and introducing each pertinent piece for writing. I think it was well organized, and the student and professional examples of writing were nice inclusions as well. I think overall though – some of the other texts I’ve perused (Like “What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers”) were a little more hands on than this one turned out to be.

Overall score: 2/5 stars


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