Wednesday 2 September 2009

Becoming A Writer

I finally finished reading Dorothea Brande's seminal text on creative writing last night. Becoming A Writer was first published in the 1930s, yet the wisdom contained within is still just as relevant today. Most writing texts concern themselves with the mechanics of writing - grammar, character, dialogue, setting etc. While these elements are clearly important, being able to implement them can only occur in the first place if you've managed to establish a set routine, and flicked that switch in your brain that allows you to write whenever, wherever. Essentially, this book is intended to help flick that switch. Brande is more concerned with the personality problems of the fledgling writer than the technical errors and it is these which she seeks to help the writer to overcome.

The language is a little old-fashioned and her insistence that the author is always referred to as 'he' is a tad annoying but considering the age of the text, it's still an immensely readable, useful book that prompts the writer into doing exactly what they do best - write.