Author: Susannah Raulino

ISBN-10: 0615345700: ISBN-13: 978-0615345703

Click Here To Purchase It Writes Itself: A Travel Guide to Writing Fiction

Go with the Flow! about sums up It Writes Itself. Written by an author who describes herself as liking “short, easy-to- read books,” she suggests, “you don’t have to be right, you just have to write.” It Writes Itself is a breezy paperback that encourages people to get writing. The predominant advice is to write now, write anywhere, pick an audience (meaning the imagined ideal reader) and to stop writing when the interest wanes. Want to learn how to write dynamic action and plot? Check out the list that includes “Building a boat, Living on a Boat for awhile, Dying, Living, Researching” and many more.

Pick three from the list and figure out how they can form a plot. Raulino doesn’t suggest how, mainly that’s up to each writer by way of free association and writing. The words are there to “action you up a little.” As for dialogue and character she asks us to let the characters talk to us; she emphasizes her key points, “And ALWAYS write down anything you think the character may be saying. This keeps the ideas coming.” Who is the character? Someone who you imagine. It’s free association and imagining, remember? So you’ve correctly guessed the book won’t really write itself, but will it help if writers divest their processes of critical reflection? Of course it might, there are all sorts of writers.

For Raulino, writing begins with a process of meditating, a sort of letting go, and then being the open receptacle, she calls this the “flow state.” I view her method a variation on free writing, as described in detail by Peter Elbow in his books, where one writes without judgment for a specified amount of time. I agree with Elbow that a few great ideas will come out of this sort of practice as will numerous pages of rambling that might not be worth keeping. So what happens when we want to structure our pages into a form? Let’s head to the chapter on story structure for guidance. Raulino writes, “whatever view point, perspective, or definition works is the best in any situation.” We are given another list of words and encouraged to think about structure.

If your desire is to really understand points of view, the Fichtean curve, complex dialogue, sustaining conflict, a back story’s relationship to a main plot and other fine points of writing and revising fiction this is not the book for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy reading word lists as inspiration for associative writing then this is the book you’ll get a lot of use from. On the author’s suggested reading list: Why Cats Paint. Following this: 17 pages of lined paper for you to fill up. Wait a minute…it’s coming…. now let that writing flow!

Click Here To Purchase It Writes Itself: A Travel Guide to Writing Fiction