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Hardcover Escaping Into the Open: The Art of Writing True Book

ISBN: 0060191791

ISBN13: 9780060191795

Escaping Into the Open: The Art of Writing True

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good*

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Book Overview

"Crystal clear, bracing as ice water, Escaping Into the Open should be read by all scribblers regardless of material success." --Rita Mae Brown "This is a really good book." -- Booklist Bestselling, award-winning novelist Elizabeth Berg knows a thing or two about writing, having graced the world with wonderful works of fiction including Talk Before Sleep , The Year of Pleasures , and the acclaimed Oprah Book Club Selection, Open House . With Escaping...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Excellent writing guide

Elizabeth Berg's voice is just as engaging when she writes nonfiction as it is when she writes novels. Which is perhaps to be expected, because she started out by writing essays and articles for women's magazines. Throughout the guide, Berg dispenses many tips, such as: show a man is old by describing the dime-size age spots, rather than saying he's old; mood can be reflected in description; go to a restaurant and write down everything someone does for 10 minutes; crash someone's funeral, if there's a tasteful way to do it; and keep it simple when sending query letters to agents (i.e., no perfumed paper or candy boxes). She also includes interesting tidbits such as a discussion on how to deal with success, and the envy one's friends might begin to harbor. Her friend Phyllis contributed 5 pages to the book concerning the jealousy she felt when Berg made it to the New York Times bestseller list. She also includes tips on how to handle rejection (in the scheme of things, it's not a big deal) and choose a writing class (be wary of teachers who don't write). Perhaps most valuable are the thirty pages of writing exercises, intended to unleash your creativity. She goes for variety, breadth and depth by giving you sentences to complete, scenes to write, and gender-bending exercises (for example, if you're a woman, write about what it feels like to find out you impregnated someone). Another great thing about the book is how encouraging she is. She devotes a whole chapter to debunking myths about writing, and insists that she started out without contacts or an agent. Definitely worth your time if you're at all interested in writing.

A lovely book!

When I read this book, I think of meeting a friend who understands and encourages me - and we're having tea. Elizabeth Berg's charming voice comes through clear and strong as she encourages, gently nudges and inspires writers to celebrate their calling. I loved it! Whether you're just beginning, experienced, published or unpublished, this book is warm like a treasured quilt on a cold night. Buy it and enjoy.

Writing Exercizes Bear Fruit

Elizbeth Berg's book is worthwhile for many reasons: her comfortable prose, her reassurances, her authority, but most of all for her writing excerizes. Not that these sorts of exercizes aren't in other books, but Berg's (no relation) way of explaining them is clear and helpful. I used them, and they were, for me, effective. To wit:two stories I wrote beginning with these exercizes have been published. No higher praise than that is due. Some men might be put off by this book which is excessively sprouty, true, but Elizabeth Berg's writing is worth looking into, and so is this book.

The only writers' guide you need. Really.

This is a true "writing workshop." It doesn't talk down to the audience; it makes it clear that publication is not the only measure of success; it explodes many "writing myths." I graduated from an MFA program (in Boston, no less) and can honestly say that this book would have been a fine substitute.Ms. Berg is a self-taught writer who doesn't revel in her own neuroses or go too far overboard with the New Age schtick. (I admit I haven't tried any of her recipes yet...) She's a writer's dream mom: nurturing and sensible, smart and savvy. Far superior to Anne Lamott. buy this book!

Completely Engaging

The best thing about this book is the glimpse into the life of Elizabeth, herself. Her quirkiness and insight is delightful. There is no one whose advice as a writer I'd trust more (although Natalie Goldberg's Banana Rose is beautiful). Her book even includes inspirational fattening recipes! What a brilliant idea! And the writing exercises are fantastic--I really got into them. I must say that while I've read criticisms of her inclusion of her own life, I appreciated (reveled in, more specifically) the anecdotes of her personal experiences. This is a wonderful guide to writing, but it is also a captivating read.
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