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Pedantic, dry, example of not walking the talk
am 13. März 2000
I've been reading books on writing fiction lately, after 20 years as a relatively successful non-fiction writer with my writing in publications like Writer's Digest, Success, Omni, Reader's Digest..
Frankly, I picked up this book over ten years earlier. And it was, I now realize, so dry, boring and difficult to get through that I put off my novel writing for years. Beware!
Since then, I've read some great books on writing-- Christopher Vogler's THE WRITER's Journey, and Robert McKee's STORY STRUCTURE.
I breezed through these, marking them up like crazy because of all the good ideas.
I told a literary friend of mine about the books I'd been reading and he pooh-poohed them, insisting that Gardner's was the "real thing."
So I went back and revisited it. I found it as turgid as the first time. Now, you may think I am some kind of airhead who doesn't do deep. But I am one of the few who actually finished reading Foucault's Pendulum, and have recently finished Ken Wilber's Marriage of Sense and Spirit-- a discussion of postmodernist scientific models and paradigms, as well as the journals in brain research I usually read for my profession I can read dense, difficult material!
Bottom line: I'd hate to see this book turn someone off to writing when there are some great books out there. Maybe I'll revisit this one in a year or two.