52 Ways to Get Unstuck: Exercises to Break Through Writer’s Block

Chris Mandeville. Parker Hayden Media, $6.99 trade paper (231p) ISBN 978-1-4975-8367-2
Many a writer has dealt with frustration that comes with writer’s block, a problem that Mandeville’s book, the first in a series, addresses head-on. According to Mandeville, knowing the roots of one’s writer’s block is not the key. Instead, the book’s five parts outline a number of pragmatic exercises designed to help writers take immediate action. The first part, on “clearing the way to write,” covers making writing easier from day to day. It includes advice like creative to-do lists and using calendars for non-writing activities, informing family and friends of a writing schedule and sticking to it, creating a writing space, and articulating goals without overburdening yourself. The remaining sections include “The Right Place at the Write Time,” “Character Juice,” “Story Mechanics,” and “Mind Openers.” Mandeville also makes it easy for writers to randomize the order in which exercises are done, either with a pack of playing cards, or simply by tackling one random exercise a week over the course of a year. Some of the exercises include “Chat Up Your Character,” “WWYCD? (What Would Your Character Do?),” “Nick a Name,” and “Ask a Writer.” The variety of the exercises, supplemented with quotes from professional writers, ensures that every writer will be able to gain in some way from Mandeville’s advice and techniques. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 06/22/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 274 pages - 978-1-941528-01-3
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