Bridget Whelan is an author and creative writing lecturer. In this book she sets out to provide ’30 practical and witty exercises’ to help readers start writing. She covers a lot of ground – poetry, prose, humour, horror, cliches and description.
Structurally the book imitates a year long writing course; three terms of ten weeks. Each ‘week’ covers a different topic with one or more exercises to get the reader writing.
Having read the book completely and tried over half the exercises I can say without a doubt that Bridget Whelan is successful in her aim. Not only have I worked on the answers but several have stimulated the beginnings of new work on my part.
I really enjoyed most of the exercises I did; they stretched me and helped me to find new sources of inspiration. I especially liked the idea if random words in the dictionary as a prompt and found the advice on creating tension and fear using a common structure helpful.
The authorial tone, witty and encouraging, was a real bonus in a book partially aimed at the nervous beginner. Her enthusiasm really fed mine.
I’m glad I picked this book up; I foresee that shall be dipping into it whenever I’m procrastinating and need a kick to get back to my writing.