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The Kite and the String

How to Write with Spontaneity and Control--and Live to Tell the Tale

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

A targeted and insightful guide to the stages of writing fiction and memoir without falling into common traps, while wisely navigating the writing life, from an award-winning author and longtime teacher

“A book-length master class.” —The Atlantic

Writing well does not result from following rules and instructions, but from a blend of spontaneity, judgment, and a wise attitude toward the work—neither despairing nor defensive, but clear-eyed, courageous, and discerning. Writers must learn to tolerate the early stages, the dreamlike and irrational states of mind, and then to move from jottings and ideas to a messy first draft, and onward  into the work of revision. Understanding these stages is key.

The Kite and the String urges writers to let playfulness and spontaneity breathe life into the work—letting the kite move with the winds of feeling—while still holding on to the string that will keep it from flying away. Alice Mattison attends also to the difficulties of protecting writing time, preserving solitude, finding trusted readers, and setting the right goals for publication. The only writing guide that takes up both the stages of creative work and developing effective attitudes while progressing through them, plus strategies for learning more about the craft, The Kite and the String responds to a pressing need for writing guidance at all levels.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

May 16, 2016 – Mattison (When We Argued All Night), a writing professor and novelist, offers thoughtful, encouraging advice to beginners. The central metaphor of her title is that writing well requires both free-flowing, spontaneous thought (the kite) and common sense (the string). Moving from this sensible contention, she doles out guidance on crafting story, conjuring character, and keeping readers engaged, all peppered with examples taken from her own classroom as well as from the works of literary giants such as Mark Twain, George Eliot, and Tillie Olsen. Mattison pays particular attention to the difficulties women authors still face. She also opens space for discussing other types of diversity in writing, and there is plenty here that will be of enormous worth to budding novelists and memoirists of all genders, races, sexual orientations, and ages. Novice writers can do themselves (and us all) a favor by dipping into this practical primer.
The Kite and the String
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Writing
  • Published: Aug 16, 2016
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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