|Dare To Be A Great Writer|
|329 Keys To Powerful Fiction|
|By Leonard Bishop
(Writers Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio)
Reviewed by Skip Adams
|eo Bishop just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Not finishing high school, he rambled around the country as a hobo. Upon returning to New York City, he attended the fledgling New School of Social Research. At The New School, Bishop enrolled in a creative writing course. The year was 1948. His classmates were William Styron, Mario Puzo, Joseph Heller, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Jack Kerouac, and the list of famous writers goes on. In 1952, his first novel was published. Down All Your Streets won national critical acclaim and became a moderate best seller. Bishop went on to have a prominent career as an author and instructor.
Bishop explains that Dare To Be A Great Writer is a book that should not be read page by page. He says to use the index to find the type of problem encountered. Therein lies the trouble with the guide. Writers, sometimes, get lost in that maze of craftsmanship by reflecting on a perceived problem. Lengthy consideration most often indicates that the issue was, in fact, a related problem. The user of this book will have to learn how Bishop identifies them.
It takes a bit of time to become familiar with the use of this handy book. The user of Dare To Be A Great Writer may find it of great help. It is an innovative approach to difficulties found while writing. The suggestions Bishop offers are extremely good, if you can find them when you need them.
This book is for the writer that has time to search for specifically identified problems. It will deliver new and refreshing approaches to old ideas. Other books cover many of the situations a writer faces during the exercise of their craft. None, that I have read, are written so concisely as Dare To Be A Great Writer.
Most writers I have known have a problem with room on the desk or around the computer, with so many books and ever so little space. Reference books always take priority in that vicinity. This reviewer grading system tries to reduce that space. Writers Digest published Dare To Be A Great Writer is not one of the necessary reference works. It is an excellent book, but one needs time to make friends with it. What writer has extra time? I was able to make fair use of the book in a week. Opening it and reading the first entry, I knew I wanted it. I will just keep it within arms length.
I rate it a 6. A 3 will get you on the desk. As they used to say on American Bandstand, I liked the words but I couldnt dance to it.