I’m a sucker for orange.
Orange is my favourite colour, and so whenever I see a book cover that features orange on it I am always going to give it a second glance.
When I was at Wordstock last year, I picked up a freebie from the Tin House booth: an essay extract from The Writer’s Notebook II, with a bold stripe of orange across the cover. While waiting for one of the panels to start, I opened it up and started to read.
After the panel, I went back to the TIn House booth and bought the book.
The Writer’s Notebook II is a collection of craft essays. They are arranged roughly by sequence of story telling, so the beginnings essay appears first and the endings one is at the end, and there are pieces on the use of poetic language, on suspense, on non-linear storytelling, and even on the use of fantastic elements in your writing.
Not all of the essays connected with me, but many of them did, leaving behind inspiration to be more precise in my writing, to be more effective – just generally more, in fact.
The only real sourness I found was the occasional literary jab at genre fiction – oddly, there was a hint of that even in the piece which extolled the virtues of fantastic elements. It’s very curious. I would say that I don’t understand, but that would be disingenuous – I have my own biases against literature when labelled as such. But it’s all writing, and good writing is just good regardless of the target market.
Still, it’s an insightful collection. I will be referring to this again