Reading Like a Writer is a writing guide by American writer Francine Prose, published in Contents. 1 Background; 2 Summary; 3 Books to be Read. 26 May Louise Doughty enjoys Francine Prose’s clarion call to all writers who purport to take their work seriously. I. Francine Prose confesses—and professes—a fundamental truth of writing on page two of her recent book on writing, Reading Like A Writer: Like most.

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Her most recent works of nonfiction include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: She’s an avid z talking about her favorite authors, so how can we blame her? One particular failure occurred in the “Gestures” chapter where she tsk-tsked unnecessary actions in dialogue but provided only one weak example of how this can be done effectively.

It demands that they love literature as much as they want the literary world to love them — an exhortation many published as well as unpublished writers would do well to heed.

How ever, there is a limit. Maybe I’m a better reader than I realize, but almost never were any of her observations enlightening. I agree that some of the books listed are great. Z it’s not, throw it out of the window.

Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose

Comments Policy Comments that contribute civilly and constructively to discussion of the topics raised on this blog, reeading any point of view, are welcome. The only thing stopping me from throwing it across the room in sheer despair was that I bought the audiobook version – and there was enough pain involved in actually listening that it would have been almost vulgar to add that of broken glass.

What kind of books do you like to read? Once, in college, I brought a tape recorder with me in a pocket when I was having dinner with this girl I’d known since high school. Rarely did I feel she pointed out anything vital, something I hadn’t gotten just from reading the original fiction. She’s telling us that mass-market thrille I really enjoyed this book and the author’s focus on the finer points proae writing.


I was in one of those sessions she mentions in the book, where the majority of an hour and half is spent on the first couple pages of a story. She writes well about her love of reading–not an easy meta task. Thanks for signing up! Her most recent book is Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris One of the blurbs for the book is from In fact, as we are discovering, theirs is a harmonious union, and indeed the whole conversation, with its intimacy, its gentle teasing, and with Mr.

Francins, Prose says that there are rules, but here are many, many examples of writing outside those rules. I find it helps to stop me from slipping into cliche-mode. Return to Book Page.

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose – review | Books | The Guardian

Doctors go to medical school, barristers train at the bar: Prose discusses the fears writers may have: She uses examples from literature to demonstrate how fictional elements, framcine as character and dialoguecan be mastered. The chapter on sentences was my favorite, just for the way Prose just plain geeks out on the subject of sentences: I got the sense that she was using these quotes as filler, and I got really annoyed when they began to exceed readng paragraph length and go on for pages at a time.

Slow down and savor. She reads the work of the very best writers—Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Kafka, Austen, Dickens, Woolf, Chekhov—and discovers why their work has endured.

Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose | Quarterly Conversation

I agree without reservation. Tell us more about what you like to read so we can send you the best offers and opportunities. There’s also a pretty handy list at the end, of books that illustrate some of the points Prose makes.


She states that the writer who reads widely will discover there are no general rules for building a well-constructed paragraph, but “only individual examples to help point [the writer] in a direction in which [the writer] might want to go. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. She references dozens of classic works and discusses word choice, sentences, paragraph structure, voice and many other fundamentals of writing fiction.

May 18, Ethan rated it did not like it Shelves: In this chapter, she also discusses the use of long sentences, short sentences, and rhythm in prose. Plz combine them into one 3 31 Jun 27, Quotes from Reading Like a Wr Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. What Prose also mentions is that there are no rules, that every time she tried to give advice to her students such as Don’t write from the point of view first person of someone who dies in the story, she finds a story – often by Chekov – that contradicts that rule, and works.

November Learn how and when to remove this template message. Francine Prose that HAS to be a pen name has taught writing and so that is her approach to writing this novel, which by the title sounds as if it’s meant to assist the reader. Because contrary to her repeated claims, there are rules in fiction for engaging the reader more effectively.

About how to determine the stories that make you sing and then figure out what notes they hit that make you feel things? Oct 25, Conrad rated it really liked it.