Truth is the Arrow, Mercy is the Bow
A DIY Manual for the Construction of Stories
by Steve Almond
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Pub Date 09 Apr 2024 | Archive Date Not set
From the acclaimed author of twelve books of fiction and nonfiction, including All the Secrets of The World and the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football, comes a craft book that is at once irreverent and iconoclastic. In Truth is the Arrow, Mercy is the Bow, Steve Almond employs the radical empathy he displayed as co-host (with Cheryl Strayed) of the podcast Dear Sugars to explore the joys and trials of storytelling, and to explode the myths that hold us back from writing our deepest and truest work. The book includes chapters on plot, character, and chronology, but travels far beyond the earnest intentions of most craft books. It includes essays on humor, sex, writer’s block, and the dividends of failure, as well as prompts to generate new work and a rollicking Frequently Asked Questions section. You’ll never think about writing the same way again.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
Full of good advice and weird essays, a very different "how to write" book. A good book to read in addition to other "how to write" books.
A beautiful tribute to the art of writing, filled with many insightful gems of wisdom regarding the craft. The academic, but conversational, tone held my interest throughout.
I will note that even thought this book is marketed as a DIY book on writing craft, it doesn't really read that way. It reads more like a memoir, with the focus being Almond's experiences with writing. It is honest and raw—a very real look into what it means to write.
There is much to glean from the wisdom recorded on the pages.
Engaging and thoughtful - a recommended purchase for collections where writing craft titles are popular.
There's something encouraging about hearing from someone who has been there, done that and cringed while at it that makes this book the perfect gift for writers. I requested to read this book off Netgalley, because I was not writing and the fact that I had a manuscript stored away for over a year, and wanted to jump back into it with NanoWrimo-made this book appealing.
I'm glad the publisher granted my request because what the author succeeded in my case was to remind me of what it feels to write and to read books. He drew from his experience as a writer ad quoted some books that resonated with him and through this his insights on plot, character, storytelling and even the elusive writer's block was interesting. At the end of each key content, he has the 'free write' sessions which got me writing and I'll cringe at the sex scene I wrote-because that got me back into writing again, just exploring where the manuscript that I had shelved would take me.
I'd recommend this to every Writer, yes, especially now with digital enhancement there's AI, series and movies at every turn competing for the readers attention- this book explores storytelling for what it is for the fact that we build psychological and emotional connections through it.
PS: I am only bummed that due to advance reader privileges I can swoon over this book but not blurb about it to everyone else or quote or throw in those phrases that had me shouting 'tell 'em!'