Art Of Writing Preface

Somewhere between a second edition and a sequel, the present book follows Writing In Action, with a focus exclusively on creative writing. It aims to offer fresh approaches and some new terms to match. Whilst writing this book I became aware of new ground to be discovered, and the constant need to rethink what happens when we read and write creatively.

Creative writing as a taught discipline is on the move; it is going places, and I hope I've provided some opportunity to think about interesting new directions. As well as that, my method, as in Writing In Action, has been to encourage genuine pleasure in the things good writing can do, and to move from given examples to suggestions for writing. Excitement and pleasure in written words generates momentum without which technical advice would be sterile. The plan of each chapter is therefore quite straight-forward, and offers, I hope, enough but not too much guidance.

I acknowledge that what I have written in every chapter stems from my personal experience as a writer and reader. The whole idea is to stimulate not just good writing but open discussion, assuming that one leads to the other, and so leave room for tutors and students to make their own discoveries. With this point very much in mind, I am pleased to acknowledge how much I myself have benefited from the influence of students, colleagues and friends, many of whom are writers themselves, whose insights are mirrored here in so many ways.

Paul Mills, July 2005

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