Reviews for Novel Ideas : Contemporary Authors Share the Creavtive Process

Library Journal Reviews 2001 October #1
Shoup (Faithful Women) and Denman, the program director of creative writing at the University of New Hampshire, interviewed 23 well-known contemporary authors about the process of crafting fiction to produce this inspirational guide. A brief introductory section takes the reader through the rudiments of writing, most specifically plot and character development and the importance of revision. This information, especially on the rudiments of writing, has been done better elsewhere (Strunk and White's Elements of Style comes to mind). The interviews, however, are well-crafted pieces that show how well Shoup and Denman did their homework. Speaking with Tony Hillerman, Alice McDermott, Jane Smiley, Michael Chabon, and others, the authors draw out very personal responses not only about specific approaches to the creative process but also about how characters evolve and how novels come together. The authors share the motivation, exhilaration, fear, and frustration that transform ideas into words and words into stories. While not a high-priority purchase, this would be a good addition to writing workshop reading lists. Readers of popular fiction might also enjoy this work, as major writers offer insights into their modus operandi. Denise Sticha, Murrysville Community Lib., PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.