“What, Mr. Stegner, is your reply to the question of whether creative writing can, in point of fact, be “taught”?”
When I started my creative writing course in Bath Spa Uni last year, I asked my writing teacher what books I should read before the course.
- On the Teaching of Creative Writing by Wallace Stegner was one of them. The others?
- Doing Creative Writing by Steve May.
- On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner
He may have even suggested The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, but I can’t be certain.
I’m reading Wallace Stegner’s book again now: it’s OK, but not killer. I haven’t read Steve May’s book yet, as it appears to deal specifically with what to expect on a creative writing University course (which I’mm not that bothered with). And finally I’m absolutely bowled over with John Gardner’s book – and everyone I meet gets to hear about it!
I’m extremely interested in the books other writers recommend, particularly those on the topic of learning the craft. However I’m not even sure that writers care about reading them. I’ll have to ask my friends on Twitter and see what they say.
Mark Mapstone is a skateboarder, a writer, and author of the Ethan Wares Skateboard Series books.
Follow Mark on Instagram: @7plywood
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