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The Kite and the String: How to Write with Spontaneity and Control--and Live to Tell the Tale
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Penguin Publishing Group 2016
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Description
A targeted and insightful guide to the stages of writing fiction and memoir without falling into common traps, while wisely navigating the writing life, from an award-winning author and longtime teacher"A book-length master class." —The AtlanticWriting well does not result from following rules and instructions, but from a blend of spontaneity, judgment, and a wise attitude toward the work—neither despairing nor defensive, but clear-eyed, courageous, and discerning. Writers must learn to tolerate the early stages, the dreamlike and irrational states of mind, and then to move from jottings and ideas to a messy first draft, and onward into the work of revision. Understanding these stages is key.The Kite and the String urges writers to let playfulness and spontaneity breathe life into the work—letting the kite move with the winds of feeling—while still holding on to the string that will keep it from flying away. Alice Mattison attends also to the difficulties of protecting writing time, preserving solitude, finding trusted readers, and setting the right goals for publication. The only writing guide that takes up both the stages of creative work and developing effective attitudes while progressing through them, plus strategies for learning more about the craft, The Kite and the String responds to a pressing need for writing guidance at all levels.From the Hardcover edition.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/16/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780698189911
ASIN:
B0191X34YA
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Alice Mattison. (2016). The Kite and the String: How to Write with Spontaneity and Control--and Live to Tell the Tale. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Alice Mattison. 2016. The Kite and the String: How to Write With Spontaneity and Control--and Live to Tell the Tale. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Alice Mattison, The Kite and the String: How to Write With Spontaneity and Control--and Live to Tell the Tale. Penguin Publishing Group, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Alice Mattison. The Kite and the String: How to Write With Spontaneity and Control--and Live to Tell the Tale. Penguin Publishing Group, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Updated:
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A targeted and insightful guide to the stages of writing fiction and memoir without falling into common traps, while wisely navigating the writing life, from an award-winning author and longtime teacher
"A book-length master class." —The Atlantic
Writing well does not result from following rules and instructions, but from a blend of spontaneity, judgment, and a wise attitude toward the work—neither despairing nor defensive, but clear-eyed, courageous, and discerning. Writers must learn to tolerate the early stages, the dreamlike and irrational states of mind, and then to move from jottings and ideas to a messy first draft, and onward into the work of revision. Understanding these stages is key.
The Kite and the String urges writers to let playfulness and spontaneity breathe life into the work—letting the kite move with the winds of feeling—while still holding on to the string that will keep it from flying away. Alice Mattison attends also to the difficulties of protecting writing time, preserving solitude, finding trusted readers, and setting the right goals for publication. The only writing guide that takes up both the stages of creative work and developing effective attitudes while progressing through them, plus strategies for learning more about the craft, The Kite and the String responds to a pressing need for writing guidance at all levels.
From the Hardcover edition.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 16, 2016
        Mattison (When We Argued All Night), a writing professor and novelist, offers thoughtful, encouraging advice to beginners. The central metaphor of her title is that writing well requires both free-flowing, spontaneous thought (the kite) and common sense (the string). Moving from this sensible contention, she doles out guidance on crafting story, conjuring character, and keeping readers engaged, all peppered with examples taken from her own classroom as well as from the works of literary giants such as Mark Twain, George Eliot, and Tillie Olsen. Mattison pays particular attention to the difficulties women authors still face. She also opens space for discussing other types of diversity in writing, and there is plenty here that will be of enormous worth to budding novelists and memoirists of all genders, races, sexual orientations, and ages. Novice writers can do themselves (and us all) a favor by dipping into this practical primer. Agent: Zoë Pagnamenta, the Zoë Pagnamenta Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2016

        Speaking to memoirists and novelists, Mattison (writing, Bennington Coll.; The Book Borrower) proposes a call to action: that we write, selfishly devoting the time necessary to get the words out of our heads and onto the page. Whether penning a work intended for publication or one that serves as an exercise in voice and narrative, writers are encouraged to think freely and reel in creative impulses with control, like a kite on a string. Mattison addresses the notion of writing as a selfish pursuit and inspires those seriously pursing publication to embrace that selfishness. Unlike other guides on the topic, Mattison's focuses on the process of becoming an author rather than the elements of a genre--finding story, not detailing its pieces. Anecdotes and examples from Mattison's career as a writer, mother, and MFA instructor make this a lively and provocative read. VERDICT A certain awareness of craft is assumed of the reader in this guide, but the instruction is engaging and approachable, lending the feel of a writer's workshop. A great choice for writers, particularly those with a day job.--Gricel Dominguez, Florida International Univ. Lib.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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A targeted and insightful guide to the stages of writing fiction and memoir without falling into common traps, while wisely navigating the writing life, from an award-winning author and longtime teacher
"A book-length master class." —The Atlantic
Writing well does not result from following rules and instructions, but from a blend of spontaneity, judgment, and a wise attitude toward the work—neither despairing nor defensive, but clear-eyed, courageous, and discerning. Writers must learn to tolerate the early stages, the dreamlike and irrational states of mind, and then to move from jottings and ideas to a messy first draft, and onward into the work of revision. Understanding these stages is key.
The Kite and the String urges writers to let playfulness and spontaneity breathe life into the work—letting the kite move with the winds of feeling—while still holding on to the string that will keep it from flying away. Alice...
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