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Lafayette A. Villada

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  1. BOOK REPORTS THE ART OF FICTION by John Gardner How did the book help you as a writer? What overall aspects of it taught you something? I have to say when I started to read it, for a moment I was not liking John Gardner's tone. For me, a little too pompous. But, I agree with what him in that a writer needs to work on his craft to get even better, even if you are born with the talent. The book helped me have a better understanding on the overall craft of writing and the dedication one must put to really become one of the bests. I also learned by his examples proper way of tackling different ways of expressing oneself as a writer. What two or three major lessons did you learn from the book that you can apply to your writing and/or your novel? I learned one must have patience in creating the story and developing the characters. Another thing is to be a better writer one must practice its craft everyday. The final thing is that one must master the art of writing in a way that one does not distract the reader from the story. You want to keep him with his eyes open and his nose on the page. Was there anything in the books that obviously conflicted with lessons and readings in our novel writing program. If so, what were they? I couldn't find anything that conflicted with what we have seen in the readings or lessons. WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL by Donald Maass How did the book help you as a writer? What overall aspects of it taught you something? The book was simple and concise. It showed me how to do better outlines, pay attention to the details of the elements and how to create a novel, and it gave me a sense of what to expect from publishers. What two or three major lessons did you learn from the book that you can apply to your writing and/or your novel? Big advances don't equal instant fame. The character must be made larger than life in order to catch the reader and give a different kind of air to the novel. I also learned that one must create the story with subplots like in real life, and this will help the main action giving the reader more reason to dive in the novel and care for it. Was there anything in the books that obviously conflicted with lessons and readings in our novel writing program. If so, what were they? Again this book seemed to be right there with the lessons and readings and it was a good learning experience that can only help me improve my craft. WRITE AWAY by Elizabeth George How did the book help you as a writer? What overall aspects of it taught you something? It helped me see what she and other writers are doing in this world. By providing examples of other works, she gave me a more palpable understanding on how to write. She also felt a bit more relaxed which helps bringing up ones confidence. What two or three major lessons did you learn from the book that you can apply to your writing and/or your novel? The one I agree the most, even comparing it with the other books, is that as a writer we can't take into account all the writing rules, sometimes we must let loose in order to create a more appealing story. Of course the rules still go into effect, but one can start without them. The other thing is the importance of character, and the best way to have a good character is by having complete knowledge of him or her, that way they can flesh out completely. To create a better story one must have subplots that are equally as great, or have good tension, and this will keep the reader interested in the novel. Was there anything in the books that obviously conflicted with lessons and readings in our novel writing program. If so, what were they? Maybe the only contradiction I found was to let loose and not worry too much about the rules, besides that everything else looked on par. THE WRITING LIFE by Annie Dillard How did the book help you as a writer? What overall aspects of it taught you something? Thanks to her writing and personal life, I learned what life as a writer really is and what it takes to stay on the top, and what struggles I might find in the future as I set out to become a published author. I always liked to learn what other people have gone through and how they made it. What two or three major lessons did you learn from the book that you can apply to your writing and/or your novel? I learned that we will love our novel more than anyone, and to be able to give it truly good revisions and edits, we must leave our feelings to the side and think as we were someone new looking at it for the first time. I also learned that if we fight long enough and stay at it, and do the work, we can reach the top no matter how high it seems it is. Was there anything in the books that obviously conflicted with lessons and readings in our novel writing program. If so, what were they? Nothing stood out in particular that might conflict with the course and it was a good insight in a writer's life. I never liked to read books about writing. I forced myself to do it, and it was a lesson all by itself, as it gave answer to questions no one else could answer for me.
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