on May 11, 2014
This is great book for both beginners and intermediate writers. Hodgins is, first and foremost, a trained teacher so he understands how to break down the writing process and teach it. You'll find that the book covers many aspects to writing including: finding your own stories, point of view and voice, setting, character and revising your work. Overall, it's a great book to add to your writing library.
There are plenty of how-to writing books on the market, many of them focused on writing page-turning novels that will land a publisher and sell tons of copies. Certainly, they have their place in the market, but once in a while writers should get back to basics and read a book that is all about writing well. A Passion For Narrative is a great choice.
Jack Hodgins is not only a highly regarded Canadian author known for his Vancouver Island settings and wonderful storytelling, but he's been teaching writing for years. The man knows what he's talking about. His chapters on character, setting, and plot are excellent, with terrific examples to stress points.
Hodgins asks the reader to do the exercises offered at the end of each chapter, and supplies a recommended reading list emphasizing each chapter's topic. While these exercises will benefit new writers or offer advanced writers new ways to look at their work, there are so many exercises that I doubt readers will try half of them. I reviewed the original 1993 edition, which was revised in 2001. Even since 2001, I think most writers are more impatient than ever to be published, which is a shame. In the push to become savvy marketers with twenty self-published e-books to sell, the concept of writing well, just for the joy of it, has become lost in the shuffle.
on November 10, 2011
As a new Writer, this book is at first discouraging and overwhelming. But as you read it, the veil of narrative writing starts to lift and you begin to glimpse the methods, tricks and styles that create great writing. You also learn to avoid the pitfalls. A must read for budding novelists.
on October 29, 2011
I had the good fortune to have had the author as my Grade 11 Creative Writing teacher in Nanaimo BC. He was and is still a fantastic teacher, a kind man and a very helpful encouraging mentor to all his students. For an aspiring writer to have a successful author, one who has "walked the walk", giving you his lessons on how to write is priceless! Well you can have the same through this book. It is written in a very personable style; you feel as though the author is talking to you. It makes you think, forces you to analyze your own writing, as well as that of published authors, and gives great tips and tools that you can use throughout your journey, from wherever you are starting as a writer.