Then, a few weeks ago, a couple of grad students asked me for recommendations on writings about creative writing. My dissertation list wasn't quite what they were looking for. So I had to give it some thought....For me, creative writing breaks down into four rather broad areas:
Where It Comes From: How place influences writing and the writer.
What It Means: a more traditional critical look at writing and the production of writing.
What Produces It: looking at the “creative” part of creative writing.
How It’s Done: Looking at craft, usually from the point of view of the writer
So, here are a few books toward a creative writing reading list:
Where It Comes From
Turchi, Peter. Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer
Taun, Yu-Fi. Space and Place
Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space
Lippard, Lucy. The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society.
Jackson, John Brinckerhoff. Discovering the Vernacular Landscape
Clay, Grady. Real Places
What It Means
Booth, Wayne. The Rhetoric of Fiction
Forster, E. M. Aspects of the Novel
Weing, Siegfried. The German Novella: Two Centuries of Criticism
McGurl, Mark. The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing
Lucaks, Georg. The Theory of the Novel and The Historical Novel
Wood, James. How Fiction Works
What Produces It
Pirsig, Robert. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Madsen, Patricia Ryan. Improv Wisdom
Richardson, Robert. First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process
Flaherty, Alice. The Midnight Disease
Pinker, Steven. The Stuff of Thought
Andreasen, Nancy. The Creative Brain: The Science of Genius
How it’s Done
Butler, Robert Olen. From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction
Addonizio, Kim. Ordinary Genius
O’Connor, Flannery. Mystery and Manners
Shelnut, Eve. The Writing Room
Hills, Rust. Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular
Of course, this is just a list. Many, many other fine, interesting books could be on it. You could really read forever--and maybe you should.
Photo: "The End of the Road: 1964," from the Shorpy Photo Archives. http://www.shorpy.com/node/1003?size=_original