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Writing Guides for Innovative Fiction
We're just back from a stunning week-end at Cinnamon's 10th anniversary bash at the NN Gallery, Northampton. I was lucky enough to lead a workshop on the last day, for a very attentive and enthusiastic group of writers, on the topic of non-linear narratives. During a general discussion of innovative (or "experimental" — you pays your money and takes your choice) writing, I mentioned a couple of books that I'd found helpful and promised to do a short list of titles I've found useful in a future blog. So, without further ado:
- Architectures of Possibility by Lance Olsen
- A very good overview of the whys and wherefores of innovative writing which includes a host of interviews and writing exercises. If I ever start to wonder, "Why am I writing this stuff?" I dig this book out to remind myself.
- The 3 A.M. Epiphany by Brian Kiteley
- A host of interesting writing exercises on different aspects of writing. Always though provoking, often challenging, these exercises are a delight.
- The 4 A.M. Breakthrough by Brian Kiteley
- A follow-up to the previous volume, the exercises being arranged around broad themes this time. Both books are fantastic for prompting new approaches and making the grey matter fire properly.
- The Writing Experiment by Hazel Smith
- A superb review of innovative writing techniques, running the gamut from simple language-based ideas through to multimedia techniques and more advanced approaches. A highly recommended book, not least because it was as a result of one of the exercises here that I ended up writing my novel, Vitus Dreams.
Adam Craig is a co-director of Cinnamon Press and editor of Cinnamon's innovative fiction imprint, Liquorice Fish Books. His first novel, Vitus Dreams, was published earlier this year, and a prose poetry sequence, Year W, has just come out.