Synopses & Reviews
Award winning essayist Scott Russell Sanders once compared the art of essay writing to the pursuit of mental rabbits--a rambling through thickets of thought in search of some brief glimmer of fuzzy truth. While some people persist in the belief that essays are stuffy and antiquated, the truth is that the personal essay is an ever-changing creative medium that provides an ideal vehicle for satisfying the human urge to document truths as we experience them and share them with others--to capture a bit of life on paper.
Crafting the Personal Essay is designed to help you explore the flexibility and power of the personal essay in your own writing. This hands-on, creativity-expanding guide will help you infuse your nonfiction with honesty, personality, and energy. You'll discover:
An exploration of the basics of essay writing
Ways to step back and scrutinize your experiences in order to separate out what may be fresh, powerful, surprising or fascinating to a reader
How to move past private journaling and write for an audience
How to write eight different types of essays including memoir, travel, humor, and nature essays among others
Instruction for revision and strategies for getting published
Brimming with helpful examples, exercises, and sample essays, this indispensable guide will help your personal essays transcend the merely private to become powerfully universal.
The personal essay, of course, stems from the apersonala thoughts and experiences of the writer, but ultimately the essay (like all literary writing) must transcend the merely private to become universal. How is this done? Step one is finding a measure of
The personal essay, of course, stems from the personal thoughts and experiences of the writer, but ultimately the essay (like all literary writing) must transcend the merely private to become universal. How is this done? Step one is finding a measure of distance from your experience; learning to stand back, narrow your eyes, and scrutinize your own life with a dose of healthy skepticism. Step two is learning to separate what is powerful only to you from what might be fresh, surprising, instructive, or just plain fascinating to a reader. This book shows you how to write nine different types of personal essays, including: the Contemplative Essay; the Memoir Essay; the Lyric Essay; the Nature Essay; the Travel Essay; the Spiritual Essay; the Gastronomical Essay; the Humor Essay; and the Epistolary (Letter-Writing) Essay.
In addition, the book features examples from various essay types, instructional exercises, techniques for revising, and information on where and how to publish finished essays.