Many writing instructors and workbooks make basic assumptions about writing—that you need to have a good grasp of grammar, to read widely, and to write objectively—before you can tell a story. These assumptions are wrong. They invoke fear in would-be writers, who are afraid of being judged and criticized for what they say and how they say it.
Bernard Selling, author of Writing from Within and a writing instructor for over 30 years, helps people get over their initial fear of writing with this new Writing from Within Workbook. By writing personal stories, people can usually get past their misconceptions about how someone should write and learn how to write in a way that feels natural and comfortable to them. His comprehensive Workbook takes people through the writing process step-by-step, including lessons on how to add narrative, inner thoughts and feelings, dialogue, character sketches, and climaxes.
Once people are familiar with the basics of writing, they can extend their writing skills into other genres without fear. Selling introduces steps that allow readers to broaden their writing into screenplays, essays, fiction, and journals. He explains that the fundamentals of writing are the same, despite the different forms. With the ease and skill of an experienced writing teacher, he helps writers transform their work into whichever form they desire.
Draft samples will show writers how their stories will grow using the Writing from Within method. He comments on each draft, thus demonstrating how to evaluate a piece of writing. These personal notes also help keep readers on track and their goals in perspective. Selling also includes a full chapter of excerpts from past students' stories to show the potential of his method.
The completion of this workbook will:
build a love of writing and self-expression in students
create an understanding of what makes a story effective
enable students to apply the principles of storytelling to writing analytical essays
usher students into the world of the ‘examined’ life
All of the techniques that Selling presents are just as relevant to the non-fiction writer as to the fiction writer, and all writers, new and old, will write with more skill. Beyond that, storytelling skills can lead students in two important directions: awareness of the ‘self’ in their own stories (character) and awareness of relationships between and among other people. Writers will understand themselves and their characters better; they will find their voices, and Selling will help them along the way to doing so.