Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury: a book review

Reading Ray Bradbury always seems like a treat.

The ideas that he puts together, and the resolutions that his stories frequently have, all come together in such a pleasurable way that I'm happy to read them again and recommend them often. So when I found that he'd written a book on writing, I snapped that right up and brought it home.

Of course, this book isn't Ray Bradbury telling you how to write. Not as an instructional manual, anyway. But it's Ray Bradbury telling you how he writes. So really, it's a book full of Ray Bradbury telling you how to write, if you take notice.

It's always interesting to know a writer's history, if only a little of it, and that's what some of Zen in the Art of Writing covers. It also covers how stories and books are born, which is something that particularly fascinates me. That germ of an idea, that starts a story, is always a great thing.

I was also amused by the author photo, which contains a cat that clearly would rather be Elsewhere.
But, it's always heartening to learn that even Ray Bradbury started somewhere. And the things that he tells you are very interesting, essentially about taking every last little bit of everything you experience, because somewhere in there, it will distill a story. Or more. Thoughts and words make stories. Memories make stories. And of course, the glorious "what if..."

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