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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Author Love, Loves, Loves New Book for Authors

 
 
Title: Writing from the Senses 
Author: Laura Deutsch
Published: May 2014
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
ISBN 978-1-61180-044-9

 
Reviewed by Simi Silva originally for Goodreads 
 
 
          As soon as I saw the title ‘Writing from the Senses’ and read its description, I had to get my hands on this book. I couldn’t wait to delve in and find out the secret to writing a better novel. My glossy review copy with the inviting autumn lake scene on the cover arrived in the mail within two days, and I immediately tore open the package and started right in. Thankfully there wasn’t anything else vying for my attention at the time. I planned on reading it once through and then go back and make notes and do the exercises so that I could properly see the progress I could make on my novel which was sitting dejected in the corner collecting a film of dust. The idea tap on how to improve and finish it had run dry.
 
          Honestly, I only made it through the first run-through before the motivation to get working on the manuscript was running high. Every chapter gave me so many ideas that I really wanted to write them all down, and I should have but dang, I wanted to keep reading and savoring every morsel of every page, every paragraph, sentence and word the author had put before me. Yet without even doing the exercises at the end of each chapter, my creativity had been ignited and I was more than ready to revitalize my writing!  (Side note: I will definitely go back and reread it, make many notes in the margins, and do the exercises.)
 
            I started with one scene in the middle of the manuscript and before I knew it things were being described so vividly that it not only transformed the scene, but the storyline itself began to blossom, taking on a life of its own. Scene by scene I started changing things around, adding more depth to them and the characters within. My fingers were flying across the keyboard trying to keep up with my brain. Now instead of telling what was happening, I was showing the reader through descriptions via every one of our glorious senses. And I wondered, why didn’t I see any of this before?
 
          Maybe because as storytellers we’re programmed to tell the story. But by learning to write from the senses we allow the reader and ourselves in the process to enter into the characters’ head and feel like we are actually there with them.
 
When we are in tune to our senses we live more deeply, more productively. New memories are created and old ones relived. The suggestion is to keep a small notebook with you at all times and write these sensory experiences down as they happen or at least shortly afterwards. Capture the moment. For instance, what images, feelings or memories come to mind when I say - freshly baked bread with dollops of creamy butter melting into every crevice, warm sunlight shining through the mist onto the dew-kissed grass on a cool spring morning, the sweet fragrant scent and silky hair of a newborn baby, the sharp pain and instant rising heat from a wasp’s sting, or the delightful crunching sound of a car slowly driving over gravel? Internalize and make it personal. Now write about it.
 
            This just touches the surface of what ‘Writing from the Senses’ is all about. Travel to the exotic places the author has traveled to and relate to the same emotions which she and some of her students have through their amazing pieces of writing, along with trying out the 59 exercises that are certain to ignite and revitalize your writing.
 
            If you want to know the secret of how to take your writing to the next level, this is the book for you. Having it as a valuable reference guide with all the exercises and writing prompts in and of itself is a must for professional writers, those on their way to becoming professional writers, and those who just write for the sheer pleasure of writing.
Also, if you are in Mill Valley, California, sign up for one or more of Ms. Deutsch’s classes. Be sure to check out her website – http://www.lauradeutsch.com 

MORE ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Simran Silva is the author of  Tangible Dreams is available on Amazon.
“Sometimes, words alone aren’t enough to express how you feel…but set those words to melody, and you have music that says it all. If you’re in love, watch and share this with your special someone.” ~ Navin Kundra

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