#BookReview: Hack Into Your Creativity by Michael Burns

I usually review books on my book blog, however, putting this up here since this is where I write about writing! And since I’m discussing this book here, am sure you’ve understood I have loved the book. Before I talk about it in detail, let me show what the book’s blurb says.

On the cover

 

If you’re new to writing prompts, indulge in all the different ways you can kick-start the creator inside of you. If you’re a veteran of writing prompts from the Internet or newspapers, you will find comfort in familiar formats, but also challenge yourself with ones you’ve never seen before and discover interests and abilities that you didn’t even know you had. From casual flash fiction authors and scriptwriters to non-fictioneers and branding executives, this book will set your creativity on fire. Be a story alchemist. Transform your writing. And above all else, have fun doing it!

 

The author had come up with the idea of this book upon observing how most writing prompts don’t really help. And I agree wholeheartedly with him. I for one, keep looking for prompts and have even asked people for some, but usually always what is thrown are one of two word prompts.

Regret

Longing

Mistrust, and such.

But honestly, can you really write on such vague prompts? And if you can, how much justice can you do to it? If you are practicing through prompts, would writing to such prompts help you when you write your manuscript?

Honestly, it won’t.

Burns has divided the book into eight chapters. The chapters are basically eight situations you as an Indian author might or most definitely, would include in your own manuscript. And each chapter has multiple exercises which I will talk about, soon.

In the introduction of the book, Burns very interestingly tells the story of how and where the seed of the idea for this book was sown. He also puts it out in clear words what the book will have and how will it help the reader.

Here is an excerpt:

Prompts

The prompts are chapter oriented and really helpful. For instance, chapter 1 helps us write on what happens next and the prompts are of similar nature. Here are a couple for example –

A man hands you his business card and it appears to be totally blank. He looked at you knowingly and deliberately and handed you the card slowly and carefully.

What happens next?

Burns  has included situations from different genres and likely story plots. I felt almost all scenarios have been exhausted and whatever remains, if one has practised writing on these prompts, one would know how to use the knowledge gained in the situation at hand.

Not just scenarios described in words, the book also gives you images to see and interpret in your own manner, and write a scene or story on them.

As a writer and an aspiring author, I found the book extremely useful and practical.

 

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Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma

Samarpita eats, sleeps and breathes content and her life revolves around words. She curates contents for many brands, of which The India Diaries happens to be the closest to the heart. An economist by education and a wordsmith by passion, she chose the life of a digital nomad after quitting full time journalism few years ago. A multi-tasker, this ex-journalist freelances as a content creator-cum-curator, manuscript editor, travel writer and social media manager.

8 thoughts on “#BookReview: Hack Into Your Creativity by Michael Burns

  • September 22, 2017 at 11:15 am
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    Sounds useful. Prompt writing can sound forced but this one seems comprehensive.

  • September 22, 2017 at 3:14 pm
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    I am definitely going to bu this one. I am someone who desperately need prom[ts most of the time to write something non-personal. Thanks for the recommend.

  • September 22, 2017 at 3:16 pm
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    What a fabulous idea for a book. I find I work well with prompts. This one seems useful.

  • September 23, 2017 at 5:30 pm
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    This looks like a very useful book for those seeking to bring freshness to their writing. tanks for the review.

  • September 24, 2017 at 11:07 am
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    I agree that vague prompts don’t help much. Writing that boosts creativity needs to have some direction and intent. Loved the way this book is written. Would go for it.

  • September 26, 2017 at 6:17 am
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    I am completely with you on the boring prompts ‘ point.I feel many communities and bloggers give prompts just to enhance their social media presence and keep the linky party going on.Not much meat for a creative person! Isn’t it?!

    I am sure you must have a got a treasure trove of prompts in the book.

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