Both autobiography and primer, "Escaping into the Open" interweaves Berg's story of her own journey from working mother to published novelist with encouraging advice on how to create stories that spring from the deep within the heart. She provides helpful hints about getting started, unleashing creativity and dealing with rejection.
-A gem of a handbook about creative writing, both fiction and nonfiction. Berg begins with her own story; after writing articles for her small town's newspaper, she got her first big break when she won an essay contest sponsored by Parents magazine. She describes her craft with frankness and humor and gives aspiring authors practical advice based on her own experiences and those of others. Most chapters conclude with writing exercises she calls "homework," designed to provide concrete applications of the points made in the chapter. The chapter titles provide clues to her teaching methods: "If You're a Man, Be a Woman: Exercises to Unleash Your Creativity," "The Good Liar: Making the Move from Nonfiction to Fiction," and "Writing Classes: Take Them or Leave Them." She ends her discussion of "Who's in a Writing Group?" by declaring, "Perhaps most important, a good group member is that most old-fashioned and wonderful of things: kind. That means she has an ability and willingness to be careful not only with another writer's words, but with that person's heart." The clarity and directness of Berg's own writing shine throughout.-Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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May 30, 2000
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