I want to read and learn all I can, write thoughtfully and truthfully, live according to reason and ever more mature wisdom, and savor every wonderful little gift of life.
I picked this book up as a re-sold library book bargain (as you can see), and I’m so glad I did! The Writing Class by Jincy Willet is a fun, easy read, full of interesting characters and the fun context of, obviously, a writing class. The main character, Amy Gallup, is a washed-up author turned community college writing teacher with a cynical attitude, but to my surprise (because I’m so non-cynical myself) I found myself really interested in her and sympathetic with her as the story develops. That’s a sign of good writing. And it’s a murder mystery, too, so it’s just all-around a fun read.
Since the setting is a writing class, the book also contains interesting insights about writing and glimpses into different writers’ processes. Here’s one passage I just loved, in its immediate context, from p. 245:
“That Dot’s story had been based on fact didn’t make it credible. Fact exerted a tyranny over beginning writers, sapping them of the will to make things up, seducing them into complacency. They didn’t understand: it was the writer’s job to fashion truth out of fact.”
That last bit is so true, I think: a story can tell the actual truth of something that happened to someone and yet not be truthful in the sense of offering universal, relatable, believable truth that resonates with readers. Fact vs. truth. So well put!