A Bringer of New Things

Musings on personal growth, books, motherhood, writing, and more.

The Writing Class by Jincy Willet


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!


4 comments on “The Writing Class by Jincy Willet

  1. emilievardaman
    July 2, 2014

    Fact vs. truth. I like that! I have often thought in terms of creative license, which is basically the same thing, but I prefer this. And seeing it as the writer’s job, well, that is perfect!


  2. Sarrah J. Woods
    July 2, 2014

    Yes, it really struck a chord with me too. I hadn’t recalled that “creative license” is another term for this concept; thanks for that reminder.


  3. Siobhan Curious
    July 2, 2014

    I read something by Jincy Willett years ago and liked it – I’ve never heard of this one, I love novels about writing and about school, and I am trying to love mysteries more, so I’ll put it on my list!


  4. lucindasagemidgorden
    July 2, 2014

    I want to read this book. I think I’ve been worrying too much about fact checking for my novel. I love allowing the truth to speak no matter what the facts are. Thanks for the inspiration.


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This entry was posted on July 2, 2014 by in Discoveries from Learning and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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