Jack Heffron. The Writer’s Idea Book. Writer’s Digest Books
Review by Mridu Khullar
Jack Heffron’s The Writer’s Idea Book is a unique experience. He’ll have you sitting on your desk with a paper and pen in your hand like your high school English teacher did. But unlike Mrs. Matthews, who had huge glasses and a mole on her chin, Jack doesn’t force you to write. His words inspire you, guide you and most of all make you want to write.
You’ll find more than 400 prompts, and absolutely no nonsense. Heffron doesn’t waste time — not yours, not his. And his unmatched advice will prove to be of help to not only beginning writers who can’t find any ideas, but also to established pros.
Although The Writer’s Idea Book is aimed at writers of novels, stories, screenplays, poetry and nonfiction, it is mostly of use to writers of fiction. The author guides the reader through the various twists and turns required in plot construction, coming up with believable yet interesting characters, and basing stories on places you’ve visited or known.
If you’re stuck on the opening, chapter ending, character creation or even plot technicalities, this book will give you the push in the right direction towards taking your work from blocked to finished.
For nonfiction writers too, there are a variety of ideas. Write about your family, your interests, your desires, the things you never thought you knew and so much more. The prompts in each chapter will guide you towards better understanding of the events around you, and you’ll be able to include all that and more in your writing.
The value of The Writer’s Idea Book is not in the prompts or the guidance, but in the way it prepares you to find your own ideas. Even when you’re finished with the book, you’ll be able to generate more ideas, better characters, vivid scenarios and much better writing. The lessons will be imbibed long after the book is dusty and forgotten.
Prompts are scattered throughout the book like candy on your bed. Just as you put your head to the pillow, you find the little treat waiting to be discovered.
The Writer’s Idea Book is an all-in-one idea generator, guidebook, reference and workbook. Heffron neatly puts together everything you need in one package. The prompts make sure that you’ll do more writing than reading and without knowing it, you’ll have done a lot of work, most of which you’ll be able to get published. The author makes you think you’re practicing, but in effect, you’re actually writing. And published or not, you’ll certainly learn a lot and emerge a much better writer.
Mridu Khullar is a freelance journalist, author, and entrepreneur. I’ve lived and worked from four different continents and several different countries. She currently divides her time between London and New Delhi. Mridu Khullar has a Website, and can be found on Twitter as @mridukhullar.