Writers' Workshops & the Work of Making Things: Patterns, Poetry...

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9780201721836: Writers' Workshops & the Work of Making Things: Patterns, Poetry...

For more than 100 years, Writers' Workshops have offered writers deep and generous insights into their own work: insights that have helped them improve, and often inspired them to take their work in exciting new directions. Recently, technical, scientific, and business professionals have also discovered the immense value of the Writers' Workshop format in solving their creative problems. Now, an experienced leader and participant shows how Writers' Workshops work -- and how they can help everyone from poets to software architects. Richard P. Gabriel considers the Writers' Workshop as process, ritual, and experience. He explains what conditions are required to make it work, how to run one, how to participate in one, how to survive one -- and how to use it to further your own work. In the first section of the book, Gabriel introduces a model of writing and the writing process, illuminating the commonalities between writing and other forms of creative expression, such as software development. Next, he draws on the experiences of participants to illuminate every aspect of the Writers' Workshop, including preparation and setting, the author's reading, shepherding, summarization, positive feedback, suggestions for improvement, clarification, and revisions. Work in Progress introduces the Writers' Workshop to a wide new audience, including: new writers who want to improve fast; veteran workshoppers; technical people and scientists; businesspeople seeking to improve collateral material and presentations; and software practitioners.

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From the Back Cover:

"Richard Gabriel explains clearly and thoughtfully why and how the workshop approach can methodically enhance individual vision through communal creativity. Poets, come down from your lonely garrets! Programmers, emerge from your cubicles! Read this book. Your friends can help you and your art may be the better for it."

—Guy L. Steele Jr., Distinguished Engineer, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

"This comprehensive guide to the practice is packed with anecdotes and examples, entertaining reading threaded with lots of useful, practical information. I think it's destined to be an indispensable sourcebook for creators of all kinds, regardless of their fields."

—Janet Holmes, MFA Program for Writers, Boise State University, author of Humanophone

"After reading this book I'm eager to fully experience workshopping and see what the process really can bring to me and to others. Gabriel's extension of the workshop format to refining other types of work sets the wheels spinning for me. How many other 'things that need refinement' can benefit from the same treatment?"

—Kent Beck, Director, Three Rivers Institute

"Richard Gabriel writes with insight, experience, and a wry sense of humor that casts light on this little explored creative activity and kept me reading from the first page to the last."

—Richard Schmitt, author of The Aerialist

The writers' workshop provides creative writers with a time-tested teaching and revision tool, and business and technical professionals with a new and effective alternative to impersonal peer reviews and scientific workshops. In this intense, interactive, gift-based forum, writers help each other hone their craft and improve individual pieces of work.

Writers' Workshops & the Work of Making Things describes in detail how to conduct and participate in a successful creative or technical workshop. You will learn from the author's own struggles, as well as from the collective experience of the software patterns and creative writing communities.

Topics include:

  • Origins of the writers' workshop
  • How the workshop works
  • The nature of creative work
  • Workshop players and settings
  • Workshop preparation
  • The author's initial presentation
  • Restating and summarizing the work
  • Providing positive feedback
  • Suggestions for improvements
  • The author's response and revision
  • Whether you write poems, short stories, documentation, or software, the collective energy of a writers' workshop can significantly enhance innovation, clarity, and effectiveness in your writing. Writers' Workshops & the Work of Making Things will help you get the most from a workshop experience.



    020172183XB05312002

    About the Author:

    Poet and computer scientist Richard P. Gabriel, Ph.D., M.F.A., introduced the writers' workshop to the software patterns community. He is the author of Patterns of Software (Oxford University Press, 1996) and Performance and Evaluation of Lisp Systems (MIT Press, 1985). His poetry has appeared in numerous literary magazines.



    020172183XAB05312002

    "About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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