| David Gane
Lately, I have been reading John Le Carré's The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, and it made me think of a story I had heard about him. In one of his writing classes, Jerry Cleaver talked about how Le Carré had rewritten his own previously published work because he knew he could make it better.
The singing sister's Tegan and Sara recently did a similar thing by taking their earlier songs and giving them a new polish.
Yet, the important part of the story is that reading Le Carré reminded me of Cleaver's fantastic book Immediate Fiction.
This is the kind of book that for me always offers the right advice. It cuts out the bullshit, and focuses on getting you to do the work.
In my mind, most writing books waste your time and moneyon selling you a new system to write or fill your head with new concepts. Cleaver stays with the basics and hammers it into your head (I have a thick skull, so I need this) until you get to work.
I draw on his ideas of want, obstacle, action, and resolution constantly, and my own minor modifications to suit my goals. Likewise, I reread his advice on getting back to writing when you've gone cold, and was once again inspired.
I highly recommend this book.