642 Things To Write About4stars



Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

By San Francisco Writers’ Grotto and Po Bronson
Chronicle Books, $16.95, 304 pages

This is a book “written in single day,” as the author to the introduction Po Bronson informs us. When an editor emailed Bronson with the request to put together a book about 642 things to write about, Bronson emailed colleagues at an organization called The San Francisco Writer’s Grotto, requesting ideas. The ideas poured in, and by the next day Bronson had delivered the manuscript.

“There are an infinite number of things one could write about and so many fresh directions for your story to go.”

The book, while professionally done—free of errors, bound well, professionally published—still retains somewhat of a “homemade” feel, as if it came out of a small writer’s group or a class. But that is its appeal. This is like a reference book—not meant to be read end-to-end but selectively, for specific information. However, it has none of the intimidation that a thesaurus, for example, might hold because of this homey feel. It is meant to be opened at random and savored, as in this selection: “Write about a time someone completely screwed you over. Endeavor to convince the reader that you were completely blameless in the events.” Most writers can think of a number of approaches to this, both nonfiction and fiction. And the idea, having universal appeal—who hasn’t been screwed over?—can be used and reused. This is a great book if your creative juices are running dry.

Reviewed By  Stacia Levy

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