Bang the Keys: Four Steps to a Lifelong Writing Practice
222 page, soft cover book
Published By Alpha Books 2009
My Rating: 5 pencils
Bang the Keys: Four Steps to a Lifelong Writing Practice by Jill Dearman blends inspiration, humor, writing exercises and practical advice into one great book that can be enjoyed on different levels. As a straight read, I enjoyed it and I am now looking forward to going back through the book again to improve my writing by doing all the exercises either alone or with a small group.
Dearman’s personal experiences as a journalist and prose writer provide the foundation for this resource. During her workshops at New York University, she taught and perfected her Bang the Keys process.
She shares her vision for the book in the introduction:
“My mission for this book is to provide you with a nonformulaic formula for developing a millennial-world writing practice that you can integrate into your life, and use again and again, even as technology further evolves and more high-tech interruptions continue to intrude.”
The book opens by having readers look closely at themselves and identifying the type of writer they are, their time commitment to their writing and their support system. She believes when writers understand the kind of writers they are, they can better figure out what does and doesn’t work for them.
With the foundation in place, Dearman uses the rest of the book to go in depth about the actual writing. Using her BANG method, she takes readers on a incredible writing journey.
BANG stands for:
Begin with your strongest idea
Arrange your work into concrete shape
Nurture your project with love so that others may love it, too
Go. Finish and let it go so it may live independently in the world
“All writers know that our creations begin with an explosion of inspiration, but in order to harness that inspiration and develop it into a finished work of any kind, whether a short story, a memoir, or a play, we need to bang the keys frequently and feverently to bring the universe we imagine in our minds to life on the page."
By combining her own experiences with those of other writers, Dearman explores genre, character, plot, breaking boring writing habits, meeting deadlines, setting goals and more.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it for all writers. It will give you insight into your own writing psyche, provide you with valuable tools to improve your craft and it will inspire you to keep writing.
Disclosure: I was sent a review copy of this book by Wilks Communications