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4 A.M. Breakthrough: Unconventional Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction

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Realize All That Is Possible in Your Fiction Writers have long turned to exercises for help with beginning—be it a new piece of fiction, a daily routine, or a serious writing life. Behind the theory of exercises is an attitude of curiosity and expectancy, a desire to ask questions of yourself and of the world, to boldly—or not so boldly—stick a toe into the waters of someth Realize All That Is Possible in Your Fiction Writers have long turned to exercises for help with beginning—be it a new piece of fiction, a daily routine, or a serious writing life. Behind the theory of exercises is an attitude of curiosity and expectancy, a desire to ask questions of yourself and of the world, to boldly—or not so boldly—stick a toe into the waters of something fresh, provocative, and exhilarating. To create fiction on the verge. In The 4 A.M. Breakthrough, companion to The 3 A.M. Epiphany, award-winning author and professor Brian Kiteley presents you with another 200 stimulating exercises, designed to help you expand your understanding of the problems and processes of more complex, satisfying fiction and to challenge you to produce works of which you never thought yourself capable. You'll learn how to: Train your writing instincts, so creation becomes a more organic, automatic process Tackle challenging concepts and themes, such as Language Games, The Mind, Money & Class, and History, laying a foundation for larger, more significant writing projects Make your writing process more fun and experimental, so you'll approach your fiction in the spirit of discovery, rather than with anxiety Open the book. Choose an exercise. Surprise yourself. Anything can happen—even at 4 a.m.


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Realize All That Is Possible in Your Fiction Writers have long turned to exercises for help with beginning—be it a new piece of fiction, a daily routine, or a serious writing life. Behind the theory of exercises is an attitude of curiosity and expectancy, a desire to ask questions of yourself and of the world, to boldly—or not so boldly—stick a toe into the waters of someth Realize All That Is Possible in Your Fiction Writers have long turned to exercises for help with beginning—be it a new piece of fiction, a daily routine, or a serious writing life. Behind the theory of exercises is an attitude of curiosity and expectancy, a desire to ask questions of yourself and of the world, to boldly—or not so boldly—stick a toe into the waters of something fresh, provocative, and exhilarating. To create fiction on the verge. In The 4 A.M. Breakthrough, companion to The 3 A.M. Epiphany, award-winning author and professor Brian Kiteley presents you with another 200 stimulating exercises, designed to help you expand your understanding of the problems and processes of more complex, satisfying fiction and to challenge you to produce works of which you never thought yourself capable. You'll learn how to: Train your writing instincts, so creation becomes a more organic, automatic process Tackle challenging concepts and themes, such as Language Games, The Mind, Money & Class, and History, laying a foundation for larger, more significant writing projects Make your writing process more fun and experimental, so you'll approach your fiction in the spirit of discovery, rather than with anxiety Open the book. Choose an exercise. Surprise yourself. Anything can happen—even at 4 a.m.

30 review for 4 A.M. Breakthrough: Unconventional Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I purchased this both as a resource for my own writing and to use in my writing workshops. When I'm not fully engaged in writing a novel or writing fresh material, a part of my soul starts to wither. I've learned I need to write fresh, new, even if it's just short pieces, while in the midst of revisions and edits, to keep my sense of intellectual and emotional equilibrium. I appreciate the specificity of these writing prompts, the unique themes and unusual scenarios and will use them as a way to I purchased this both as a resource for my own writing and to use in my writing workshops. When I'm not fully engaged in writing a novel or writing fresh material, a part of my soul starts to wither. I've learned I need to write fresh, new, even if it's just short pieces, while in the midst of revisions and edits, to keep my sense of intellectual and emotional equilibrium. I appreciate the specificity of these writing prompts, the unique themes and unusual scenarios and will use them as a way to enter into a story, a poem, an essay. For my works-in-progress workshops, I can mine some of these ideas to help students see their work in a new light, to explore their characters and themes in new or deeper ways.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Meh. Prompts are quite boring and Kiteley's remarks are unremarkable. Meh. Prompts are quite boring and Kiteley's remarks are unremarkable.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Gillespie

    The 4 A.M. Breakthrough is Kiteley’s follow up book, and I have to say I didn’t find it nearly as helpful as I found the first one. I’m not sure if it was the way the book was arranged (fewer topic areas) or the fact that I didn’t find as many of the exercises helpful, or the fact that I got pretty tired of the political commentary (I am sick of political opinion wielding in general, and really really prefer not to read it in books ostensibly about writing.), but I didn’t like it as well. I did g The 4 A.M. Breakthrough is Kiteley’s follow up book, and I have to say I didn’t find it nearly as helpful as I found the first one. I’m not sure if it was the way the book was arranged (fewer topic areas) or the fact that I didn’t find as many of the exercises helpful, or the fact that I got pretty tired of the political commentary (I am sick of political opinion wielding in general, and really really prefer not to read it in books ostensibly about writing.), but I didn’t like it as well. I did get a couple of good thoughts from the book, so it wasn’t a total loss. One especially helpful perspective was Kiteley’s advice to write in inconvenient little pockets of time, rather than scheduling large blocks for writing. He finds that the smaller, frantic bursts tend to be better writing. That is good news, considering that I never have four hours to just write fiction, although I wish I did. {Read my full review here}

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Unlike his previous book, "The 3 A.M. Epiphany," this is a collection of writing exercises and prompts to jumpstart the imagination. Many of the exercises require research, which is a nice challenge. Many of the explanations are autobiographical in nature, which often proved to be engaging for me. (Your opinion may vary.) I haven't taken many English or creative writing courses, but I was surprised that Kiteley notes how graduate students often resist or groan about writing prompts. There is a l Unlike his previous book, "The 3 A.M. Epiphany," this is a collection of writing exercises and prompts to jumpstart the imagination. Many of the exercises require research, which is a nice challenge. Many of the explanations are autobiographical in nature, which often proved to be engaging for me. (Your opinion may vary.) I haven't taken many English or creative writing courses, but I was surprised that Kiteley notes how graduate students often resist or groan about writing prompts. There is a lot of great writing that is produced within defined restraints and conventions, e.g. genre fiction. At some point, I'll have to randomly choose a prompt and write within its borders. For now, this book provides some roundabout insights into how writers approach the blank page and generate strands of fiction that may or may not be used in a future project.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I really liked a lot of the writing prompts in this book, whether they gave me ideas for some larger piece of work, or just gave me something to consider for future writing skills (ie. what not to forget when considering characters' personalities or how to write realistic dialogue). There are times when I read non-fiction, since it is a first-person narrative based on their direct beliefs and ideas, that something they say will ruin the rest of the book for me. It's like when you get to know a pe I really liked a lot of the writing prompts in this book, whether they gave me ideas for some larger piece of work, or just gave me something to consider for future writing skills (ie. what not to forget when considering characters' personalities or how to write realistic dialogue). There are times when I read non-fiction, since it is a first-person narrative based on their direct beliefs and ideas, that something they say will ruin the rest of the book for me. It's like when you get to know a person and you're still making up your mind about whether or not you like them, and then they say something that just turns you off. Kiteley only had to make one comment in a prompt about a woman getting ready for a night out that came off as really sexist and gender normative that really bugged me and it made me question his voice for the rest of the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ris

    I love this book and enjoyed the variety in writing exercises. That word should not, in this case, be considered synonymous for "prompts." Many of the exercises in this book require time to explore outside references (ie. picture dictionaries, old bodies of work, etc.). I originally tried to do an exercise a day, but found it worked best for me when I was in a general writing rut. Many of the exercises work best if you already have a body of work (prompts and finished stories or poems alike) tha I love this book and enjoyed the variety in writing exercises. That word should not, in this case, be considered synonymous for "prompts." Many of the exercises in this book require time to explore outside references (ie. picture dictionaries, old bodies of work, etc.). I originally tried to do an exercise a day, but found it worked best for me when I was in a general writing rut. Many of the exercises work best if you already have a body of work (prompts and finished stories or poems alike) that you're looking to revise or revive.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Packed full of useful exercises that translate across genres, this book is also a semi-secret (delicate) memoir. You might find yourself, as I did, not only trying out a suggested exercise, but wondering about the author's brother's recipe for Lobster bisque. A nourishing book and a great companion to the earlier collection, 3 A.M. Epiphany. Packed full of useful exercises that translate across genres, this book is also a semi-secret (delicate) memoir. You might find yourself, as I did, not only trying out a suggested exercise, but wondering about the author's brother's recipe for Lobster bisque. A nourishing book and a great companion to the earlier collection, 3 A.M. Epiphany.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Hackley

    This is one of the many books I have on my writing table (along with the Chicago Manual of Style, a colossal American Heritage Dictionary, and a rotating book of poetry). The exercises help shake up how I view language, encouraging me to try putting things together in a new way. To writers: for best results, use daily.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lanny Wilson

    I like the exercises it contains, they keep the writing mind sharpened and ready. What I find fascinating the most about the book is that the exercises can be done many times, in many different ways. A really informative guidebook of writing prompts.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Clay

    Fantastic writing exercises.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Many of the exercises here need -- at least for me -- to be broken down into smaller steps -- but there are some excellent ideas here.

  12. 5 out of 5

    'stina

    Bought from Amazon on 6/1/12

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Liked the intro. Didn't actually go through all the exercises, didn't feel like what I needed right now. Might go back to it, though. Liked the intro. Didn't actually go through all the exercises, didn't feel like what I needed right now. Might go back to it, though.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    Solid writing exercises, great creative fodder.

  15. 5 out of 5

    James Swanson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trenee

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly A.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris Richards

  19. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne Carter

  20. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Warren

  21. 5 out of 5

    E.R. Carlin

  22. 5 out of 5

    Allie Marini

  23. 5 out of 5

    Afrofuturist Affair

  24. 5 out of 5

    Edward Baldwin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  27. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tina

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christine Blanchard

  30. 5 out of 5

    Robby

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