The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing

The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing

?Read everything that is good for the good of your soul. Then learn to read as a writer, to search out that hidden machinery, which it is the business of art to conceal and the business of the apprentice to comprehend.?   In The Hidden Machinery, critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author Margot Livesey offers a masterclass for those who love reading literat ?Read everything that is good for the good of your soul. Then learn to read as a writer, to search out that ...

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Title:The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing
Author:Margot Livesey
Rating:
Genres:Language
ISBN:1941040683
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:302 pages pages

The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing Reviews

  • christina
    Jul 16, 2017
    I have 39 pink post-it notes in the library book I borrowed and had to buy it in order to transfer the notes while keeping the wonderfully insightful context. The reading experience is a master class. Favorite bits: the analysis of Flaubert, Austen, and E.M. Forester?the writing, the...
  • Dan
    Jul 21, 2017
    Equal parts love story and practical manual, Livesey's beautiful choices of topic and approach to novel-writing drew me in with her stories and guidance. I've come quite late to the world of great literature, and have read far more about the "classics" than I have read of the classi...
  • Daniel
    Jan 14, 2019
    This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 5.0 of 5 I was not at all familiar with Margot Livesey before reading this. When I requested this book I was on a bit of a kick to read books about writing (if you've been following my blog you can probably recall a ...
  • Chrissa
    Jun 25, 2019
    This was an enjoyable book; I initially began for insight and was well rewarded but finished the book for the writing. Provided within were questions posed by other writers regarding why you're writing a novel and suggestions for understanding and organizing characters, balancing resea...
  • Michelle
    Apr 08, 2018
    This book is for the writers out there. It's often quite difficult to find analysis of literature from the point of view of a writer versus a reader. The line between is slim, but it does exist. This book actually goes into the mechanics. ...
  • Kathleen Flynn
    Jul 20, 2017
    I enjoyed this very much. Some of these things I had painfully figured out myself in the years of trying to write a novel (like the part about dialogue) while others offered new insights (like the part about characterization). I also liked the thoughtful things the author had to say ab...
  • Sarah Key
    Jan 16, 2018
    Loved this collection of craft essays. Margot Livesey's essay, "How to Tell a True Story: Mapping Our Narratives onto the World," will probably be one that I reference frequently in fiction workshops moving forward. With that said, there were definitely moments when I disagreed with Li...
  • Holly Woodward
    Jul 13, 2018
    This was a pleasure to read. So well-written and with interesting plunges into the heart of writing. Insightful and intimate. ...
  • Holly Woodward
    Jul 25, 2018
    A fine book with many intensely thoughtful readings of literature, and a lot of excellent advice on writing. ...
  • Suzanne
    Jun 17, 2017
    Author Margot Livesey shares the lessons she has learned about being a writer in this essay collection. Each section begins with a quote from a famous author such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Epicurus, or George Herbert. She also uses examples from well-known pieces of literature to illu...
  • Randy
    Jul 20, 2017
    These are just a few of the wonders of HIDDEN MACHINERY: Clarity, wisdom, insights, gentle humor, extraordinary advise, understanding of the classics (whether you've read them or not) . . I could go on and one. And then elevating it even further is Livesey's kindness towards the reader...
  • Ben Bush
    Apr 16, 2017
    I sat in on one of Livesey's classes a while back and it was packed with clear insights into craft and affecting capsule biographies of writers. This book does the same with equal charm and kindness. I've never read Jane Austen but Livesey's description of Austen was particularly compe...
  • Graeme Roberts
    Sep 21, 2017
    I love Margot Livesey's deeply intelligent, wise, and funny personality; her book reflected those characteristics. Her early life would sound implausible in a Victorian novel. Her father, a master at a boys' boarding school in the Scottish highlands, was fifty when she was born, and...
  • Suzanne
    Jun 25, 2018
    A good strong 4 stars. I liked this so much more than I have liked other books about the craft of writing and found it readable, informative, and inspirational. It also made me want to double-down on reading and re-reading a ton of classics, probably to the detriment of everything el...
  • Karen Stensgaard
    Nov 03, 2017
    A series of essays for writers interspersed with examples from the well known authors including Austen, Shakespeare and Woolf. But my favorite chapter was the most person and at the end of the book. This details her challenge in telling the story of her relatively unknown parents and h...
  • Christopher Irvin
    Aug 09, 2017
    A wonderful read! My new favorite book on writing. ...
  • Sara
    May 04, 2017
    Chosen to read for paid review elsewhere -- so I'll just say, I wish I'd read this 20 years ago. It's a practical experienced thoughtful take on the mechanics of writing good literary fiction for publication, particularly novels. She walks through many well-known great stories and nove...
  • Wally Wood
    Aug 23, 2017
    The director of the Michener Center for Writers, James Magnuson, has high praise: "There is no finer teacher of writing in America than Margot Livesey." Livesey has published eight novels. a collection of short stories, and is a professor of fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Tin H...
  • Diane Barnes
    Aug 16, 2017
    The sub-title should read; essays on writers, NOT essays on writing. Interesting and informative. ...
  • Megan
    Jan 08, 2018
    One of the best craft books I have read, Livesey takes us on little journeys into different authors and elements of craft, sharing from her own experiences. It is so comforting to hear an author share how they struggle and learn to write better, and Livesey?s writing makes me feel li...
  • Kirk
    Sep 14, 2017
    The chapter on Jane Austen, especially highlighting Persuasion, divine! ...
  • Caitlin
    Apr 20, 2018
    WARNING: THIS BOOK OF ESSAYS CONTAINS MANY, MANY SPOILERS FOR CLASSIC NOVELS! This barely had advice, it was basically just about authors this author loves and hmwhy they are awesome (with many spoilers). There is little relevant advice and I found myself falling asleep while tryin...
  • Jane Robertson
    Jan 02, 2019
    The Hidden Machinery refers to techniques used by writers in their writing. Examples from Jane Austen and Shakespeare among others. Very insightful and interesting. There is a list of things she learned from Shakespeare about writing. It is towards the end of the book. This is a book t...
  • Alonzo Vereen
    Jan 15, 2019
    Margot Livesey?s The Hidden Machinery is a book on craft that employs close readings of both canonical and lesser known texts to teach those interested in writing fiction how to write fiction. In the tradition of one of the most often quoted pieces of advice re: writing, Livesey ...
  • Jean Carlton
    Nov 18, 2017
    3+ I learned of Ms. Livesey from a MOOC course video on writing dialogue and was drawn to her style and personality. This book of essays addresses various aspects of writing and though I was not familiar enough with all the classic works she analyzed to get the most out of each essay, ...
  • Simon Sylvester
    Sep 10, 2017
    Incisive, erudite, engaging, inspirational, immensely readable, and true. An essential collection of essays on the crafts of writing and reading. ...
  • Jeff Jones
    Feb 05, 2018
    There's great writing wisdom here, shared generously by Livesey. "Beyond all that dialogue can accomplish in terms of characterization and plot, its mere presence on the page creates space and energy." Such insights arise from a life lived in literary prose, and what's most admirable i...
  • Erin Bomboy
    Apr 04, 2018
    While this is a pleasant enough collection of essays on writing and writers, it doesn't present much information that's revelatory to anyone who's studied the craft of fiction. Most of the pieces center on the work of dead white men with the occasional woman, specifically Virginia Wool...
  • Sean McSpadden
    Apr 19, 2018
    Books that discuss the craft of fiction naturally have a limited audience?those hoping to publish stories or novels. Margot Livesey?s The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing understands its audience. Consequently, the voice and style aim at would-be writers. Livesey excels at offer...
  • Thea
    Oct 14, 2018
    Fantastic. Livesey?s analysis of several of the works make me inclined to read them. ...