Book Review: Consider This-Moments in My Writing Life after Which Everything Was Different by Chuck Palahniuk

Consider This-Moments in My Writing Life after Which Everything Was Different by Chuck Palahniuk

I read books about writing and creativity—all books about writing and creativity; one is never too old nor too good to learn, and I’m neither, fuckyouverymuch. When someone on Writer Unboxed recommended Chuck’s book then it incidentally went on sale, I promptly hit the buy now button.

I loved Fight Club in all its dirty grimness and sincere and brutal irreverence. Chuck has a certain cringe factor à la Stephen King. He makes you uncomfortable and there’s one thing in life that we must confront regularly is the putrid oozing maggot-filled rotten meat that makes one uncomfortable cuz fuck knows we’re gonna get heaps of it daily in our lives—unless you’re Ken-showrunner or Barbie-blow-me. I’ll let you fantasize about what that means. The more you know about discomfort, the more you can dance with it without it eating you whole. And discomfort doesn’t mean suffering and trauma to those fucknut-showrunners strolling by my mentions looking to be contrary.

You need not be a fan to partake and enjoy. This book, filled with lots of good practical advice, reveals some fascinating anecdotes in between—there’s propelled mice for fuck’s sake and bloody book signings. Also, unlike my writing of late, there are a lot less fucks—literally; (I’m re-watching Peaky Blinders and still pissed off about this so you get stuck with the litany of fucks—for now.)

Some of the advice I found interesting:

“Using all three forms of communication creates a natural, conversational style. Description combined with occasional instruction, and punctuated with sound effects or exclamations: It’s how people talk.”

“If you were my student, I’d tell you to shift as needed between the three POVs. Not constantly, but as appropriate to control authority, intimacy, and pace.”

“The camera is little voice. The voice-over device is big voice.”

“Create tension by pitting your character’s gestures against his or her words. Your characters have arms and legs and faces. Use them. Use attribution. Control the delivery of dialogue. Support it with actions, or negate it with actions. Above all, do not confuse your reader by leaving it unclear who’s saying what.”

For a proper review, hit the Writer Unboxed link above. The book is well worth the read if you are a creative in any form.

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