My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I picked this book up for at least three related reasons. One, I want to improve my writing abilities and I’m open to considering almost anything to do that. Two, I thought the approach sounded interesting from reading the blurb on the back cover. Three, I noticed the book was short. To be honest, a short book works for me because sometimes I struggle to get through the big ones! I read it over the course about about three weeks, and I think, potentially, the ideas and exercises in this book might appeal to those who have fully harnessed the right side of their brain, but others might struggle. For my part, I might fall somewhere in the camp between finding a use and not – but, I’ll explain a little more.
The approach relies heavy on the use of visualisation, dreams, visions, Tarot and something akin to self-hypnosis to tease out the writer within. When the Tarot first appeared, it seemed odd – but then I remembered using a similar technique for the generation of story ideas appeared in the role-playing game Everway. On the oddness scale, imagining discussions with, between and through fictional characters, locations, objects and theoretical concepts might have taken a step further still than Tarot reading. To someone without an open mind and the willingness to feel a bit foolish it might seem ludicrous – which renders a dozen or more exercises in the book ‘out of scope’. If you have tried to Draw on the Right Side of the Brain, you might have a better time grasping some of the more creative and outlandish approaches to getting an end result – but the book isn’t worthless without this perspective by any means. I found some of the more straight forward examples for timed exercises and getting the creative juices flowing with prompts really worked well – but, I’m really not sold on the potential of the package as a whole.
As a relatively short read, you won’t waste too much time giving the approach your consideration, even if it doesn’t appeal in the end. I doubt that anyone could come away from the text without one or two new ideas, and those with a more active imagination might grasp a great deal more.