The 3 a.m. epiphany : uncommon writing exercises that transform your fiction

by Brian Kiteley

Paper Book, 2005




Cincinnati, Ohio : Writer's Digest Books, c2005.


The 3 A.M. Epiphany will encourage writers to push the boundaries of their fiction for exciting results. Rather than featuring standard rules, this guide:* Shares unusual exercises that help writers "think away" from anxieties, allowing creative ideas to emerge* Combines the work of writing with thought processes behind the work, helping writers break out of limited writing processes and molds* Addresses the concerns of fiction writers, whether they are going it alone or enrolled in a workshop, having difficulty getting started or suffering from a blockThe 3 A.M. Epiphany will give writers the exercises they need to make creative breakthroughs.

User reviews

LibraryThing member BookJumper
If all you have on the shelf is space for one, just one, volume to excercise your fiction, make this one. Let me tell you why:

1. The excercises are, indeed, uncommon. Even the ones that look like I've heard them before when I first start reading them are, upon further examination, given a new spin. Though this may make them look a bit daunting at first, it also makes them exciting and challenging and worth your money.

2. There are so many of them; just over one hundred and fifty. Do one every few days for a year and you might just find you've laid the groundwork for about ten short story collections (the average collection holds about fifteen).

3. While the author is by no means hyper-critical, he knows how to jolt you into action by tingling your pride. A learned, patient but no-nonsense teacher, he will not shy away from calling you a coward should you chicken out of doing your excercises properly.

4. The commentaries to the excercises often provide little snippets of literary history and criticism that inspire as much as they inform. Knowing that James Joyce almost stopped writing "Ulysses" when he parted from his daily writing buddy made me go awww (because it's a cute story) and oh! (because it is always useful to remember that even the greatest wordsmiths are human beings).

... there are more reasons; though if these are not enough, this isn't the book for you.
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LibraryThing member ShushilaH
One of the most to the point books of prompts that I have looked at. Doing the work with this book feels a little more like eating my writing veggies than I like, I suspect because they are grounded more in literary fiction than speculative fiction, but if I need something to get me going in a new direction, I look in this book. Opening the book at random is my favorite thing, and although I usually modify the exercises to fit my style, it has yet to let me down.… (more)
LibraryThing member amyfaerie
These "prompt" books are typically all the same, but Kiteley's is one of the better I've read. He has some great ideas in here--exercises that can produce "real" fiction that doesn't seem like the result of an exercise.
LibraryThing member bibliobibuli
I'm slowly working my way through the exercises - and they are challenging. But some very nice material has emerged from them and I'm able to use them to give me new perspectives on work in progress.

I wouldn't recommend this for new writers (a collection of writing prompts is a much better bet and I recommend The Writer's Book of days by Judy Reeves) but for anyone who has material already and wants to improve their craft, or needs shaking out of a rut, this has to be one of the best books on the market.

I would say though, that the print in the book is way too small to be enjoyable. It was for this reason that I bought the Kindle version.
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LibraryThing member JCLHeatherM
Filled with lots of writing prompts that will challenge and stretch the creative mind, Kiteley's book is great for writing groups, critque groups, writers block or rainy days with nothing to do. Pick a prompt and go!
LibraryThing member augustgarage
Possibly unfair to call this "read," as I've only actually attempted two of the exercises thus far - still, these are more than mere writing prompts, as Kiteley explores the reasoning and origin of each exercise in detail.


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