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Inkstained On Creativity Writing And Art John Urbancik Main

"InkStained: On Creativity, Writing, and Art" Book Review

Written by R.J. MacReady

Published by DarkFluidity

inkstained on creativity writing and art john urbancik poster large

Written by John Urbancik
2019, 293 pages, Non-Fiction
Released on November 10th, 2019


Books about the craft of writing are everywhere. There are probably thousands of them, and some are more helpful than others. InkStained: On Creativity, Writing, and Art is the new book by dark fantasy and horror writer John Urbancik. The title of the book comes from his self-created challenge to write a story every day for 365 days of the year, but this book is actually an updated transcript of a podcast the author did concurrently with his challenge.

As a writer myself, I've read my share of books on writing. The best are ones that not only impart some wisdom about the craft, but also encourage the struggling writer to keep writing. As any writer knows, it's a lonely, lonely occupation, and it's easy to feel you're stranded on a dark road with no gas and no help in sight, and the best books let you know that you're not alone. Others have gone through – are going through – what you're going through, and they got through it. Therefore you can also.

The best books have been the highly-regarded Stephen King On Writing and Bonnie Friedman's Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction and Other Dilemmas in the Writer's Life. How does Inkstain stand up to these?

Spoiler alert: Pretty well. It's a seemingly-random collection of chapters, sort of a freeform rumination on everything from the dreaded coming-up-with-ideas to hitting your daily goals to other things on Urbancik's mind.

There are not a lot of details on technique or method, but much of that can be learned from textbooks and by reading authors you like, and figuring out how they're doing what they're doing.

Every once in a while there is a special one- or two-page challenge for the reader. Some sort of activity to help spark the imagination and help you write. I don't doubt that they could help the fledgling writer put some words to paper, which can lead to more ideas, and more pages.

More important to a book like this is that it's motivational to a high degree, encouraging the reader to above all, keep writing. Urbancik does that by recounting stories from his life, and tying them into whatever point he's trying to make.

If I have any quibble it's that a few of the chapters are repetitive, and there are some typos. The copy I got was a pre-publication though, so there's every reason to believe this will be fixed before the final pressing. (And if it's not – hit me up, John. I proofread in exchange for books. Paper, not that electronic stuff; I'm old school.)


Overall: 4 Star Rating Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Buy from Amazon UK

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About The Author
R.J. MacReady
Staff Reviewer - USA
RJ MacReady digs horror movies, even though his first memory of horror films is watching the first Friday the 13th movie while a bear mauled his family in the other room. He admits that most of his bio is as fake as his moniker, but witness protection won't let him use his real name.
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