(Video above was uploaded on December 16, 2014)
There are many, many books out there on writing; but, you won’t find one quite like this one. Gabriela Pereira knows the rigors and costs of a typical MFA program, and she knows that in the real world, it is not always feasible for any writer who desire to attain this coveted degree because of reasons such as time restraint, finances, family/work responsibilities, etc.. Hence, she crafted DIY MFA for these writers in mind.
The book breaks down critical skills that writers would need in their careers such as how to think like a writer (how to get into the right mindset) as well as how to keep moving forward inspite of setbacks (goal-setting techniques, learn from one’s failures, and ways of keeping motivated).
DIY MFA looks at vital areas of story crafting such as outlining (both traditional and non-traditional kinds), creating compelling and believable characters, POV, creating dialogues, and world building just to name a few.
The book also covers the dreaded revision process in detail (this is my favorite part of the book on a personal level-thank you Gabriela!). She took the Maslow’s Pyramid that highlighted the hierarchy of needs and converted it into the Revision Pyramid which takes one through several “layers” of revising (narration, characters, story, scenes, and other details such as grammar and punctuation). Absolutely crucial for any writer who’s struggling with revising a manuscript.
It goes on to show writers how they should not only read for pleasure, but also with purpose. And last but not least, the book stresses the importance of building a community (with not only readers but with other writers).
If you are a writer, it doesn’t matter which stage you’re in, this book is a treasure cove of engaging information on how to become the kind of writer you were meant to be.
(*First published on A writer and her adolescent muse June 16, 2016)