I have not taken a creative writing course or workshop for many years and am thoroughly enjoying Spellbinding Sentences even though I've only just started reading it.
Since I started writing fiction, there's been a huge learning curve. For the past 2-3 years, I satiated my curiosity about structuring story effectively. Not to say I've perfected this on my Work in Progress, but I've gained confidence in being a storyteller as far as characters and setting and conflict and tension. So now it's time to tackle my insecurity about my grasp of the English language.
Baig makes a distinction between content skill and craft skill. One focuses on our imagination, the storytelling itself while the other focuses on words.
Content and craft skills are the yin and the yang of writing: You have to have both.
She compares creative writing with the disciplines required of musical instruments and sports. There's a need to practice and there's a need to have a mentor or coach to help us break complex skills into smaller bits to become better skilled with each piece.
This book contains exercises, the first of which is free writing. Free writing feels very similar to journal writing except the focus is on the words themselves rather than the experiences or thoughts or feelings we may write in a journal. And I did skip ahead to Chapter 8, where she details the definitions of nouns and verbs. Maybe pointing out the obvious to skilled writers and I retained some memory of the basics. But I love the details of the four types of nouns and the four types of verbs. I'm in writerly geek heaven.