The Kite and the String

How to Write with Spontaneity and Control — and Live to Tell the Tale

MATTISON_coverA targeted and insightful guide to the stages of writing fiction and memoir
By Alice Mattison

The Kite and the String urges writers to let playfulness and spontaneity breathe life into the work — letting the kite move with the winds of feeling — while still holding on to the string.

“Unlike other guides on the topic, Mattison’s focuses on the process of becoming an author rather than the elements of a genre — finding story, not detailing its pieces . . . a lively and provocative read.”
— Library Journal (starred review)

“A generous, empathetic writer’s companion.”
— Kirkus (starred review)

“Brilliant, funny, and wise . . . [it] will send you running to your desk with new insight and inspiration. Every page is a keeper.”
— Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life

“Brimming with a practitioner’s reflective wisdom and immediately useful… [Mattison’s] insights are hugely relevant for all of us who write.”
— Sven Birkerts, author of The Art of Time in Memoir

“Mattison offers thoughtful, encouraging advice . . . She doles out guidance on crafting story, conjuring character, and keeping readers engaged, all peppered with examples taken from her own classroom as well as from the works of literary giants . . . Novice writers can do themselves (and us all) a favor by dipping into this practical primer.”
— Publishers Weekly

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