Reviewed by Alisha Churbe

In It Writes Itself, Raulino presents 21 writing exercises focusing on getting your pen moving. Raulino provides a wide range of motivational exercises concerning the act of writing: from “Reasons to Write,” “Conversation with a Character,” “Good Things People get from Fiction,” and “Inspiration” to more specific writing topics such as “Histories and Culture,” “Actions and Plots’” and “Point of View.” The exercises can be performed in random order and each can take only five minutes, but if you find your groove, some will send you digging deeper and create inspiration to get your stories written. In the Appendix, Raulino also included ideas to prepare yourself for the act of writing and get you centered in a place of creativity.

Raulino is a screen and play writer. Many of her exercises are presented with a visual element, “hosting the fiction, more than writing it.” Her experiences and approaches to the writing process are beneficial for written works for the visual medium, but also nicely translate to that of the traditional written mediums (short fiction, poetry, novel, etc.) Her exercises challenge fiction writers in all mediums to look at writing from different aspects by utilizing more visual techniques.

I did not feel that It Writes Itself was intended to improve or build upon previously written material. The book is less focused on literary craft (character building, plot definition, strengthening scenes, etc.) and more designed for beginning writers, writers who are struggling to get reengaged, or writers looking for a fresh approach for inspiration. Raulino is passionate about writing and sharing her ideas to help other writers. Her book is insipring and not overwhelming. It’s a great place to start if you are considering writing and a companion to get you unblocked, refreshed and writing again.

Rating: 4/5

Part-time fiction writer, Alisha Churbe lives in Portland, Oregon. In the rare instances when you can pry her away from books, Alisha can be found travelling in foreign countries, cooking, or hiking with her husband Michael and dog Zach.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon & Schuster. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.