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500 Ways To Tell A Better Story Kindle Edition

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Length: 177 pages

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter and game designer. He's the author of many published novels, including but not limited to: Blackbirds, The Blue Blazes, and the YA Heartland series. He is co-writer of the short film Pandemic and the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus. Wendig has contributed over two million words to the game industry. He is also well known for his profane-yet-practical advice to writers, which he dispenses at his blog, terribleminds.com, and through several popular e-books, including The Kick-Ass Writer, published by Writers Digest. He currently lives in the forests of Pennsyltucky with wife, tiny human, and red dog.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Penfist VINE VOICE on July 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like Chuck Wendig's penly persona. Not everyone will. Chuck is one of the more prolific non-algorithmic list generators that I am aware of (never end a sentence with a preposition). If you are wondering how 500 Ways to Tell a Better Story might help you become a better writer, I'll fill in the blanks. Mr. Wendig lays out 500 tips broken into lists of 25 semi-related ideas. So you get categories like: 25 Reasons You Should Quit Writing and individual items like: "Deny anybody who wants you to work for free. If you work for free, that's something you do, not something someone asks of you -- doubly true where they're making money and you're not. They might as well ask you to bend over and stick tennis balls up your poopchute for the pleasure of an audience without you getting even the benefit of a reach-around. Or health care. Or free tennis lessons! Stories have value. Storytellers have value. Anybody who says different should be thrown into a wood chipper and used for mulch."

The advice is practical. If it doesn't get you off your butt and get you writing, nothing probably will. Why not five stars? The Kindle book links don't resolve correctly. Clicking on 25 Reasons to Quit Writing takes you to a different section. The Kindle Table of Contents page was missing in my e-copy. I had to keep scrolling back to the very top and manually finding hyperlinks to the sections I wanted to peruse first. Having whined about those minor issues, there are still 500 tips on how to be an effective writer. If that's your goal, there is sure to be something in here for you. I think five of the tips, applied to my writing life, well worth the price I paid for the 500.

If you don't like "foul" language none of Chuck's work is going to be appropriate for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dave Versace on August 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Regular readers of my reviews will be in no doubt as to my regard for the profanity-laden, wisdom-hammering excesses of Chuck Wendig. Better Story is his sixth (and perhaps final) collection of essays, culled from weekly posts at his weblog terribleminds.com, on the psychology, craft, dangers and business of writing. Once again I have nothing but praise. All of these essays - each of which comprises a 25-dot-point commentary on some aspect of writing from creating interesting characters and writing better sex to avoiding self-defeating habits and deciding to going pro - are available for free from the website. But having them collected together for easy e-reference is well worth your three bucks.

Highlight in this outing include the ascerbic '25 Thing I Want to Say to So-called 'Aspiring' Writers' ("Write...write better than you did yesterday and better tomorrow than you did today"); '25 Things Writers Should Know about Creating Mystery' ("The audience must not be left comfortable. They should be forced to stare at those dark corners as long as they can stand it"); and of course, the ever-popular '25 Ways to Un[deleted] Your Story' ("Go through every sentence with pruning shears. Cut out junk language like so many fatty tumours. Dead-head your darlings.")

Amongst a constant stream of imaginative new profanities, unsettling imagery and jokes about dead unicorns and chainsaw-wielding hookers, Wendig's writing advice is solid, unsentimental and above all useful. He fixes his drunkenly roving attention on everything that is transcendant and vexatious about the art and craft of writing. He takes his readers' hands in an only slightly shaky grip and steers them through the slurping quagmires of the publishing industry, online community-building and their own self-doubt. He leads them to writing, and it's good.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Bykovskaya on April 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have read some other books on writing, don't buy this one. Unless you have absolutely nothing to do and you are a particular lover of foul language and fraternity jokes. The title is misleading - at least, half of this book has nothing to do with telling better stories (choice of publishers? Really? How?). Nothing new in it either and it largely repeats his "250 Things You Should Know About Writing" without adding anything substantial.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By whyibother on February 9, 2013
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there is more sanity within these pages than most people know what to do with. Chuck Wendig has followed on from his previous book, 250 things you should know about writing, with this little gem on practical ways to become a better writer in his own unique style. I enjoyed reading this so much that , surprise surprise, i actually retained more information than with any other "learn to " book that i have in my library.
The real winner with any of Chuck's books is the reader, learning and applying the knowledge becomes enjoyable and easy due mainly to the low pressure of the lessons..... learning must be fun and also meaningful other wise its just a "have to but don't really wanna " proposition.....thanks Chuck and keep up the good work
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Piotr Szymczak on December 2, 2012
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.. but it's certainly worked for me. I'm a big fan of Wendig's outrageous similes, mad hyperbole and all-purpose profanity, and his writing advice is very sound.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By crs on November 27, 2012
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Chuck has a way of making you want to cease your sniveling excuses and just write! His 'colorful' language really gets your attention, and gives you thought provoking tid-bits that eat away at your brain all day while you are doing your 'regular' job! I hesitate to recommend this to any other friends because they might be shocked-- but that didn't stop me from reading all his books, so hey-- this book (and all his other stuff) is great, you will definitely want to tell a better story-- even if you do learn a few new cuss words!
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