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500 Ways To Tell A Better Story [Kindle Edition]

Chuck Wendig
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

“If it weren't for Chuck Wendig's advice, I'd have fallen off the writing map long ago.” -- Karina Cooper, Author of Blood of the Wicked

“In terms of style, Wendig reminds me most of Stephen King. There's a way of using somewhat fevered, rugose prose to describe both the beauty and horror of the mundane, then switching to a plainer mode when describing the outer limits stuff, that brings to mind King's 80s and 90s work." – io9.com


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500 WAYS TO TELL A BETTER STORY aims to help you be a stronger writer and a savvier storyteller. You’ll learn how to infuse your narrative with mystery and gain tips on tackling the first chapter or mushy middle of your story. The book answers questions like, “What is transmedia? Why is now the coolest time to be a storyteller? How do I write a fantasy novel? What’s this guy’s fascination with unicorns, pornography, whiskey, and profanity?” And, finally, “Where are my pants? I was wearing pants when I started reading this book.”

The book roves giddily between advice that is practical, abstract, and downright satirical. Whether you’re a novelist, screenwriter or game designer, contained within you’ll find an exploration of what it is that we do – and how we do it better.

(Warning: Okay, seriously? This book really is NSFW. It features a heaping helping of naughty language. Proceed with filters off.)

500 WAYS TO TELL A BETTER STORY contains the following:

25 Lies Writers Tell (And Start To Believe)
25 Realizations Writers Need To Have
25 Reasons I Hate Your Main Character
25 Reasons Now Is The Best Time To Be A Storyteller
25 Reasons You Should Quit Writing
25 Things All Writers Need
25 Things I Learned While Writing Blackbirds
25 Things I Want To Say To So-Called “Aspiring” Writers
25 Things To Know About Writing The First Chapter Of Your Novel
25 Things Writers Should Know About Creating Mystery
25 Things You Should Know About Creativity
25 Things You Should Know About Transmedia Storytelling
25 Things You Should Know About Word Choice
25 Things You Should Know About Writing Fantasy
25 Things You Should Know About Writing Sex
25 Things You Should Know About Writing Short Stories
25 Ways To Earn Your Audience
25 Ways To Fight Your Story’s Mushy Middle
25 Ways To Unf-ck Your Story
25 Ways To Write Full-Time


Product Details

  • File Size: 565 KB
  • Print Length: 177 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Terribleminds; First edition (June 22, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008E71JC4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,284 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more fun writing February 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can see how this could not work for everybody... December 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
.. 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Motivtational! November 27, 2012
By crs
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars June 26, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hilariously profane and extremely useful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Talk May 30, 2014
By KJ
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I gave Chuck Wendig 5-flippin' stars because he cut through the bull and spit the truth about writing, and the world of publishing. Some people may not like his style, and that's okay. In my opinion, his delivery was what I needed. Thank you for giving me the truth with no chaser. It burned, but it was oh-so-good.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pee yur pants funny..
Pee yur pants funny...but he speaks the utter brutal truth. So many of us writers get caught up in our pile of dung that we forget there are ..gasp!.. other humans on the planet. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Rachel E.B. Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Just awesome, which is what I've come to expect from ...
Just awesome, which is what I've come to expect from Chuck Wendig's books. The advice is all spot on. This is a great book for writers at any stage.
Published 26 days ago by Brenda J. Rothert
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!
This book kicks the donkeys behind so far that it actually reaches it's destination. Where that is I don't know possibly round the world and back onto the donkey but the fact... Read more
Published 3 months ago by H. Nayak
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Chuck
Laugh out loud commentary fused with uber helpful, to-the-point tips for any writer who is or wants to be a pro.
Published 3 months ago by Jenny F.
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly valuable advice
Well, I loved the first book, 250 Things Every Writer Should Know, but this was even better. Really useful stuff about first chapters, the end of a book, the middle, and basically... Read more
Published 4 months ago by SciFiMagpie
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of entertaining advice. It's hard to be entertaining while giving...
Chuck writes a very entertaining book with a ton of great advice packed into a fast paced book. Great read.
Published 5 months ago by Kevin Thurman
5.0 out of 5 stars Good but very descriptive language
This is a really good book, but if you are easily offended--it may not be the book for you. The information is good, told in short snippets, easy to understand and usually with a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rosie
4.0 out of 5 stars Great info
Great info and guidance but a bit heavy on gross sexual exposition and swear words. They became tedious. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Anita Burns
3.0 out of 5 stars Gems among the dross
Divided into seemingly random sections of 25 comments each for a total of 500, I had a hard time figuring out how to write a useful review. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Hedonwriter
3.0 out of 5 stars Just a Glorified Blog Post
While there are a bunch of great points here, none of them are followed to any depth. This is a rehashed presentation of Wendig's blog postings collected and elaborated upon. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Zalmorion the Fantastic
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More About the Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter, and game designer. He's the author of BLACKBIRDS, DOUBLE DEAD and DINOCALYPSE NOW, and is co-writer of the short film PANDEMIC, the feature film HiM, and the Emmy-nominated digital narrative COLLAPSUS. He lives in Pennsylvania with wife, taco terrier, and tiny human.

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