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Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction Hardcover – May 16, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Books (May 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938467085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938467083
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


MANY GENRES ONE CRAFT is a brilliant and insightful must-have book for any writer, from newbie to working pro. Highly recommended! --Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of THE KING OF PLAGUES and PATIENT ZERO

Finally! A book on writing category fiction, presented by those who do it every day. Choose a genre and jump right in. --Mike Resnick, Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author

Many Genres has everything you need to write and sell the book of your dreams. It is jam-packed with practical information, clear examples and brilliant insights, all delivered with clarity and wit. Skip the writers' conference and read this gem from the masters of genre fiction! --Suzanne Forster, New York Times bestselling author

'Speaking from experience, I can tell you there isn't a muse and if there is, she's already dating someone else.' If there isn't a muse, as you'll read in this invaluable book for writers, MANY GENRES ONE CRAFT is surely the next best thing. No matter what you want to learn--from choosing the point of view for a scene, from getting the most out of a critique group to fine-tuning your final draft, from approaching a literary agent to promoting your published book in print or electronically or both--it's all there. The contributors know their stuff, and what they're teaching applies to writing at any age. MANY GENRES ONE CRAFT covers all the bases superbly, including issues I haven't seen addressed anywhere else in today's rapidly shifting publishing landscape. --Renni Browne, co-author of SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS

From the Back Cover

Romance. Fantasy. Mystery. Science Fiction. Young Adult. Horror. Picture Books. Suspense.

Many Genres, One Craft brings together award-winning authors, bestselling novelists, and hot new writers from all these genres to offer an amazing novel writing workshop in a book. Modeled on Seton Hill University's acclaimed MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction--where all of its sixty contributors have taught, studied, or been a special guest--this stunningly comprehensive guide for writers offers insights into crafting effective genre fiction of any kind, and provides an array of practical advice on selling novels in today's marketplace that you simply won't find anywhere, short of enrolling in graduate school.

Learn everything from beating writer's block to building suspense, making monsters to marketing mysteries, approaching agents to writing romance...all from experts who have actually done it.

Contributors: Michael A. Arnzen, Rebecca Baker, Shelley Bates, Michael Bracken, Gary A. Braunbeck, Crystal B. Bright, Jennifer Brisendine, Sally Bosco, Christopher Paul Carey, Ginger Clark, Lawrence C. Connolly, David J. Corwell, Susan Crandall, Kaye Dacus, Penny Dawn, John DeChancie, C. Coco DeYoung, Matt Duvall, Natalie Duvall, Ron Edison, Elaine Ervin, Timons Esaias, Tess Gerritsen, Venessa Giunta, Leslie Davis Guccione, Anne Harris, W. H. Horner, Lee Allen Howard, KJ Howe, Russ Howe, Scott A. Johnson, Nancy Kress, Chun Lee, Patrice Lyle, Susan Mallery, Dana Marton, Lee McClain, Mike Mehalek, Sharon Mignerey, Barbara J. Miller, Heidi Ruby Miller, Jason Jack Miller, M. A. Mogus, Thomas F. Monteleone, David Morrell, Catherine Mulvany, Nicole Peeler, Adrea L. Peters, Patrick Picciarelli, Steven Piziks, Rachael Pruitt, Lynn Salsi, Mary SanGiovanni, David Shifren, Randall Silvis, Lucy A. Snyder, Maria V. Snyder, Victoria Thompson, Diane Turnshek, Tim Waggoner, Albert Wendland, Teffanie Thompson White, Karen Lynn Williams, Ryan M. Williams, K. Ceres Wright

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
This book was recommended by a writer friend.
Many articles fill out sections on style, characterization, plotting and setting about the craft of writing as well as sections on the many genres.
J. Keith Jones
This book is like my personal mentor, straight talk what to do what not to do and permission to just do it all in one!!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By James P. Kain on December 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I teach a creative writing course and I am always looking for new texts to use. Most of the "How to" books on fiction seem typical and are becoming more and more tedious for today's young writers. When I found this book (a colleague who knows the editor recommended it to me), right away I knew this was different. The chapters are short, practical, realistic and inspiring. They cover topics that I haven't found in other writing texts (at least not compiled in the same text).

The thing that struck me most, though, was the enthusiasm and spirit of the authors. Clearly they were having fun writing this -- such a refreshing tone compared to the typical text -- which ranges from pedantic (full of themselves) to oh-so-serious to bored with themselves. This one puts a smile on my face. And I wasn't wrong to select it. The students in my class this semester "loved" the book (their word, not mine). It's rare for students to tell me they love the textbook; so I'd say this one has something special to offer today's writers. Each chapter gave us insightful talking points which generated a lot of discussion about the writing process and publishing field.

For others thinking of using this in a course, I would note that it is not full of exercises or activities to generate writing -- it's not that kind of text. I supplemented it with a collection of writing prompts. This combination worked well together: one to practice writing and the other to learn about and discuss the process.

I recommend this one.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By rose on May 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Brilliantly put together by Michael A. Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller, Many Genres, One Craft is a step by step guide to instruct and aide a author in developing their writing skills and genre. This book is wonderful, and I can't gush enough about the thought that went into each section, from writing children's fiction to the heart-stopping romance! Granted, we all need our muse that taunts and teases us with our storylines--sometimes, though, she needs a good push from an excellent guidebook of her own!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By W. D. Prescott on May 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If you are a writer, new or seasoned, you know exactly how many different kinds of books are out there to help you with craft. Not only that, but then there are all the books by different authors telling you how they write.

"So, what is special about this book?" I hear you say.

There is a lot that is special about it. First, it is a primer for the experience of a MFA program. Which makes sense as it is a product of the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction program. Every essay is written by either published alums, current or former mentors and teachers of the program, and special guests that visited during a Residency. You can see a whole list of the contributors at the book's website. As you read each of them, you realize that, while you have a succinct essay, the depth of knowledge and understanding in them can in many cases be deeper than whole books written on that same subject. I would almost consider them the teachers notes to a complete course.

Second, while it comes from a genre fiction background, it's a book that any writer will find helpful. The title states this to the reader. The first section of the book is about the craft of writing. No matter what you write, this unifies writers of every ilk. Each essay always goes that small step further than any other on the subjects of style, characters, setting, plot, etc., if not completely original. One such essay of the later is "Don't Be a Bobble-Head, and Other Bits of Guidance" by Timons Esaias. Just reading it over not only will strengthen your own writing, but see how frequently even the best writers of any field make simple mistakes.

The last section of the book is all about the life of the writer.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kenya on June 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This book taught me a lot. It fills a much needed area for writers who enjoy writing popular fiction! Must-have for those serious about their craft.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Gunnar Grey on June 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Writers, if you only buy one book on wordsmithing, make it this one. The MA/MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University has a well-earned reputation for graduating story craftsmen, writers who wow, and this engaging textbook includes excellent writerly advice, not only from instructors but also from numerous published graduates. You can check the full list above, but it includes four-time Bram Stoker winner Michael A. Arnzen, Maria V. Snyder (Poison Study), mystery writing with Victoria Thompson (the Gaslight series), Kaye Dacus (Ransome's Honor (The Ransome Trilogy)), and some amazing indie writers such as Heidi Ruby Miller and Jason Jack Miller (magical realism).

[Disclaimer: yep, I'm a graduate. So sue me.]

Writing's a massive topic. Many Genres, One Craft breaks it down into short, manageable chapters, each a comfortable read, and I've spent the last year reading a chapter every few days and thinking it over in between. Did I absorb it all? Shoot. Who could? And while I don't necessarily agree with everything I've learned (bobble-headism is occasionally useful and shouldn't be written off entirely, IMO), there's no doubt what I have absorbed will only help my writing. Besides, it was like the greatest reunion ever.

Five strong stars.
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