Most helpful positive review
87 of 91 people found the following review helpful
This book is a gem
on January 22, 2004
Over the past few months I have collected and read many books on creative writing with a slant towards the art and technique of fiction. All the while I write and read everyday improving my writing and improving my understanding. I can certainly recommend many books that I have recently read and studied and I must say that this book has a welcome place in my library. All of the books on fiction that I have are highly geared toward the novel. I had been struggling to write just one short story with the knowledge and experience imparted from other books. Things just didn't fit. I bought this book with three others not expecting anything special. I started with the book and a page and a half of short story. By the time I finished reading the first chapter, everything was so clear that I put the book down, and, with surprising success, finished my short story. It only took a matter of hours. I am a page and a half into another story told entirely from the omniscient point of view. I would also like to say that many of the books I have include a pre-amble or first section on the struggle of writing well. I have found many of these depressing even when I am shining with hope. The first chapter of this book approaches the subject of writers struggle with interspersed anecdotes of hope and quotes about the struggle and joy of writing from famous writers. If you buy this book for only one reason, let it be the first chapter. It is truly original. The rest of the book goes on to talk about many of the common elements in general creative writing that can be found in any collection. This book freed my style and showed me that I can use un-common technique to make an engaging story of less than 5,000 words.
If this is your first book you also want "Self-Editing For Writers of Fiction", and Sol Steins, "Stein on Writing".
Good luck with your endeavors.