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The Art & Craft of Story: 2nd Practitioner's Manual Paperback – September 30, 2011


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The Art & Craft of Story: 2nd Practitioner's Manual + The Art & Craft of Fiction: A Practitioner's Manual + The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: La Favorita Press (September 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984542736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984542734
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,193,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I wish I'd had The Art & Craft of Story when I began work on my first novel. Victoria Mixon brings to bear her analytical skills in a jazzy-riffed voice to give you story, in its classical components. She breaks it down logically, then rebuilds with elegance and playfulness. Not that the work is easy. The last section, Revision, will keep you humming for weeks to come. Read Story before you begin your novel, then go back and mark the book up as you write that novel. Draw, box, diagram, play, think. You begin to grasp the long term commitment to the process, to the work itself, to the art and the craft of story. --Lucia Orth, author of the critically acclaimed Baby Jesus Pawn Shop

Opinionated, rumbunctious, sharp and always entertaining, Mixon is a brilliant and ferocious companion. These are lessons of a writing lifetime. --Roz Morris, best selling ghostwriter and author of Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Novels and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence

About the Author

Victoria Mixon is a professional writer and editor and has worked in fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry, and technical documentation for over thirty years. She co-authored the nonfiction Children and the Internet: A Zen Guide for Parents and Educators, published by Prentice Hall in 1996, for which she is listed in the Who’s Who of America. Her first book on writing, The Art & Craft of Fiction: A Practitioner’s Manual, is one of the elite handful recommended by Preditors & Editors. Victoria has been blogging since 2009 and has been voted one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers. She lives and works in Northern California in the house her family built out of the timbers from their own land.

More About the Author

Victoria Mixon has been a professional writer and editor for over thirty years. She is now a freelance independent editor, working with both critically-acclaimed published authors and aspiring unpublished talent.

Her blog, victoriamixon.com, was voted one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers.

Mixon co-authored the groundbreaking Children and the Internet: A Zen Guide for Parents and Educators, published by Prentice Hall in 1996, for which she is listed in the Who's Who of America.

She is the author of The Art & Craft of Fiction: A Practitioner's Manual, one of the elite handful recommended by Preditors & Editors, and The Art & Craft of Story: 2nd Practitioner's Manual, receiving high praise from such award-winning novelists as Millicent Dillon, Sasha Troyan, and Kindle #1 Best Seller Stu Wakefield.

She lives in Northern California with her husband and son.

"A story is about someone like you who faces your scary symbolic stuff, goes through your terror, stretches their resources to the utmost, almost doesn't make it (as you're so deathly afraid you won't)--and, unexpectedly in the eleventh hour, wins!

Hurrah! Huzzah! The long, dark night is defeated, the fear is vanquished, and you're safe. Forever.

It's the same life, but it's different. They're overwhelming troubles, but they're magically surmountable. You're the same scared person inside, but you're stronger, smarter, luckier, more attractive, and people like you. The ones who don't like you simply misunderstand you.

The world is sane, and your life makes sense.

This is why humans began telling stories. It's why they drew on the walls of caves, why they painted designs on their bodies.

'We can transcend the madness,' they were saying."

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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For example, condensing characters as a technique is extremely powerful and very well explained in this book.
Eli Potter
You can read this book from start to finish, like I did, or you can dive right down to what you need to read at the moment--which is how I'll re-read it.
M. Terry Green
I'm ready to return to fiction, but wrapping my brain around characters, arcs, and story structure... Well, it's been a challenge.
Aisling D'Art

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Terry Green on October 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Even as ebook amalgamations of writing blogs abound, Mixon again bucks the trend to produce a real guide to the craft. This is a clear, considered, and finely wrought compendium but it's also written by a storyteller for other storytellers. And who doesn't like a great story? Below is what I liked the best.

It's Deep

You can see for yourself from the table of contents (pasted at the bottom of this review) how in-depth it is. Wow. You can read this book from start to finish, like I did, or you can dive right down to what you need to read at the moment--which is how I'll re-read it. Many times. One of my favorite epiphanies came from something you can see just from the TOC: every aspect of the story is, itself, a story. Full fathom five.

It's Like a Laminated Sheet

I adore it when a writing book jumps me along the learning curve. I've analyzed novels with spreadsheets, counted words, counted pages, drawn graphs of emotion, character arc, and tension. Here is a book that's already done all that for me! Every few chapters I visualized one of those reference guide sheets: with tiny type, brightly colored boxes and graphs, plus it was laminated. I kid you not. What an enormous time saver. Thank you, vintage pulp, for laying it all out and thank you, Victoria, for analyzing it. Also, validation rocks.

Plus it's not just information for the sake of itself. All the scores of books studied and the decades of writing and editing that went into this guide, get focused laser-tight on issues that range from resonance (defined in fifty words or less), to the number of significant characters a book should have (and *how* to condense them), to knowing what you've really written about and discovering the story that you're really trying to tell.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Russell on October 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
According to Mixon a plot needs to be no more than this: "The King died. Then the Queen died." I agree. Plots tell what happened. First one thing, then the next. But plots are not stories. They're just the things that happened. If you're interested in the difference between a plot and a story then buy this book. If you're interested in knowing how to turn a plot into a story - a really good one - then buy this book today.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas J. Ordinans on September 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have never met Victoria Mixon, nor have I ever spoken to her - (Twitter exchanges and visiting her engaging website victoriamixon.com don't count). However, since reading and re-reading her first writing manual The Art & Craft of Fiction: A Practitioner's Manual and now this complimentary volume, I feel as though I am engaged in permanent conversation with her whenever I sit down to work on my stories.

She guides and instructs brilliantly, using numerous examples of prose from a variety of fictional genres, whilst always writing with warmth and humour.

I have been creating stories since the 1960's and have purchased more books on writing than I would care to admit. Yet, only a handful have a permanent position beside my writing desk. Victoria Mixon's manuals take pride of place alongside the likes of Anne Lamott, Stephen King, Dara Marks and Robert McKee.

Thank you, once again, Victoria for helping me rediscover the joy in the art & craft of story and fiction.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By roz morris on September 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
How did an author keep you reading well past your bedtime? How can they make a story so vivid it's as if it truly happened to you?

And how do you learn to write them?

You buy this book.

Victoria Mixon makes you notice what makes stories compelling. She develops your eye for authorly sleight of hand and what, exactly, clever storytellers do.

Like her previous book it's packed with examples from film and prose literature across a wide spread of genres. Chandler rubs cheeks with Kafka. There are practical examples. She walks you through a ghost story she's writing and builds it before your eyes, destruction-tests its logic (yes, a ghost story needs logic). She takes a novel with a cast of too many and fillets them down to a few irresistible folk you'll be more attached to than your dearest friend.

But you don't learn to write devastating, original stories just from reading. The raw material is your own life if you know how to look - and Mixon tells you how.

Plus you have Victoria herself. Opinionated, rumbunctious, sharp and always entertaining, she is a brilliant and ferocious companion, a champion to keep you going as you wring your guts onto the page and wield the scalpel to nip and tuck. Because writing good stories is a long, hard game; there are no quick fixes.

And these are not short-term how-to lessons. They are lessons of a writing lifetime.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Louden on October 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read Victoria's blog and enjoy it immensely and reading this volume is like her blog on steroids. It's like having a writing mentor implanted in your mind, explaining the finer points of fiction writing that are so damn hard to put into words. Her writing is diamond-like, both cutting through your fog and clutter about story, and also illuminating your wonder and reason for writing.

I am tight as the bark on a tree and I say spend your money and buy this book. You will refer to it over and over again.
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