35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2008
If I had only one book to choose as my "first" book on writing basics, this would be it! I have actually spent so much money buying books that are so lacking. THis book offers a solid primer in all the facets of fiction writing without inundating you with filler. Actually, the book deserves 4.5 stars. The reason why I did not give it five stars was because this is Nancy Lamb's second book on writing fiction and is almost an exact duplicate of her other book called "The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children", except the examples are of various fiction genres and not children's lit. There is basically alot of overlap in the information presented and I was really expecting something different or more in depth topics of what she touched in her "Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children". So if you already have that book, then there really isn't a need to buy this one. I think because her other book got such rave reviews but was too genre specific, by offering a new version of the same book for a more general audience of writers, more writers would be willing to buy this book instead for its applicability.
However, if you do not have her "Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children", then I would highly recommend this one as your "First" book. It teaches you all that you need to start off writing in such a clear and concise way. It's a quality book that is user-friendly and easy to understand. And although the info is pretty similar to her previous book, I found the new examples in this book refreshing.
Nancy Lamb, if you are reading this, I hope you get to write more books on Fiction writing. We are in deeply need of high quality Editing/Revision books and Character Development/Dialogue books. Writers Digest, take note.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2009
I was beginning my third (unpublished) novel this April,(2009), when it suddenly occurred to me that I really wasn't sure what I was doing. There must be a reason I'm not a published novelist, besides the wrath of God and life is hard. AHA, I'm not a genius,I must need help! Since mentors are scarce on the ground here in East Texas, I bought several books about fiction-writing techniques. Best thing I've ever done. And of the books I bought, Nancy Lamb's was the most helpful. She told me about concrete technique; for instance, structural design, how to begin, moving foward and backward in the story, structuring scenes, how to write subplot, even how to contact your muse, and more. If in the next few years you see my name on a novel, it will be because I read Ms. Lamb's book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2011
I liked this book a lot -- maybe because I got it at a good price, or because it was my first guide on how to write, but mainly because it had many valid points. Lamb's The Art and Craft Of Storytelling: A Comprehensive Guide to Classic Writing Techniques will help you with: scenes, characters, conquering your 'inner [...]', beginnings, ends, middles, structure, keeping your promise, and much more. It's a sort of thin book, not hard to read at all, and Lamb's voice is rather enjoyable to listen to. I recommend it for a beginner, mainly because I am a beginner at writing and this was my first book.
This book also helps you:
1. Find your genre
2. Moves scenes forward and to the next
3. Find your voice, tone, premise, and theme
4. Make characters that feel and speak like real people
Hope I helped :)
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2009
70 % practical advice and examples that are easy to apply, 30 % intro material. Practical comments on her writing experience (43 books). The multitude of texts (classics or successful modern authors) illustrate her advice quite well. Author has a captivating writing style using lots of metaphors. Glad I bought her book.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2009
Already, we have a first name friendship, Nancy. That's because I just finished your Storytelling. And it's the friendliest book about writing I've ever read. At 70, I wish I had read it before I wrote my first (and overwrought, overwritten) novel 4 years ago. But your book was probably only in the planning stages, then.
I've been a writer all my life, made a good living in advertising, and you've reinforced a lot of rules I've followed, many I've ignored, and revealed some I wish didn't exist. They'll all help me become the writer I will be.
We have a young writer from Ireland staying with us, and I'm giving her a copy of Nancy Lamb's "Storytelling" with this inscription: Read this wonderful book slowly. And browse through it the rest of your life.
As a playwright, with one recent success, I've also found in Storytelling some great reminders of what keeps a story moving on a stage.
But for now, I'm going to wring out the miscues from that overwrought novel.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2010
I have been searching...searching and I finally found you! I wanted to transition from writing poetry to a novel! I have read several other " How To " books on the subject but " The Art And Craft Of Storytelling " by far surpasses them all.
Nancy Lamb's book...voice, resonated with me immediately, like a talisman initiating me into the mysteries.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2011
Nancy's book is great! My friend Bob got his novel published by following her guide. His book is NOT self-published. I got my book published - it's a self-help book - NOT self-published - I got an agent and a publisher - my book is called "Chemo: Secrets to Thriving." Her guide works! I got the "right voice" to use in the book. My agent said, "This is well-written, a page turner, great voice, warm and friendly, positive and even amusing." Thanks Nancy Lamb!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2009
Nancy Lamb's book THE ART AND CRAFT OF STORYTELLING is a concise, clear and comprehensive guide for anyone who is interested in writing in all its aspects. I found it not only to be incredibly informative, but presented in a voice that felt like a conversation over coffee with a wise mentor. The book is at no point pedantic nor academic in feel or tone. It is straight talk advice that even after all these years of writing I found many "Aha!" moments.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2008
I was blown away by this book! Get two and keep one in your purse or car to have with you at all times and the other, put under your pillow! I think you can shove the other writing books on your shelf to the side to face this one out. It is the quintessential guide to aid and assist anyone who seriously wants to write. Nancy Lamb gave everything she's knows and she knows a lot!
This book makes writing accessible and lessens the fear and intimidation when it's just the blank page and me. I refer to the book when I'm stuck and when I'm not. I wouldn't go on a hike without a bottle of water. I wouldn't start writing now without this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2014
I'm working on a novel and as part of that effort, I've read numerous books on writing: John Gardner, Anne LaMott, Robert McKee, James Wood, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and others. Although I wasn't familiar with Ms. Lamb's book, I decided to give it a try. It was a lucky day for me that I did. Her book is very, very helpful and here's why. I've had a number of meetings with agents about my work and their comments have all echoed Ms. Lamb's discussion of writing, and they all start with the importance of knowing what genre you'll be working in. Her book is straight-forward, entertainingly written, and addresses the basics in new ways, and nine times out of ten, for the first-time novelist, it's the basics that get forgotten or misplaced or ignored. This book will lead to back to the path you started out on. Highly recommended.