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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing Paperback – July 15, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-1582971599 ISBN-10: 1582971595 Edition: 1St Edition
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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing + Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish + The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 1St Edition edition (July 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582971595
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582971599
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #955,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Legal name ALEXANDRIA CONSTANTINOVA SZEMAN. Author of several critically acclaimed and award-winning books, includingTHE NEW YORK TIME BOOK REVIEW'S "Best Book of the Year" THE KOMMANDANT'S MISTRESS, as well as LOVE IN THE TIME OF DINOSAURS, WHERE LIGHTNING STRIKES, NAKED WITH GLASSES, and MASTERING POINT OF VIEW, among others.

See my official Amazon Author page at http://www.Amazon.com/Alexandria-Constantinova-Szeman/e/B007TTLXS8 for a complete listing of all my books. That page also lists my website, which contains my contact information, blog, and twitter feeds. Thanks, my loyal readers. Enjoy the Revised, Updated, Expanded, Anniversary Editions of my first three books, along with all my new books.

(Formerly writing under the pseudonym "Sherri" because 1st Editor said my name "wouldn't fit on the cover of the book", and that she wanted an "easy first name" to go with my "hard last name;" subsequent editors were afraid to "lose name recognition of THE KOMMANDANT'S MISTRESS.")

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By FictionAddiction.NET on August 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you're even thinking about writing a book, you need "The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing." This comprehensive guide contains over 400 pages of everything you need to know about writing, publishing and marketing your work.
Each section of this book covers vital aspects of the craft every writer should follow:
Part I: The Craft
Get started by understanding plot, story flow, point of view, characters and dialogue.
Part II: The Art
Understand the rules of fiction, turn true life to fiction, connect emotion and get in tune with your reader's senses.
Part III: The Process
Find out how to get started on your novel, jumpstart your creativity, revise your novel and deal with criticism.
Part IV: The Genres
Get to know your audience, create realistic characters and keep the suspense going throughout your novel. Plus, tips on writing horror, fantasy, romance and Christian fiction.
Part V: The Marketplace
Use these insider tips for finding agents and editors. Study the debate of fee-charging agents. Learn the ins and outs of the market. Tools for book proposals, a novel synopsis, getting your work published and help with the electronic publishing world.
Part VI: The Interviews
Read interviews with the hottest, most accomplished authors, including Margaret Atwood, Maeve Binchy, Tom Clancy, Joyce Carol Oates, James Patterson, Kurt Vonnegut and more.
You could easily read this book from cover-to-cover or flip through it as a reference as your writing progresses. This is, by far, one of the strongest writing how-to books on the market.
If you only purchase one writing book this year, make it "The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing." Head to the bookstore, run through the pages and you'll instantly be hooked.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dorion Sagan on February 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
Any aspiring writer should be grateful for this anthology to study. Although the considerable diversity here does not a completely unified voice make, each article (previously published in Writer's Digest) has tips and inspirations for the aspiring novelist. From Richard Russo's exploration of place and character to mystery novelist Sue Grafton's use of a journal to get her right brain going-from Jeanne Cavelos's observation that horror is a genre uniquely dependent upon emotion-and what scares you is the secret source of fear-this book is a diverse gold mine of writing technique nuggets. Here you will find James Patrick Kelly talking about the need to "murder your darlings"-the phrase that Stephen King borrows in his On Writing book. Helpful boxes of related books, how to write proposals and Evan Marshall's chapter on novel synopses (which I didn't even know existed!) for agents; personal anecdotes and articulate easy-to-read tips from authors either great or best-selling or both make this a useful, inspiring, and exciting book-perhaps the best overall I have read on the craft of fiction. How does screenwriting relate to novel writing? How do you create a believable character? How do you integrate exposition? How do you create suspense? How do you revise or deal with criticism? What means emotion and motivation? These are the kinds of core questions addressed in this fun technique book.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Joan Mazza on September 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
Complete Handbook of Novel Writing is a collection of articles and interviews with successful novelists. Notable authors include Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood, John Updike, and James Patterson. The individual chapters are pithy yet comprehensive. I particularly liked the chapters on using specific details and what makes them work, point of view, editing tips, and helpful hints on specific genres: fantasy, mystery, horror, suspense, romance, and Christian fiction. Much valuable information here that writers can return to for reminders as their writing skills mature.
This book will get you writing and keep your writing at a higher level.
~review by Joan Mazza, author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self and Exploring Your Sexual Self.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tom L. Waters on December 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing from Writer's Digest Books is an anthology of essays and interviews intended to be a one-stop shop for writing novels. It is organized into six broad sections: The Craft (technical explanations of plot, point-of-view, character development), The Art (broad advice on what to write about and approaches to making your writing more appealing), The Process (a lot of advice about editing and revising in this section), The Genres, The Marketplace, and finally The Interviews (brief interviews with a number of well-know authors).

Because it is an anthology, the quality of the individual essays varies quite a bit. Ideally, the anthology format would allow each contributor to write about their special area of interest or mastery, and this seems to hold true, more or less, especially in the first few sections of the book. There were several essays that didn't really tell me anything new, but I picked up enough valuable pointers to make the book a worthwhile purchase and to justify the time taken to read it.

Things get a little murkier as we move toward the end of the book, though. In the genre section, there is no essay on science fiction, but two on fantasy. The first, by Terry Brooks, seemed almost entirely devoid of content, at least to me. The second, by J. V. Jones, on creating fantasy characters, was more helpful, but still did not go very far. It certainly will not replace books devoted specifically to the topic of writing fantasy or sf.

Most disappointing were the interviews (fourteen of them). The problem here is that most of the interviews are only a few pages long, and use much of that space with the interviewer relating the writer's bio. Many of the writers do not offer advice on writing.
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