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250 Things You Should Know About Writing [Kindle Edition]

Chuck Wendig
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Book Description

“Chuck Wendig hammers out writing and career advice that's always brave, profane, creative, clever, and honest. And don't forget hilarious. You'll never laugh so hard learning so much." – Matt Forbeck, game designer and author of AMORTALS and VEGAS KNIGHTS (Angry Robot).

“You walk into this book a quivering neophyte crusted with writer fantasies and walk away a seasoned word warrior ready to do battle in the arena we call publishing.” – Kristen Lamb, author of ARE YOU THERE BLOG? IT’S ME, WRITER

* * *

250 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WRITING is a booze-soaked, profanity-brined, Zen-lacquered look at the craft and art of writing, one list of “25 Things” at a time.

Featured within this book are the essays “25 Things You Should Know About…”

…Being A Writer, Writing A Novel, Writing A Screenplay, Writing A F**king Sentence, Storytelling, Character, Plot, Dialogue, Description, Editing/Revising, and finally, Getting Published.

(And yes, that’s actually 11 lists, which means the book actually has *275* things you should know about writing, but let’s be honest, 250 sounds much cooler. Let’s just go ahead and call that, “25 bonus tips,” shall we? Boom. Value added.)

The book features sections such as:

“The Transubstantiation of Trope,” “Why Bad Decisions Are A Good Decision,” “Nobody Sees Themselves As A Supporting Character,” "I Want To Buy The Semi-Colon A Private Sex Island," and “Plot Is Promise.”

Contained within are things you should know about plot holes, self-publishing versus legacy publishing, "on-the-nose" dialogue, story versus plot, metaphors, copy-editing, killing darlings with a claw hammer, cursing like an undead pirate, and generally being a cranky and irreverent creative type.

* * *

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
175 of 183 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pulled Me Out of My Funk . . . September 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First, I want to thank the person who left the 1-star review. I purchased this on her recommendation alone. Just by the shrill snotty tone, I knew that anything she hated, I would love. Imagine getting a book described as a "booze-soaked, profanity-brined, Zen-lacquered look at the craft and art of writing" and being upset at the language? Heavens! As expected,I was right. This little book rocks.

I've been in a writing funk for a while and The Chuck, in a no-nonsense and irreverent way reached into my head, grabbed my brain, and body-slammed it into my skull. Several times in fact. Once I got the ringing in my ears quieted down and regained my balance, I knew Chuck was right. I let some stuff out into the wild too soon and the resulting notes put me into an "analysis-by-paralysis" loop that was consuming me.

I have the good stuff highlighted and for the first time in a while, feel ready to write. As soon as my latest batch of biotoxin is finished . . . I mean . . . properly disposed of at a licensed facility, I'm ready to roll.

Chuck, I have a nerdgirl crush on you. Just wanted you to know that. And a big smoochie to the 1-star reviewer! Mwah!
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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YES from a creative writing teacher September 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I teach creative writing in college and any prof. will tell you that college kids don't give a flying flip what you tell them sometimes, especially when it comes to creative writing.

Yet, when this guy says it in his book, my students listen. I've used a few pieces in class and even my emo, I-am-sad-and-I-will-write-whatever-I-want students perk up.

Awesome book. Foul-mouthed and in-your-face. Exactly what I like in a book!

One suggestion to readers: do NOT read at night if you are wanting to drift off. I laughed so hard reading some of this that I almost peed. That does not help you sleep.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because of the 1 star review it got, not its many 5 stars. Why? Because I wanted to read what upset that lady so much. And now I'm mad as well, because this book is so darned good, that I couldn't put it down. So I had to cook dinner and eat it without even letting go of my iPad. And I found I drank far more wine than normal while reading it...right through to the end.

You will learn more about plot, about character, about sentence structure, about novel writing and writing screenplays than you thought there was to learn. As an author, I thought I knew some stuff about writing. But hey, there are a few things I didn't know - actually many things. Things about Dialogue, Diction and Deconstruction to rebuild your book - in fact about almost anything you would want to know about writing...and lots more besides. What Chuck thinks about being a writer sent me batshit crazy for a while, but I guess I will hang in here with other writers for a bit longer.

What Mister Wendig Writes are Wonderful Words of Wisdom for Writers, Wrapped around humour, profanity and self aggradisement (is that a word?) There is even a reference to a song in South Pacific which opened in Sydney this week. See if you can find it?

I wanted to give this book 1 star, in the hope that that would sell many more copies. Then I thought, no darn it, give it the 5 f%$#ing stars it deserves. But then I found the one typo in the whole m-f book, and karma - like, it is in the 3rd point of the editing section. Suck that up. So I will remove one star for that. Then I thought I would take one more star off, so my 3 star review would stand alone in the table.

This book will become my writing bible.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2.5 Things You Should Know About This Review August 11, 2011
By Dan G.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
1. I enjoyed this book. I read through the parts I hadn't already seen (some are updated versions of articles), and have since been using it as a reference guide. When my writing feels bland or bogged down and I can't work out why, I read the most relevant chapter. It helps.

2. It's profane. If you don't like thinking about [down there] or are offended by smutty sexual similes, this book is not for you.

.5 The other thing you need to know is that -
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Bloody Shuriken July 21, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For the record, I don't just machine-gun 5-star ratings all over the room. Why should that matter to you? It shouldn't, really. I'm not anyone important. Well, I am a ninja. That's gotta count for something. But I digress, this was not meant to be about me. So, as I was saying, why should my opinion matter to you? It should matter if you're thinking about buying this book. Or becoming a writer. Or if you simply enjoy the gratuitous usage of colorful metaphor. Even books I consider to be among the greats often elicit 4-star ratings at best. It's kinda like an employee review. No one is ever truly deserving of praise for going above and beyond, because most often, they do not. That is not the case with "250 Things..." written by Mr. Wendig.

Wendig's prose is natural and easy on the eyes. Unless you have a problem with profanity, and if that's the case, well, perhaps you should look into something else. The Idiot's Guide to Creative Writing. Or something. Amongst his artful and profane delivery lie the secrets to becoming not just a good writer, but a great one. But you must have courage enough to take that journey. Writing takes dedication. Chuck cannot give you that. But if you are willful enough to strap on the carpenter's belt of writing, he will fill it with more tools than you'll ever need.

The one thing that needs to be emphasized here is that much of the content available in this book is, or at least was, available on Wendig's personal blog - for naught a penny. With that in mind, this is the second time I've given this man money for material he has at one time or another provided for free.

Yes. It's that good. It's that important. It's that much of an asset to the craft of writing - for both amateur and professional writers alike.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pen monkey strikes again!
Exactly this. No guff, no fluff, something writers should have in the writer toolbox.
Published 9 days ago by cbugs
4.0 out of 5 stars Advice guidebook from the school of hard knocks
I've read it thoroughly and enjoyed its chapters well. But I detested every abusive remark included by the author - really!! Thank you anyway!!
Published 22 days ago by Laura A. Fitzgerald
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book
I purchased this for my wife and she loves it.
Published 1 month ago by Carl Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughing while Learning
Mr. Wendig provided wickedly funny sraightforward insights into my purpose as a writer - to entertain my readers. He certainly entertained me and helped me become a better writer. Read more
Published 1 month ago by TriciaJenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny
I've read a lot of books on novel writing. If you're looking for practical, by the numbers advice, this isn't it. This book is a great supplement to that sort of thing, though. Read more
Published 1 month ago by W. Christian
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money...trash like this should be pulled from the...
Would give this a negative star if it were possible...
"You've got all the words in the world at your disposal", yet all you can do is try to be "cool" &... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Just wow. I borrowed this book in th hopes that I could learn something about writing my novel. I've never written a book before and I have a long way to go but I'm learning and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ashley B
5.0 out of 5 stars The king of hyperbole
Super fun read! Chuck's book will entertain even those who don't write. Full of tips and tidbits that come in bite-sized nuggets that'll make you chuckle and sometimes cringe.
Published 3 months ago by Tammy
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice tips.
I like the colorful way Chuck talks about the tips he gives out. the tips are grouped together by category. this was helpful to me.
Published 4 months ago by Steven Atwood
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More About the Author


Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter, and game designer. He's the author of BLACKBIRDS, DOUBLE DEAD and DINOCALYPSE NOW, and is co-writer of the short film PANDEMIC, the feature film HiM, and the Emmy-nominated digital narrative COLLAPSUS. He lives in Pennsylvania with wife, taco terrier, and tiny human.

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