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Writing Fiction For Dummies [Kindle Edition]

Peter Economy , Randy Ingermanson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A complete guide to writing and selling your novel

So you want to write a novel? Great! That’s a worthy goal, no matter what your reason. But don’t settle for just writing a novel. Aim high. Write a novel that you intend to sell to a publisher. Writing Fiction for Dummies is a complete guide designed to coach you every step along the path from beginning writer to royalty-earning author. Here are some things you’ll learn in Writing Fiction for Dummies:

  • Strategic Planning: Pinpoint where you are on the roadmap to publication; discover what every reader desperately wants from a story; home in on a marketable category; choose from among the four most common creative styles; and learn the self-management methods of professional writers.
  • Writing Powerful Fiction: Construct a story world that rings true; create believable, unpredictable characters; build a strong plot with all six layers of complexity of a modern novel; and infuse it all with a strong theme.
  • Self-Editing Your Novel: Psychoanalyze your characters to bring them fully to life; edit your story structure from the top down; fix broken scenes; and polish your action and dialogue.
  • Finding An Agent and Getting Published: Write a query letter, a synopsis, and a proposal; pitch your work to agents and editors without fear.

Writing Fiction For Dummies takes you from being a writer to being an author. It can happen—if you have the talent and persistence to do what you need to do.

Editorial Reviews


' easy-to-follow guide providing step-by-step instructions...' (Writers Forum, December 2009).

From the Back Cover

Writing a novel can be a daunting process — it will challenge you, stretch you, and change you. Whether you've never written fiction before or are looking to brush up your skills and learn new techniques for crafting your words, Writing Fiction For Dummies gives you savvy advice on navigating the entire writing process and turning your ideas into a well-written, marketable book.

  • Establishing an ideal writing environment — discover how to set aside enough time and an ideal location for your writing

  • Getting ready to write fiction — pinpoint your location on the road to publication, and set your strategic and tactical goals to get your novel published

  • Discovering the principles of writing powerful fiction — build a realistic story world, envision unique and exciting characters, craft the layers of your plot, and grow a theme organically

  • Editing and polishing your story and characters — put on your editing hat and analyze your characters, scrutinize your story structure, and edit your scenes to get your novel in tip-top shape

  • Getting published — learn how to write query letters and book proposals that will ignite an agent's or editor's enthusiasm and help sell your novel to the right publisher

Open the book and find:

  • Your strategic roadmap to getting published

  • Help in choosing your category

  • Tips for building a believable plot

  • Guidelines for creating three-dimensional characters

  • Examples of storylines that spotlight a novel's high concept

  • Pros and cons of various publishing methods

  • Advice on finding the right agent and publisher

Product Details

  • File Size: 1004 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470530707
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (November 11, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,184 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahh, Randy. What a funny guy January 4, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Review by Jill Williamson

Randy Ingermanson is my hero. I have been learning from him since I discovered his website in 2005. The man is not only a wealth of information, he teaches in such a fun and friendly way, you can't fail to learn. And now, everything Randy teaches is here in one convenient package. Man, how I wish he had written this a few years ago! It would have saved me a lot of trouble.

I highly recommend this book to any writer, but especially to beginners who want to write a novel. You'll learn how to come up with a plot and test it to see if it's strong, how to create amazing characters that are deep and engaging, how to plot your story and avoid the dreaded sagging middle, how to keep the tension and pacing strong, and how to edit your novel. This book even includes cool things like an interview between J.R.R. Tolkien and Frodo Baggins. Ahh, Randy. What a funny guy.
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80 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All novelists (new or experienced) need this book. January 1, 2010
Regardless of where you are in your novel-writing career, you need this book. Whether you're brand-spanking new at novel writing or you have a few published books under your belt, in some respect or another (maybe many others), you're still a dummy about the writing biz. I would have loved to have this book when I began my first novel. And I'm thrilled to have it now, after publishing four. Early in Writing Fiction for Dummies, Ingermanson categorizes writers as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors, and the book guides writers at every one of those levels. But as a post-grad (I assume), I still found plenty of ways my novel writing could be tightened and deepened.

Ingermanson is well known on the conference circuit for his methodical approach to creativity, dispelling the myths that you're not smart enough or talented enough to write a novel. He doesn't sap one's right-hemisphere flow; he encourages it to flow in the best possible way--so it creates a story that will draw your readers in and stay with them long after they read the last word. Highly recommended!
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61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it. Now. January 7, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I won't bore you by repeating the comments others have already made. Suffice it to say there are a few must-have writing books on my shelf. Writing Fiction for Dummies has just created a new space for itself.

John Wooden always stressed fundamentals at UCLA on his way to winning all those championships. Ingermanson and Economy do that here with brilliance. It means beginners, advanced writers and all in-between need to have this book in their library. I wish it had been around when I started. Highest recommendation.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By Remix
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've procrastinated about writing a review of this book since shortly after it came out because I have a lot to say, and I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to express it all. So I figure I'll force myself to just do it and get it over with.

Who is this book for?

A. Someone who wants to know exactly how to write fiction from start to finish.
B. Someone who has ideas about how to write fiction, and wants them confirmed.
C. Someone who knows exactly how to write fiction, but has a few weak spots that they can't quite put their finger on.
D. Someone who can't decide which fiction book to buy and can't afford to buy every single one.

This is the last book you will ever need to buy on the craft of fiction. If you're on a shoestring budget, or if you're sick and tired of wading through theory and want to finally get down to writing, this is exactly what you need.

This book covers everything from A to Z, no topic uncovered. It is simple, direct and to the point and doesn't waste time. The advice within the book can be used by writers of all different styles from Seat of the Pants writers to dedicated Outliners; the book even helps individuals figure out which one they are.

Character development, story world creation, how to write a compelling scene, how to write a book that will keep readers turning the page all night long no matter the genre, how to define your niche, genre and target reader; it's all here.

This is the one reference every fiction writer should have.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book on writing January 16, 2010
I have been writing for over thirty years, but as I went through this book, I found a lot of helpful hints about writing. It takes you from the beginning to the end of the process. Good resource for a writer--especially a beginner.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, comprehensive guide for getting a novel published December 22, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Writing Fiction for Dummies" is a good, comprehensive book on getting a novel published. It doesn't cover the basics of writing itself--grammar, punctuation etc, but takes the next step for putting those words into creating fiction that readers want to read and agents want to represent and publishers want to publish.

Parts One and Two start with fiction writing basics, moves into what makes a great story, identifying the type of reader drawn to your book, creating your storyword, characters, constructing the novel via the three act structure, breaking down the layers of a novel's plot--scenes, dialog, action, and theme.

Part Three moves into editing your novel--not just the overall novel, but also examining the various bits and pieces--characters, story structure, and scenes. Each section is broken down into detail to guide the writer as to how to examine each on a tight level.

Part IV covers selling your work--fine-tuning your novel, publication (which covers traditional and self-publishing), legal questions, query letters, proposals and what is required for each. This section also includes how to find agents and editors.

Part V breaks down the novel into 10 steps to analyzing your story--the design of your novel, which centers on Randy Ingermanson's (one of the book's authors) popular Snowflake method for novel design. The last section explains the top ten reasons novels are rejected.

I have the kindle version of this book and I find that is a hindrance. For me, a hard copy would be best since I like to flip around to various sections of the book, depending on the information I'm looking for-harder to do with an e-book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars THE primary guide I found most useful in beginning to write my first...
THE primary guide I found most useful in beginning to write my first novel. As much as we'd all like to think we know the most basic steps in undertaking a project, every writer... Read more
Published 13 days ago by brent lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Anyone considering writing a novel needs this book!
Published 19 days ago by Lori Bradley
4.0 out of 5 stars Writing Fiction for Dummies is a Great Book!
Great explanation of the many steps in writing fiction from idea to publishing. The information is organized in a step by step fashion. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Dr. Georgene Dana Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars I especially like the "Tips" and "Danger" portions so you don't make...
I am thoroughly enjoying reading through the book. It provides a lot of common sense and time saving solutions, knowing that writing and editing is time consuming itself. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sarah Folliero
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good.
Pretty well written but not as compelling as other books in this series. Towards the end it was a bit of a chore to get through. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Fooled by the Title
Books about writing are an addiction of mine, though I never bothered to read this one until it was offered on Kindle Unlimited. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Heather
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good items
Published 1 month ago by ELMAX
5.0 out of 5 stars There are so many good writing tools and tips in this book that it ...
I'm a total amateur who has been writing creatively since I was a young person, and have always aspired to some day complete a novel. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nate-Train
4.0 out of 5 stars Clear Advice
Can't beat this one for clarity, simplicity and get off your bottom ideas.
Published 2 months ago by Joy Sieminski
3.0 out of 5 stars Best For Beginners.
Not exactly what I was expecting, but still good for the beginning writer.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
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Writing Fiction For Dummies Kindle version FREE this week!
I saw this book listed under the free book list but it costs $9.89. I check the free list a couple of times a day and it just went on the list and not free. Why??????
Nov 15, 2010 by World Traveller |  See all 6 posts
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