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Chapter After Chapter: Discover the Dedication and Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1582974255
ISBN-10: 158297425X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Every book is a lonely journey, but Chapter After Chapter provides the wisdom, inspiration, and wit needed to help writers go that difficult distance and not feel so very alone.
--N.M. Kelby, author of Whale Season and forthcoming Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar and Grill

Heather Sellers has written the Great Mother of all Wise Guides, an indispensable roadmap to authorship for both emerging and experienced writers. No need to clear a space on the bookshelf for Chapter After Chapter; writers will want this book in hand as they drive idea toward finished manuscript. Reading this, I lamented not owning a copy before embarking on my current project. With its pragmatic tips and helpful exercises designed to fortify against procrastination and keep me madly in love with my book, Chapter After Chapter would have saved me years of meandering off course.
--Lorraine Lopez, author of Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories, Call Me Henri, and The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters (to be released by Warner Books in fall of 2007)

About the Author

Award-winning writer and professor Heather Sellers is the author of Page After Page, as well as Georgia Under Water, Drinking Girls and Their Dresses, and the kids' book Spike and Cubby's Ice Cream Island Adventure.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (December 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158297425X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582974255
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #828,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Pat Shand VINE VOICE on May 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Well-written, motivating, at times a bit talky, but still way above the average for 'How to Write' kind of books... That's pretty much how I'd sum up this book. Also, it's oddly good. Never since Stephen King's "On Writing" have I actually enjoyed reading a book like this simply to read the writer's prose. Seller's writing is quirky and fresh, and I will soon be buying more of her books.

Now onto the meat and potatoes. The book is motivation on paper, pure and simple. I actually was unable to finish certain sections because parts of the book had me so excited to do my own writing that long stretches of time passed before I was able to find time to read this again. Every chapter had something different, and overall helpful, to say, ending with a skill-enhancing exercise. I found these exercises to be the most interesting part of the book, and--for me--made it so darn good. I have to say though; not every chapter will help every person. I found myself skipping more than one chapter, feeling the information didn't apply to me. Every writer is different, and will take the advice in a different way. Not to mention, it's a very attractive book. The design of the pages is very handsome, and is what initially drove me to pick up this book.

So, to sum this up quickly, you don't get much better than this (other than the previously mentioned "On Writing"). If you're writing a novel, a collection of short stories/essays, or your ten-thousand (eek) page autobiography, this book is for you. Plain and simple, it'll help you avoid writer's block and push you to do what you need to do to get your dream job done.

9/10
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second Heather Sellers book I've read; Page After Page was a wonderful read but a step behind where I am in my writing process, so I needed to check this one out. I find many of the passages to be very helpful (and she's very clear that not every passage will be helpful for every writer; the idea is to bookmark the ones that ring more honestly to you). There's a mix between technical advice and cheerleading, which can confusing in tone sometimes, but probably gives it the most usefulness to a wider audience. Many of the exercises, unlike the ones in Page After Page, made me want to grab a notebook and have at, and I'm not a big "writing exercises" person. I think the only people that this book will be unhelpful to are the Creative Writing majors out there, and even then...

This book would be best for:
Writers expanding from their "NaNoWriMo" projects, Self-Publishing Writers, Writers who are just starting to feel okay calling themselves that, Writers who are self-taught who are looking for a little guidance, "Not Quite Writers" who think they're being silly by wanting to pursue it.

I most recommend:
Chapters 12 and 13.
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Format: Hardcover
The best part about "Chapter After Chapter" is that Sellers assures writers that they are not alone, and that great works need time to create. This may not be the book for those who are into the "novel in 30 days" school, but it does offer a perspective that can help bring one up to speed. The book is a winner, a sigh of relief.

Update: I've been re-reading this book until now, months after I first picked up the book. I may sound like a gushing high-schooler, but I can't believe that a book can reassure me the way "Chapter After Chapter" does. I'm almost done with the writing of my next graphic novel, and Heather Sellers' words help keep me going.

I always go back to her impressions about dealing with writer's block, warding off tempting new story ideas and learning more about the craft. When it comes to writing projects, I have a hard time finishing what I start, so her musings about having a relationship with your book are dead-on.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Heather Sellers' "Chapter by Chapter" is an amazing writing reference guide. It is a meditation on the art of writing a book. It is made up of stories from Heather's own memoirs, inspiration and motivation, prerequisites, and other sage advice for the writer.

Topics within the chapters include: A look at what writing is all about, strength building exercises for book writers, revisions, rejections, and publication. She helps the reader/writer clarify ideas, enrich writing practice, and increase confidence.

I find myself regularly referring to this concise yet comprehensive guidebook regularly for practical information, instruction, and inspiration.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most motivating writing books I've read recently. Each chapter could probably be summed up in one or two sentences, but that's the beauty of it -- the concepts are clear and well understood while you're reading the book.

I used some of these techniques while writing my first book, but without knowing what I was doing (for example: blocking out or scheduling writing time). As I work on my next book(s), I've found some new motivation from this one and some techniques that I'm actively using.
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Format: Paperback
"Learning to write books is just as hard as learning to write, period."--Heather Sellers

I love this book and have read it about three times since I got it. Heather Sellers lays down hard-won practical advice, yes. But she reveals her own scars and failures--where her wisdom comes from--and she emphasizes tricks and quirks and a form of loving dedication (rather than simply harsh discipline) to get you into the mental and emotional place that makes writing a book doable.

She's not preachy, revealing that she's started lots of books and not finished them. And she admits she has finished, dud books under her bed. Her honesty is refreshing, plus it comes from a widely published author who overcame all the worldly problems that bedevil anyone and can keep her or him from writing regularly. I also like that Chapter after Chapter is written in clean, conversational sentences that make a person want to write.

I became a fan of Heather Sellers when I read her braided narrative essay "Tell Me Again Who Are You?" collected in The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. I. Her story of undergoing face-recognition testing in a scanner at MIT is intercut with a narrative in the past of going away to college and finally breaking away from her crazed parents. There's a lot going on in the essay but it's always clear where she is physically and in time. (A sad motif arises as she calls her husband nightly to report her ordeal at MIT and he can't remember she's not still there for a writing meeting. He's not impaired, like she is with recognizing faces, but just doesn't care.) Anyway, it's one of the best essays and best stories I've ever read, so I bought this book.

I can't understand why there are not tons of rave reviews, but it appears that her other writing book, about developing a writing practice, came out at the same time and is the one people bought. But anyone who wants to graduate to writing a book should read Chapter after Chapter.
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