- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Flogging The Quill; First Edition edition (May 8, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0578009358
- ISBN-13: 978-0578009353
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,036,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Flogging the Quill: Crafting a Novel that Sells First Edition Edition
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It's a winner! For some time now, I've been a fan of Flogging the Quill, Rhamey's excellent blogsite about the how-to's of writing. Now he's compiled his expertise into a writing guide, and it's a must-have for any novelist--published or just aspiring. It's one of the most readable, entertaining books on writing out there. Whether you're writing your first novel or your twentieth, this book will provide the kick you need to start writing--and keep writing. Bestseller Tess Gerritsen
As an owner and managing editor of a publishing company, I've read many submissions that were near-misses. If the writers had had the benefit of this book, they'd be published right now. Witty, funny, and engaging, this is a must-read for the burgeoning storyteller and serious novelist, and it's a necessity for all editors who seek to nurture their writing clients. Laura Abbott, Editor/Publisher, Amber Quill Press
Learn the critical art of revision--ruthless and rigorous self-editing--from a man who understands it better than most. If you are ready to do the work, Ray Rhamey's book provides the sort of practical, sensible advice that really can help you become a better writer. Dan Conaway, Literary agent, Writers House
About the Author
Ray Rhamey is a novelist, screenwriter, and editor who has made a living with creativity, writing, and editing for over thirty years. He is a book editor and designer, Crrreative Book Editing and Design. He has done freelance developmental editing of book-length manuscripts since 2001, specializing in fiction by first-time novelists. His internationally known blog on the craft of storytelling, Flogging the Quill, draws 9,000 page hits per month. He also conducts workshops at writing conferences on crafting a killer first page and crafting killer description and dialogue scenes.
Top customer reviews
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My one complaint is that size of the print-on-demand book. I think the author elected the 8.5 X 11 print size to cut costs, but the size is really unmanageable, and doesn't blend with the rest of the books on my how-to shelf. In addition to not liking the size, both for comfort of reading and aesthetics, the actual printed area of the text is much, much smaller than the size of the page, so that only serves to emphasize the author should have selected a 6 x 9 book template (or smaller). At the end of the day, authors who self-publish need to put readers' enjoyment and use of the book at the top of the priority list, rather than the net sale value that can be derived from each purchase.
If not for the odd-duck size of the book, I would give this how-to a 5-star rating. At the end of the day, it's the content that matters, but I sure don't like looking at it sticking out like a skyscraper surrounded by one-story buildings. Instead of keeping it on my shelf of fave how-to books (which I would have if the size were smaller), I'm going to donate it to the library where it will blend in better, and other writers can benefit from it.
Rhamey lays down advice which is generally valid, although there are few new ideas. He freely derives his ideas from other books on the subject, particularly the works of Donald Maass and the book "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" by Reni Browne and Dave Kind. He mentions the common advice of "show, don't tell" and spends a whole section on why adverbs are bad--usually.
The one odd thing is that Rhamey spends quite a few pages on the word "with", as he seems to think it's only valid to imply a "means by which to do something". For example, Rhamey finds a sentence like this suspect:
"He watched her with a satisfied smile."
Rhamey claims that this implies "his teeth are capable of vision". Huh? No, Rhamey, really, it doesn't. "With" is a very flexible word and in this example it simply means he had a satisfied smile while he watched her. I agree with Rhamey that authors tend to over-use such constructions, but there's nothing wrong with it in and of itself.
Of course, this little idiosyncrasy does not imply that the whole book is not worth it. Rhamey manages to give things a fresh spin due to his clear and concise writing, so the book is useful as a general summary of what has already been written on writing novels.
Therefore I can say with conviction that this is one of the best. Congratulations to Mr. Rhamey.
Lima Netto [...] Flogging the Quill: Crafting a Novel that Sells
Ray's book deals with storytelling, description, dialogue, techniques, words to avoid, and workouts that help writers to understand how to critique their work and others. He also delves into how to hook your readers and make them care about your story and its character through building tension, raising story questions, perfecting your narrative voice, writing with clarity, setting the scene, and developing your characters.
Overall, this book is well worth the price of admission and if you do, you'll learn how to whip your stories into shape in no time.
In all, I highly recommend this book for people wanting to begin writing, or those who simply wish to learn how to improve their craft.