- Hardcover: 176 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (March 15, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312104782
- ISBN-13: 978-0312104788
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 67 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II: Advanced Techniques For Dramatic Storytelling 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
Frey ( How To Write a Damn Good Novel , St. Martin's, 1987) expands on his earlier take on the art of novel writing. His focus here is on dramatic fiction. Using examples from a broad range of fiction, he shows what these works have in common and how writers can learn from the authors to improve their own writing. Some of the areas discussed are developing characters, creating suspense, using a strong narrative voice, and understanding the author/reader contract. Chapter 8, entitled "The Seven Deadly Mistakes," talks about being timid, trying to be literary, and the failure to produce; it gives some advice on how to avoid these writing traps. The final word is to write with passion. This is a good choice for the writing shelf. It is a clear-headed study, with a bit of humor and solid advice. Anyone who owns the first book should have this one, but it can also stand on its own. Recommended for public libraries.
- Lisa J. Cochenet, Winfield P.L., Ill.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Frey expands on his earlier take on the art of novel writing. His focus here is on dramatic fiction. Using examples from a broad range of fiction, he shows what these works have in common and how writers can learn from the authors to improve their own writing. Some of the areas discussed are developing characters, creating suspense, using a strong narrative voice, and understanding the author/reader contract . . . A good choice for the writing shelf. It is a clear-headed study, with a bit of humor and solid advice. Anyone who owns the first book should have this one, but it can also stand on its own.” ―Library Journal
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Very highly recommended!
If you're serious about improving your writing, you'll want to add this to your bank of knowledge. There are many good books on writing that have allowed me to become a better writer. After I wrote my first novel, I started reading books on writing. With each, I went through my manuscript with an eye for just those things I'd learned. Each time, my manuscript got better.
Here's to you becoming a knock-em-dead writer.
I found the chapter on "The Seven Deadly Mistakes" to be particularly useful: the topics here include Timidity, Trying to be Literary, Ego-Writing, Failure to Learn to Re-dream the Dream, Failure to Keep Faith with Yourself, choosing the Wrong Lifestyle, and Failure to Produce. I admired Frey's willingness to admit his own mistakes and follies from his life, even to the point of using them as examples in the chapter.
In some cases, I found what Frey wrote didn't necessarily help me _directly_, nor did this one have quite the same impact as his first. But what he did do was to force me to look at certain writing challenges from a different point of view. That alone was worth the trip, because it enabled me to find a way to write with more passion, with better descriptive language, and with a clearer eye to the final goal. Like the first book, I found it to be absolutely indispensible to new writers.
It takes no more than a rainy afternoon to read this book. As you read, your thoughts will gather and you will begin to experiment with story ideas already gathering dust in your head. Using his guidelines just may allow you to see past the idea through to a fully developed story. Remember however, that Frey isn't going to write the story for you---he's there to help formulate your thought patterns into something meaningful and publishable. He may give the art form, but the art is yours to create.