- Paperback: 140 pages
- Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; New edition edition (September 15, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 158297103X
- ISBN-13: 978-1582971032
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 215 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy New edition Edition
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About the Author
Orson Scott Card is one of the biggest names in science fiction and fantasy. He won both the Hugo and Nebula science fiction awards for best novel for two consecutive years - something no other writer has done. In addition, he was the first writer to ever win a Nebula and a Hugo for both a book and its sequel.
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I rated this four stars only because there are other, better, writing self-help books out there, like Techniques of a Selling Writer by Dwight V Swain.
This is a good supplement to any writer's craft.
All that being said, I gave it four stars because it does its job. You put the book down with a better understanding of what, and what not, to do. I enjoyed it and would recommend it.
He also recommends some good reads for seeing what he means, and quotes from other authors as an example. A small book, but worth it.
I picked it up because I'm having trouble finding a good exposition balance, and I wanted to know what Card had to say on the topic. Rather than quote his own writings or give personal advice, he spends p87-96 dissecting a sentence of Wild Seed: "Daro discovered the woman by accident when he went to see what was left of one his seed villages." Near the end he moves up to the paragraph containing the sentence... and this did not help me with my own exposition balance. He mentions the limitation of third person limited viewpoint (which is what I was having problems with) but then hey, absolutely nothing about shattering said limits... he mentions 'naming' (write names of things), 'abeyance' (gradually dole out information), 'implications' (yes, I can imply), and 'literalism' all of which I was already familiar with. (Literalism isn't even relevant to exposition balance.) Card goes over Butler in a shallow, limited context, which unfortunately won't work for stories in a fantasy (rather than SF setting) not remotely like hers.
I can't say I learned anything from this purchase, though it contains anecdotes about Card's favorite books, very little of that has to do with good writing. Much of it is basic advice on what NOT to do. If you are an advanced writer in the genre, you will find this book too basic. If you are a beginner in science fiction it isn't a bad place to start, especially if you like Orson Scott Card, but you'll find the same elsewhere... recommend Techniques of the Selling Writer if you just want to know how to write.
There is nothing particularly wrong with this book, all the advice is fairly sound although some of the SF magazines he mentions don't exist anymore. There is just nothing really stunning about this book that makes it stand out from the crowd of other how to write books.
So ultimately i would say good but not brilliant, worth a read but nothing special