Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling: Coaching from Flogging the Quill Kindle Edition
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- File Size : 2078 KB
- Print Length : 278 pages
- Publisher : FtQ Press (October 30, 2014)
- Publication Date : October 30, 2014
- Word Wise : Enabled
- ASIN : B00P2TUHTS
- Language: : English
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #601,806 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The author, Ray, writes about staying in the NOW of the story and it is good advice. Like many writers I am tempted to flash back and forth between the present and the past to give context but Ray points out clever ways to do this without bogging readers down in page after page of backstory.
From ways to create tension to tips on how to keep the story moving, Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling is a must read for writers. I purchased the Kindle copy and after reading through a few times, I went back and highlighted notes (more than 200) as reminders. Towards the end of the book are Workouts where you can practice the skills you have learned while reading the book and I was amazed at how much more critical I'd become as a result of taking those lessons on board. I then applied those new skills to my own first page and ended up with a far tighter and more compelling opening.
I'd also highly recommend the author's website Flogging the Quill in which he provides free feedback on first pages and whether or not they have 'compelling openings'. It makes for fascinating reading, you can post your own 'turn the page' vote, and it clearly demonstrates Ray's skill at editing.
If you are interested in honing your skills as a writer this book is a must read.
Ray instructs you to streamline your writing. Get rid of "ing" phrases. Avoid "of" statements. Stay away from "started to" or "began to." Do without "with" and "without." Scrutinize your use of "as." Minimize adverbs and throw out pointless adjectives. Understand and stay consistent with your character's point of view.
My favorite as-ha moments included, "Clue the reader to the sound of a speech before it happens" and "it's clear that each sentence on the first page is charged with the responsibility to KEEP READERS MOVING FORWARD." You must create "...a need in your reader, a small unease, a hunger to know more."
What was most instructive were the "weak" writing examples followed by improved versions. Often I did not see the weaknesses in the first example, but clearly saw them in the second version.
Ray's advice has spurred me to edit, edit, edit!!
Top reviews from other countries
This is an excellent craft skills book, for two main reasons: one, the use of examples in the editing process, and two, the ease of language used to get the message across.
Well, that's my opinion, and that's all she wrote!