- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 5 edition (October 6, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 158297294X
- ISBN-13: 978-1582972947
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 362 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish 5th Edition
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About the Author
A former trial lawyer, James Scott Bell is the award-winning author of numerous thrillers, including the Ty Buchanan series (Try Dying, Try Darkness, Try Fear). He is also the author of two other popular writing books: Revision & Self-Editing, and The Art of War for Writers. A frequent teacher and keynoter at writing conferences, he resides in Los Angeles.
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Top customer reviews
Bottom line: if you want to learn the craft of writing and intend to pursue the publishing market, do yourself-- and the world-- a favor and read this book.
I went through the first couple of pages of the book, arrogantly and ignorantly, nodding because I vaguely remember parts of this or noticed that in stories I liked or in taking english classes in high school where we had to analyze the books. He gave clear, piece by piece explanations on their purpose, examples, what to do, how to use it. He guides us through the making of a fiction.
Many of the ways he breaks down storytelling were eye opening. Some things I had always attributed to magic could actually fit into a nice formula. It was a mind changing view of interpreting fiction. I watched a couple of great movies, read great stories and it was amazing how well they fit into his observations. Really deserves 5 stars because of how it changed my view on writing and enjoying fiction.
I can't tell you what "secret(s)" it was that really changed my view- no spoilers! It may be something else (or nothing in it) for you. I want you to get this book! I want the author to be richly rewarded and for your life to be richly rewarded too!
Think of writing as a journey through the woods: You set up, you get in the muddle, and you come out (hopefully) on the other side. When doing this, we try to use as many tools and resources as we can to make it to the other side, but most of the time you fail (or tools fail on you) and you end up starving or being eaten by some wild animal in the muddle of the story. What James Scott Bell wants you to have in clear is that the most useful tool you can have out there is YOU. And all of his tips, advice and excercises are aimed to one thing and one thing only: how to unleash and harness the power of your story (and survive).
It provides clear, straight-forward tools and tips, adressing many aspects of the writing process you won't find in many of them. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the study of plots and storytelling. Relevant examples that take in consideration a wide array of writer profiles, and Bell does not abuse with film examples (and most of the movies it references are also books i.e.: the maltesse falcon, the godfather, etc.). It contains useful excercises at the end of each chapter to help you put the tehcniques in practice and bring the best out of your learning experience. It really helped me overcome several issues I had with my novel-writing and opened my mind to a new scope on plot and str.. This is a wonderful book, written in the same gripping style that the author suggests to use, and with great success.
I think this is a wonderful book because it does not give infalible advice. To me that is very important. Let me ilustrate how I felt by giving you the following example:
(after developing content)
-Regular book: so just do This (and fail, miserably).
-Bell's book: Many writers had this problem before and by doing This you might also find a solution for it. In case That doesn't work, you could maybe try This, or come back at it again later on with a fresh view and give it another try.