- Paperback: 344 pages
- Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; Revised edition (January 15, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0806111917
- ISBN-13: 978-0806111919
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 234 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Techniques of the Selling Writer Revised Edition
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Ultimately every writer finds their own way to write. You can plug away mercilessly at that, or do something a bit more productive, and have someone to set you upon on e of the paths. Professor Swain does this rather nicely, and with the delicate touch needed for new writers.
The book does show its age in some of the language, especially with regard to politically correct approaches to race and gender. However, I don't think it does so to its detriment. At least it does it no more than a reading of Shakespeare.
If you are looking to get started and have no idea, this book is for you. If you've been trying to get words to the page, but spend most your time staring at blankness, this book is for you. If you want to, as Mr. King says in a similar genre of book, "fill your toolbox" which is currently empty, this book is for you. Come to think of it, this book is really for everyone. The world could stand a few more good, maybe even great, writers. Good luck.
Each time I thought about reading it, I put it back on the shelf. Oh foolish girl!!
Techniques... is a practical writing guide as well as a guide to producing writing that sells.
What I liked:
I’m tempted to say, “I liked everything,” which would be true, but here’s what sets this book apart from other books:
1) It’s organized in a logical progression from the smallest writing unit to the broad strokes of storytelling.
2) It’s detailed and specific.
3) There’s lots of examples.
4) The writing is clear and easy to understand.
5) Swain’s breaks down the techniques genre fiction writers use to tell compelling
6) I’ve tried his techniques and have seen a marked improvement in my writing.
I don’t want you to think this is a perfect book, or a quick and easy read. There are some potential issues. I didn’t mind these things, but I imagine they could be stumbling blocks for some.
1) The book is dense; he packs more into 300 pages than most writing books. I get frustrated with books that are thin on content.
2) It’s dated, which anyone would expect from a book published 45 years ago; be prepared for talk about typewriters and other outdated things. If you think this might annoy you, remember that this book is still in print for a reason.
3) This is the kind of book you’ll read slowly and study–this is a plus for me, but I know some people want a quick an easy fix.
4) Some say that the writing is dry, but I didn’t notice. My academic background might make me jaded. The content is so valuable that I didn’t notice dry writing.
If you are an aspiring writer or a writer who want to improve, I recommend this book.
For me, it’s a must have.