- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (December 2, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470530707
- ISBN-13: 978-0470530702
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 313 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Writing Fiction For Dummies 1st Edition
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'...an easy-to-follow guide providing step-by-step instructions...' (Writers Forum, December 2009).
From the Back Cover
Writing a novel can be a daunting process it will challenge you, stretch you, and change you. Whether you've never written fiction before or are looking to brush up your skills and learn new techniques for crafting your words, Writing Fiction For Dummies gives you savvy advice on navigating the entire writing process and turning your ideas into a well-written, marketable book.
Establishing an ideal writing environment discover how to set aside enough time and an ideal location for your writing
Getting ready to write fiction pinpoint your location on the road to publication, and set your strategic and tactical goals to get your novel published
Discovering the principles of writing powerful fiction build a realistic story world, envision unique and exciting characters, craft the layers of your plot, and grow a theme organically
Editing and polishing your story and characters put on your editing hat and analyze your characters, scrutinize your story structure, and edit your scenes to get your novel in tip-top shape
Getting published learn how to write query letters and book proposals that will ignite an agent's or editor's enthusiasm and help sell your novel to the right publisher
Open the book and find:
Your strategic roadmap to getting published
Help in choosing your category
Tips for building a believable plot
Guidelines for creating three-dimensional characters
Examples of storylines that spotlight a novel's high concept
Pros and cons of various publishing methods
Advice on finding the right agent and publisher
Top customer reviews
Truby does an excellent job delving into the nuances of story, Vogler's 'The Writer's Journey is also a great help, and Larry Brooks' book, Story Engineering, explains story structure clearly and is indispensable imo, but this book lays it out plain how to write marketable fiction.
The only downside to this book is that, like many 'Dummies' books, it's not really for a complete dummy. I have helped out new writers with this book, and some of the subtleties go over their heads. It is most useful in the hands of someone who already has a rudimentary understanding of the concepts he explains. Being a Dummies book, he hits all the steps and 'how-tos' but doesn't dive too deeply explaining them. This is not a criticism. That is what I expect when I pick up a Dummies book.
If you are an experienced writer or someone who has learned all the basics but need to brush up, (you know what POV is, you understand the difference between a scene and a sequence) or if you want to have a quick reference in one book at your fingertips, this is it.
I don't want to scare away those just learning. Buy this book! Even the brand new writer can benefit greatly from it, since it gathers many concepts in one package that I had to learn by reading many books.
What I do suggest for the newer writer, is to buy the following companion books:
Techniques of the Selling Writer, Dwight Swain
Self-Editing for Fiction Wrighters, Renni Brown
I say this because Ingermanson bases his books on the teachings of Swain and Brown, or at least what he says accords with what they teach, Swain especially. Writing Fiction for Dummies is a wonderful, fairly-detailed outline on how to puke out a novel and form it into something others will want to read, but as I said, he will state a step and move on without bogging you down in theory, which is what I like about this book.
Swain's book could be thought of as the deep reference for this Dummies book. If you want to delve deeper into what Ingermanson is teaching you, Swain's book will fit the bill perfectly, which is why I recommend it as a companion.
Writing Fiction for Dummies is all about helping you get your words down on the page and organizing them in a way that will make them marketable. I wish I had picked this book up first.
The book is also very entertaining and extremely accessible. There are plenty of examples from classic fiction to help you understand the concepts that are being addressed. I feel like I am learning a lot and improving daily, thanks to this book.
It's really good, it breaks down the whole process of writing a good novel. I honestly can't wait when I finish writing my first book. I wouldn't change a thing. I would buy this book all over again.
As with all Dummies books I found it easy to understand and follow. Plus I found it was written in a very engaging style. I felt the authors were really sharing things they'd learned the hard way through experience.
I'm not saying I believe writing or getting published is as simple as reading and following this book. But it does provide an excellent overview and pointers on how it's been accomplished by published authors.