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Writing the Heart of Your Story: The Secret to Crafting an Unforgettable Novel (Writer's Toolbox Series) (Volume 1) Paperback – June 26, 2014
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
About the Author
C. S. Lakin is a multipublished novelist and writing coach. She works full-time as a copyeditor and critiques about two hundred manuscripts a year. She teaches writing workshops and gives instruction on her award-winning blog Live Write Thrive. Her grammar book—Say What? The Fiction Writer’s Handy Guide to Grammar, Punctuation, and Word Usage—is designed to help writers get a painless grasp on grammar. Connect with her on Twitter (@livewritethrive) and Facebook.
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Top customer reviews
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But expressing yourself can be the path to great creative and commercial success... or, it can be the express train to being a crashing bore who no one wants to read.
What's the difference?
I think C.S. Lakin has nailed it with this book, and, while I have not read as many craft books as some of the other reviewers, I've read more than my share -- and I've never seen stuff like what I'm seeing in this book, before.
Writing from the heart does not mean emoting all over the floor. At least not with this book. It means looking deep enough inside and feeling what's TRUE for you, and conveying that in an accurate and recognizable enough way, so that others share your experience.
Many people mistake their heated (and usually angry) OPINIONS for feelings. Close, but a diatribe makes you a guaranteed, certified crashing bore to all those who don't already share your views -- most of the time.
Others take it up a notch and preach through pinched nostrils about the way the world SHOULD be. Again: Self-expression 1, Enjoyable value to readers, zero. That round goes to self-satisfaction to the writer. Selfish self-satisfaction, because no one else gets to share in the fun.
All of these nasty things I'm saying are vitally important, because they describe what the great vast bulk of manuscripts contain, and why they fail to get the results out in the world of readers that the writer was intending for them to get.
C.S. Lakin sees things the rest of us (yours truly, included) don't usually see, and she explains things others don't usually explain.
What makes a reader BOND with your story in the first few pages?
Not only does she tell you, she gives you a friggin' CHECKLIST.
I have personally had the experience (as a reader) that she is talking about so many times, I know she is absolutely right.
But never before have I seen a checklist detailing out the secret of what master writers actually DO to create that effect, and make me want to keep reading.
Of course, that's only one example of the many valuable, practical insights and techniques she offers in this book.
This book goes into a lot of depth about how to turn your novel into an experience that others will enjoy... and, you know, talk about... and, well, write reviews about... and if that happens repetitively enough, WHOA!!!! ... you've got a best-seller on your hands.
C.S. Lakin does not promise you a best-seller in this book. I'm just noticing the similarities between what she describes and what you find in the books riding atop of those lists.
This book will challenge you, if you read it, take it seriously, and act on its suggestions. It's not easy, but what she's talking about has never been easy.
The difference is, maybe for the first time ever for a lot of people, with this book, it's _doable_.