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17 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars To write average prose, follow ten easy steps..., November 11, 2008
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This review is from: Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish (Paperback)
Every so often I get insecure in my efforts to write a decent book, and I check out one of these craft books. Often they help, often not. This one falls in the latter category. It outlines the most common concepts of the most common fiction (the necessity of conflict, an objective for the main character, opposition thereto, the three act structure, etc.), and tells you how to fill in this cookie-cutter design and maybe tweak the shape so you come up with a new variation on the reindeer or the Christmas tree (or the thriller or the mystery or the romance). The section on plotting can be summarized as, "If you're going to plot, and you should, just think of anything that could happen, write it on a card, fill lots of cards, and then put the cards into a sequence that leads to someone getting shot and then someone else having to deal with it." I exaggerate, but only slightly. A good scene usually ends in some sort of drastic action, a gunshot being a good example. Passing reference is occasionally made to literary fiction as something that could involve more subtle developments, and everything else herein is only useful for the true novice or the genre writer. Which has it's purpose. The most basic basics must be learned. Maybe this is a good place to get them. If you do order this, even if you have never written before, you will smack your head a lot and go, Duh, that makes sense. Of course!... (BTW, I'm no literary snob and certainly not writing from any position of authority. The writer of this book had published some books. If you read this and follow his advice, you might too. They might even get published. They will not be that ultra-subtle stuff where nothing happens, and not very interestingly, for hundreds of pages and we are made to suffer the 'artists' pretension--and that's certainly a good thing. But to learn to write exciting, lively prose, this doesn't seem like the route.)
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 23, 2009, 10:49:08 AM PST
Well....okay....so what IS the route that a would-be writer should take for the advice they need on how to write?

Posted on Jan 16, 2011, 7:56:41 AM PST
CO says:
I, like Christoph, would like to know the answer to his question.

Posted on Aug 2, 2011, 8:49:01 AM PDT
Well, I am no expert, and just like you, I was here to see if I could learn some trick or new idea. But it has been my experience that as with anything, the only way to get better is to do it - a lot. The more you write, the better your writing will be. I also find that reading helps. Read other authors who write the types of things you would like to write. Not to copy them, but to get ideas - what to do and what to avoid. See how they begin their story; how to describe eyes, feelings, expressions... I don't think that because 'Bardamu' felt this was not the answer, he should know what the answer is. I know bad singing when I hear it, but trust me, I can't sing, nor can I tell you how to do it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2011, 5:25:48 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 30, 2011, 5:30:16 AM PST]
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