Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
"Damn good" fiction is dramatic fiction, Frey insists, whether it is by Hemingway or Grisham, Le Carre or Ludlum, Austen or Dickens. Despite their differences, these authors' works share common elements: strong narrative lines, fascinating characters, steadily building conflicts, and satisfying conclusions. Frey's How to Write a Damn Good Novel is one of the most widely used guides ever published for aspiring authors. Here, in How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II, Frey offers powerful advanced techniques to build suspense, create fresher, more interesting characters, and achieve greater reader sympathy, empathy, and identification.
How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II also warns against the pseudo-rules often inflicted upon writers, rules such as "The author must always be invisible" and "You must stick to a single viewpoint in a scene," which cramp the imagination and deaden the narrative. Frey focuses instead on promises that the author makes to the reader—promises about character, narrative voice, story type, and so on, which must be kept if the reader is to be satisfied. This book is rich, instructive, honest, and often tellingly funny about the way writers sometimes fail their readers and themselves." - Google Books
Friday, February 19, 2010
"Writing mystery fiction can be a special kind of puzzle. in this new, revised edition of the Mystery Writers of America classic, Sue Grafton weaves the experience of today's top mystery authors into a comprehensive mystery writing "how-to." Writers will learn how to piece a perfect mystery together and create realistic stories that are taut, immediate and fraught with tension. The book's contributors include a "who's who" of the mystery writing elite: Faye and Jonathan Kellerman on conducting accurate research; Michael Connelly on mastering characterization; Tony Hillerman on writing without an outline; Lawrence Block on overcoming writer's block; Sara Paretsky on creating successful series characters; Tess Gerritson on writing the medical thriller; Ann Rule on the art of writing true crime. and many more! Sue Grafton is the best-selling author of the Kinsey Millhone series. She lives in Southern California." - Google Books
Sunday, February 14, 2010
"Prolific mystery writer and winner of the Scribner Crime Novel Award explores his craft in this practical handbook. Using examples from his own work and that of other celebrated mystery writers, the author discusses the planning and writing of successful mystery fiction." - Google Books
Saturday, February 13, 2010
"Edgar award nominee James N. Frey, author of the internationally best-selling books on the craft of writing, "How to Write a Damn Good Novel," "How to Write a Damn Good Novel II: Advanced Techniques," and "The Key: How to Write Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth," has now written what is certain to become the standard "how to" book for mystery writing, "How to Write a Damn Good Mystery."
Frey urges writers to aim high-not to try to write a good-enough-to-get-published mystery, but a damn good mystery. A damn good mystery is first a dramatic novel, Frey insists-a dramatic novel with living, breathing characters-and he shows his readers how to create a living, breathing, believable character who will be clever and resourceful, willful and resolute, and will be what Frey calls "the author of the plot behind the plot."
Frey then shows, in his well-known, entertaining, and accessible (and often humorous) style, how the characters-the entire ensemble, including the murderer, the detective, the authorities, the victims, the suspects, the witnesses and the bystanders-create a complete and coherent world.
Exploring both the on-stage action and the behind-the-scenes intrigue, Frey shows prospective writers how to build a fleshed-out, believable, and logical world. He shows them exactly which parts of that world show up in the pages of a damn good mystery-and which parts are held back just long enough to keep the reader guessing.
This is an indispensable step-by-step guide for anyone who's ever dreamed of writing a damn good mystery." - Google Books
Monday, February 8, 2010
"Appealing to novelists of any stripe, The Novelist's Essential Guide to Creating Plot allows readers to focus on and examine in depth the structure of a novel-either one on which they're currently working or one that they are planning. Light in tone and friendly to the beginner, J. Madison Davis' instruction is accessible and practical. From beginning to end, Davis covers every aspect of plotting a novel. Readers will learn how to: Increase the intensity of their plots; Enrich their work with multiple and parallel plots; Weave in subplots; Integrate characters and plots; Use leitmotifs, back stories, frames and more. With The Novelist's Essential Guide to Creating Plots and The Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes," - Google Books
Monday, February 1, 2010
"Long live the King" hailed Entertainment Weekly upon the publication of Stephen King's On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999 -- and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring," - Google Books
I found the memoir section to be the best part. King is a pantser. I'm a planner. I didn't get a lot out of the how to section. But it is a good read. I give it 3 stars.