Sol Stein with his years of study and practice make this book very valuable for anyone interested in writing or communicating with other people in direct effective and in intriguing ways, (with least amount of unnecessary words required to do so)! I recommend this book to anyone interested in being a better communicator in every way imaginable!
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Now that I have listened to this book I will have to buy a hard copy. There was not enough room on my MP3 player for all of the bookmarks. This is a book you will want to dog ear.
I am a big fan of Ayn Rand and happened to read her "Art of Fiction" before reading "Stein on Writing." It is interesting that the books give opposite advice.
Rand advises that the plot is the most important aspect of a novel and must be a purposeful progression of events demonstrating some sort of value. She calls this Romantic writing. Rand advises against Naturalistic writing, of telling a make-believe story with no purpose, because in that case your time would be better spent writing non-fiction.
Stein is firmly in the Naturalistic camp. And, his book contains sections that are insulting to people who enjoy Romantic novels. For example, he puts down all Ian Fleming novels as being written for simplistic people.
I happen to like the writing of Rand and Fleming. I aspire to write something approaching their work in greatness. Therefore, Stein has only provided me with ideas on what not to do.
John Christmas, author of "Democracy Society"
Literary graduate and published columnist turned glorified grease monkey.
Went into a fair amount of detail. Provided great examples. Good little exercises and answers provided to see if you have what it takes. It was a little bit long, but everything in it was relevant. Very insiteful, a must for budding writers who want the edge. Lots of key elements needed for the difference between pulp fiction and quality writing. Very well done. I'm going to try Ayn Rand's "Art of Fiction" next just to get a comparison.
This is not a book that you will say you have heard before. This book is one that you will say you need to hear again.
For any writer, Stein's words will be like gold. I only wish he would speak of grammar.
E.B. Whites, Elements of Style could very well be right next to this (aside from length).
I scoured Audible in search of what I felt to me would be the most useful book on writing. I examined descriptions, reviews, and more descriptions and reviews, before settling on Stein on Writing. I wasn't convinced I made the right choice...until I listened to it. I feel lucky that this was the book I chose because as a novice writer who craves tips from professionals it has given me a tremendous amount of valuable information.
I compared Sol Stein to Ayn Rand and he comes out on top. I've listened to him several times and keep picking up bits of advice I missed previously. I like how he separates fiction from nonfiction. His examples of other great writers who have been humbled at the beginning of their careers but were smart enough to pay heed to what the experts told them are relevant. You don't need to be brilliant to write brilliantly.
Im 40 now, and have not done much writing outside of highschool and college assignments. And I admit, if it were not for audiobooks, I would have no connection with books. But that said, I do enjoy a good story, and Ive started to dabble a bit in writing, and thought Id give this book a try, as Im ready and eager to learn more.
What I expected was a dry 'technical manual' on where to put punctuation, and what pro-nouns were and all that. What I got was a wonderfully rich exposure to what the purpose of a writer really is (to manipulate the readers experience), how to flesh out and define your characters and to understand various methods to revising and rewriting your work. All of this backed up by solid examples that show how authors (some bestsellers) have succeeded or fallen short of these ideas. And I found it fascinating.
This book has changed my appreciation for all that an author does, and all the responsibilities I must live up to when I write. And these lessons I will also apply in my artwork, comic books, and other story telling forms.
Again, I thought it it was going to be painfully slow and bland. Yet I found every chapter to be an insight on fresh ways to look at my writing/storytelling. And for me, it was fantastic and I only wish I was aware of these concepts earlier in life, as they are that profound.