©1995 Sol Stein; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks
Excellent information, clearly presented. This not only helped me improve what I have already written but also sparked new ideas to keep me writing new material. I'm going to listen again right now.
This is, by far, the best book on writing advice I have read. First of all it's so enjoyable and interesting to read that you can't put it down. Second, Sol gives lots of real examples: (e.g. "Here is one example, now here's a better way to word this.")
Stephen King, "On Writing," is probably my next favorite, but Sol Stein has much more actual writing examples than King and is much more thorough.
Oh, Christopher Lane is incredible. His voice is pleasant to listen to and gives the perfect emotion to the book so that you never start to "zone out." He also did "The Best Revenge" for Stein which I'm reading now. He is slightly more animated for this work on fiction and also wonderful.
It's hard to pick just one. I loved the section on how he explained that he used to be part of a small theater where the director used to purposely give each actor a different script, and then turn them lose on the stage to cause confusion. And he said you should do this in your writing, because in real life we all have "different scripts."
If you could only chose one book on writing to read, it should be this one.
The book provided a lot of examples of good writing and excellent writing by applying the techniques mentioned. Even for someone who is only looking to improve her writing (not necessarily get published) would benefit from this book.
I practice the advice of cutting out adverbs and adjectives. Is the writing still saying the same thing with less words?
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.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Stein???s book is a writer???s road map. Writers see the highways and streets of writing a good story. Stein???s map reveals where a story begins, which roads to follow, and where a story ends. He explains how to write actionably. Do not write ???he was upset???, write, ???He threw an ash tray through the living room window, sprinkling shards of glass across a brown patch of grass???. The first line is vague. It is telling the reader that the character is upset. The second line shows action. It makes the reader decide on the character???s mood. A good writer is emoting readers to feel character emotion. He does not tell the reader what to think. On Stein???s map, this is the beginning of good story telling.
Stein offers more and says it better.
This is a book for the reference shelf; to be read; to be listened to; again and again.
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).
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