©1995 Sol Stein; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks
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.
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.
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).
Unlike other "...those who can't, teach" books on writing, Stein's book is packed with useful, tangible information that can help just about any writer. This book is primarily geared towards fiction writers, but non-fiction writers will benefit as well. (And as Stein points out, non-fiction writers that don't have a novel stashed away some place are few and far between.) Stein explains how text looks from a editor's/publisher's point of view and in my opinion, he explains why a lot of "good" writing doesn't sell.
There are hundreds of books on writing, but this book is a stand out. Not only is the author a publisher, playright & successful (fiction) author - but he knows how to break it down for you. In fact, he goes into detail, with excellent examples throughout, that I hadn't even considered. When you're struggling to get going, I've found that to be important. I've been writing non-fiction for years, and have had a book published by Penguin, but I'd like to try fiction. This book has tips for fiction AND non-fiction writers, although it's weighted towards fiction. LOVE the many examples, so you can see (ok, hear, as this is audible!) the WAY it's done.
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.
Three favorite authors, from three different continents and three different races: Stefan Zweig, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Chinua Achebe.
Get this audiobook if you're intereted in improving your writing skills.
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.
As I listen and apply I find that I am continually refreshed in not only my thirst for writing but my ability as a craftsman.
Look no further. This book will change your writing life.
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