©1995 Sol Stein; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks
Avid reader (and listener) of great (and other) books
Even if I don't get published, my reading skills are better thanks to this book and its details, clarity and examples.
Well narrated and easy to follow, this is a must for all writers - fiction and non-fiction.
He provides great examples.
It's definitely on my top 3 list along with Steven King's On Writing, and David Farland's Million Dollar Outlines.
He has a wonderful tone and pace and makes it easy to follow examples.
Listen to this! And then listen again.
Excellent author's advice.
Obviously the author.
Nothing in particular. There wasn't anything new that I hadn't heard, however he expressed it well.
Well worth listening to and keeping in your library for a refresher.
Solid stories about the real world.
Sol, of course.
Didn't get tired of his voice. Listened on a three hour drive, back and forth.
This is the first book I have read or listened to on the craft of writing, so I have nothing to compare it to. But, I thought it was a very good book. Mr. Stein presents a lot of very good ideas and things to think about, and presents them in a way that is easy to understand. I think this is a very helpful book and time well spent. I'm considering buying a print copy so I can study it in more detail and highlight the parts I need to study more.
This is the kind of styles I like: good pace, cerebral, well-documented, meaty, mind-bending.
When I got the book, I wondered whether this would not just be for aspiring novelists, not at all!
If you are like me, there are times you're listening/reading a book and thinking that you don't like the book. You don't know why, but you just don't like it. Usually, that's because you're bored but why you're bored is not clear. Further, you're wondering whether it is worth going a bit further into the book, maybe it will get better.
What Stein's text does is tell what works in a book and vice-versa, tell you why you don't like a book. And it's simply amazing how many books do not follow Stein's basic recommendation and how this shows when listening to them.
Read this book and you will know why you don't like a book and when it is time to let it go. If I had known about it earlier, it would have saved me so much time not giving second chances to books that were ultimately completely pointless. I will give here a few examples of things (among many others) that Stein's clearly identifies as poor boring writing:
1. Characters that are sissies or winny, and have no strength of will,
2. Stories that tell but do not show what's really happening,
3. Stories in which things just do not start with something unusual, it's just the plain regular life.
What's interesting about Stein's ideas is that they are delightfully adapted to our times. There are classics that do not follow these rules and that, if they were not accepted as classics, would probably fail. It makes the lessons quite fresh and certainly not obvious and a must read for anyone who wants to know why he did not like a particular book.
Some take it as a lesson on writing, take it as a lesson on reading.
I took away a lot of great advice from this book (though you might not be able to tell from the reviews I write)
It seemed as if Stein spent a lot of time telling us how famous and successful he was and what a great influence he had been on a number of other famous and successful people. if you listen to this in a week like I did, you don't need to hear 20 times how he mentored an oscar winning director. Just get to the point.
This book kept me from reinventing the wheel. The audio format was useful.
I felt like I was at one of Sol's writer's clinics.
People read to escape so don't bore them with the mundane.
I think my writing has improved after listening to this treatise.
Great content if you are ready to write your first novel. After a while though it becomes bla bla bla.. as the reader just drones on and on.
I replayed sections more than once, as I lost concentration because the reader is so dry.
"nobody likes ordinary people, they are boring"
"think of the sexiest woman you know, now think of her bald, not so sexy now is she"
I want writing tips, not tips on how to reject everything that isn't mainstream.
Yes there are genuinely good writing tips in here, but they are each buried under half an hour to an hour of boring bs examples and waffle.
This book written by and editor SURE AS HELL NEEDS AND EDITOR!
The irony of that and reading a book discussing how to make your characters more likeable while finding the narrator deeply unpleasant wasn't lost on me.
I got through two and a half hours of this and I want a damn medal.
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