©1995 Sol Stein; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks
I'm a writer and I read like one. Just waiting for my big shot.
From now on this book will serve as a reference for me while writing both articles and fiction.
Every writer should read this book if they are committed to their craft and have the goal to become the best writer they can be.
I listen to a lot of everything. I really enjoy fiction, but also business books, self-improvement and lectures.
This is a fantastic read for any aspiring writer or a writer trying to build or improve their craft.
I can tell by the examples he draws upon that a great deal of thought went into this work. And he doesn't speak down to his audience.
I found this book to be exactly what I needed to point out writing pitfalls. It also served to remind me of what I already knew.
Stein cleared up things I've heard seasoned writers often say, but not necessarily explain; such as "be precise."
This book brings you from blank page to publishing. I read many books on writing, and I'd have to say this book is one of the best resources I've found. Half way through listening to this book, I also bought the softcover book to use as a reference.
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.
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