©1995 Sol Stein; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks
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.
Speaker, Leader, innovation consultant, kilt-wearer, South African.
If you're a writer, this is a fantastic refresher on everything you know you should be doing.
If you're not a writer, this is an excellent primer on writing.
It's good for fiction and non-fiction writers -- and it's improved my writing tremendously (can you tell by how well-written this review is? ;-)
Of course it doesn't take into account blogging or twitter -- but it's written by a master. Very good indeed.
I found this to be an education in how to write AND read. When I read a book now I find myself critiquing aspects I would not have noticed before. As another reviewer said, it's like being back in a university/college class. You will want to take notes. I will read this book again and highly recommend it to anyone interested in writing.
I don't normal bother to write reviews but this merits one. I've learned more from this audiobook than I have from 10 other texts. While predominately for the fiction writer, most of the concepts, as Stein explains, are just as applicable in non-fiction writing.
I don't believe there is anyone alive who couldn't learn at least something from this book.
Excellent listen. I reallly enjoyed this book and it inspired me to write - and to do it well.
"The Midas Touch"
I have bought loads of how to write books over the years - Stein on Writing is simply the best. Where other books can be vague or overgeneralised, Stein is clear and precise. Many how to write books have great ideas about what you need to do but give little clue as to how to do it - Stein richly illustrates the points he makes and develops exercises to enable the reader to make breakthroughs in their approach to writing.
Christopher Lane is the best reader for this type of book - one that you do not notice - instead you find yourself transported directly to Stein's writing.
This book is not just a conventional outline of the usual requirements of good writing - instead it is a thoughtful and insightful collection of wise, hard won insights that can transform you as a writer. Stein has the Midas touch - this book can turn your work into writing gold.
"Great Audiobook on Writing"
I have tried several audiobooks on writing and this is one of the best. The chapters are all subject related and this makes it easy to browse and listen again (which is well worth doing). The examples are very useful and the general approach very pragmatic.
"This book has improved all my writing"
This book has improved all my writing, even emails, weblogs and reviews
Motivational I will get back into writing, now I know I can be better than I was 10 years ago - when I wasn't good enough
Essential for Writers!
You could listen to this audio book over and over again, and you would still learn something new each time. FANTASTIC!
Addresses every aspect of writing with a structured and practical manner. Sol Stein writes with insight derived from his personal experience as a successful writer, editor and publisher. The narrator is a little dry at times, but the writing has clarity and humour.
"Great book with loads for tips"
This book is easy to understand and will help the reader to engage with their readers.
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