©1995 Sol Stein; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks
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.
I am a filmmaker, not a novelist or journalist, but found this book incredibly educational and captivating all the same. As others have noted, the practical advice was even more than I bargained for. And in combination with the theory and experience that supports all of the author's teachings, this book felt like one of those once in a lifetime semesters with a professor that sticks with you for the rest of your days.
How he shows the right and wrong way to approach things
On Writing Well, because it helps a writer to improve his or her voice.
How to create proper suspense and tension.
Every writer should have this book!
The book provides good strategies and skills to any writer, fiction and non-fiction alike. It will guide you how to avoid common pitfalls, how to improve the text, remove clatter, etc. The downside is that he has a lot of emphasize on fiction writers, for instance, a whole chapter on love scenes, drama, etc. But non fiction writer also gain insights, and will find some parts exciting and helpful.
The important advantage is that Sol Stein in (was?) an editor, and he teaches from an editor's perceptive. It does not help that you and your relatives find the manuscript you write interesting, or exciting if an editor does not, because you will not publish it. Adopting his point of view will not only help you get your book published, but also make it better in any possible way, from title to content, to first page.
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