Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review: Writing Fiction for Dummies

Disclaimer: I got my copy of Writing Fiction For Dummies for free as a Kindle e-book giveaway.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. While there are other books such as Stephen King's On Writing that can be inspirational, these books tend to focus on what a writer thinks could work for him. Ingermanson and Economy, two published fiction authors, describe a wide range of writing techniques and styles that could work for various writers, and describe how each style could work for a certain kind of writer.

They further describe structure and plot in an easy to grasp fashion, breaking down well-known stories into the 3-act structure and describing books in terms of scenes. Examples are provided and very relevant and cogent. Each scene is then analyzed, and further broken down into different types. Styles of narration, including a description of why you might want to use first person, third person, omniscient, etc. narratives are also covered.

Finally, the art of selling your novel is also described. There's a huge emphasis on going to writing conferences to pitch your novel in person, but there's also lots of detail about how to write a proposal, story summary, and pitch. They describe how to get agents to look at your book, and what to do as a first time author.

I am undecided as to whether I will attempt a novel this year (my next book is almost certainly not a novel), but if I do, I expect to go back to this book and use it extensively while writing. Recommended.
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