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Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction

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Aimed at writers of all standards, this book presents practical guidance on how to create interesting pieces of writing. Sol Stein''s book includes advice on how to use techniques of fiction to enhance works of non-fiction.'


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Aimed at writers of all standards, this book presents practical guidance on how to create interesting pieces of writing. Sol Stein''s book includes advice on how to use techniques of fiction to enhance works of non-fiction.'

30 review for Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    I've been working with writers for over 20 years, as an editor and a book doctor. Solutions for Writers is my most recommended book in terms of nuts and bolts solutions to the problems newer writers face when they're learning their craft. Nancy Kress comes a close second, but as a starting point, Sol Stein can't be beaten in my opinion.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Edmund

    For a long time I've been firmly in the camp of 'How Not to Write a Novel' in the argument that even in a life and death situation, there is no consensus on how to write a good novel, only agreement on what NOT to do. However, in Solutions for Writers, stein offers a course in fiction (and a little non-fiction) writing and what 'to do' when writing. Chapter by chapter Stein covers pretty much covers all the basics of writing from characters to clichés. Stein is a little light on the specifics of p For a long time I've been firmly in the camp of 'How Not to Write a Novel' in the argument that even in a life and death situation, there is no consensus on how to write a good novel, only agreement on what NOT to do. However, in Solutions for Writers, stein offers a course in fiction (and a little non-fiction) writing and what 'to do' when writing. Chapter by chapter Stein covers pretty much covers all the basics of writing from characters to clichés. Stein is a little light on the specifics of plotting and scene building, as the focus of this book is general. He also heaps much scathe on commercial (he calls it transient) fiction, but nonetheless teaches the skills needed for both 'popular' and 'literary' fiction even if his preference is overt.

  3. 5 out of 5

    TreforL

    I picked this book off my shelf to browse and ended up reading it cover to cover with great pleasure. Stein had a stellar career as a playwright, novelist, publisher and teacher; this book is a distillation of all he learned. As a 'How To' book, it's very refreshing as he sets out a clear view of what distinguishes material worthy of publication, both in fiction and non-fiction. I don't agree with everything he espouses, especially some of his ideas around using fiction techniques to jazz up fact I picked this book off my shelf to browse and ended up reading it cover to cover with great pleasure. Stein had a stellar career as a playwright, novelist, publisher and teacher; this book is a distillation of all he learned. As a 'How To' book, it's very refreshing as he sets out a clear view of what distinguishes material worthy of publication, both in fiction and non-fiction. I don't agree with everything he espouses, especially some of his ideas around using fiction techniques to jazz up factual pieces. That's how you muddy the waters in debates about truth and accuracy in reporting. It's also evident from the many examples cited from his own writing that he was more competent than inspired as a novelist. His publishing examples read more impressively. However, Stein (who died in 2019, aged 93), writes warmly and engagingly on his chosen topics. In particular, he offers a cogent approach to writing literary fiction. There are times when a no-nonsense American writing style can trounce the alternatives. Where a British writer might have indulged in exclusive and precious remarks about the mystique of authorial giftedness or in some other class-conscious claptrap, Stein focuses on the technical aspects and leaves it up to the reader whether to have a go. That's one reason he gets a rare five-star rating from me: he really tries to help.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joe Stamber

    Solutions for Writers includes a lot of advice for both fiction and non-fiction writers, although the emphasis is on fiction. Some of the advice can be applied to both. The book is divided into chapters covering different aspects of writing, from opening sentences to revision. Each chapter includes relevant samples from real-life authors, which go a long way to explaining Sol Stein's points. The advice in Solutions for Writers is how to improve your writing, rather than how to get started or a s Solutions for Writers includes a lot of advice for both fiction and non-fiction writers, although the emphasis is on fiction. Some of the advice can be applied to both. The book is divided into chapters covering different aspects of writing, from opening sentences to revision. Each chapter includes relevant samples from real-life authors, which go a long way to explaining Sol Stein's points. The advice in Solutions for Writers is how to improve your writing, rather than how to get started or a specific area. It was written in a style that I found easy to read and (almost) everything made sense to me. Sol Stein's advice and use of examples to illustrate everything make this an informative and useful book for anyone wishing to improve their writing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Simon J. Wood

    In my humble opinion, THE 'go to' book for general writing advice, whether fiction or non-fiction. Sol has worked with the best in the business and selflessly passes on his hard-earned recommendations. A great jumping-off point for more detailed advice covered elsewhere but complete in itself. I have the print edition, the kindle edition and the audiobook. Each catch one's attention and inform/enthuse in a different way.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Suzi

    I TAKE FROM EACH BOOK WHAT I MOST NEED TO FINISH MY WRITING PROJECTS. THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING THAT gives ME AN "AH-HA" MOMENT.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    More a 3 1/2 star rating. Some excellent tips, but Stein's ego makes this an unpleasant read in places. He unashamedly uses his own writing as the standard every writer should aim for (and some of his own work makes me cringe, particularly his racial stereotypes). He sneers at writers of "transient fiction" (sometimes calling them out by name) and *constantly* name-drops writers like James Baldwin and Elia Kazan. I hate name-droppers. And so does my good friend, Brad Pitt. If you can get past all More a 3 1/2 star rating. Some excellent tips, but Stein's ego makes this an unpleasant read in places. He unashamedly uses his own writing as the standard every writer should aim for (and some of his own work makes me cringe, particularly his racial stereotypes). He sneers at writers of "transient fiction" (sometimes calling them out by name) and *constantly* name-drops writers like James Baldwin and Elia Kazan. I hate name-droppers. And so does my good friend, Brad Pitt. If you can get past all that, it's a good practical tool for writers.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Allan Fisher

    Sol Stein has a great way of guiding the student of creative writing...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carlos

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karryn

  12. 5 out of 5

    Scott Moffatt

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alex Cox

  14. 5 out of 5

    Áine Tierney

  15. 4 out of 5

    James

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maria (M.J) Hyland

  17. 5 out of 5

    James Beverley

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hugh Rawson

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Gardner

  20. 5 out of 5

    Artemis

  21. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Halahmy

  22. 5 out of 5

    AD Warr

  23. 4 out of 5

    Delores

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

  25. 5 out of 5

    TyraelsWings

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shiori

  27. 5 out of 5

    Richard Marney

  28. 5 out of 5

    Louise Amy Kennedy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Smith

  30. 4 out of 5

    Keith

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