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Writing Fiction for Dummies

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A complete guide to writing and selling your novel. So you want to write a novel? Great! That's a worthy goal, no matter what your reason. But don't settle for just writing a novel. Aim high. Write a novel that you intend to sell to a publisher. Writing Fiction for Dummies is a complete guide designed to coach you every step along the path from beginning writer to royalty- A complete guide to writing and selling your novel. So you want to write a novel? Great! That's a worthy goal, no matter what your reason. But don't settle for just writing a novel. Aim high. Write a novel that you intend to sell to a publisher. Writing Fiction for Dummies is a complete guide designed to coach you every step along the path from beginning writer to royalty-earning author. Here are some things you'll learn in "Writing Fiction for Dummies" * Strategic Planning: Pinpoint where you are on the roadmap to publication; discover what every reader desperately wants from a story; home in on a marketable category; choose from among the four most common creative styles; and learn the self-management methods of professional writers. * Writing Powerful Fiction: Construct a story world that rings true; create believable, unpredictable characters; build a strong plot with all six layers of complexity of a modern novel; and infuse it all with a strong theme. * Self-Editing Your Novel: Psychoanalyze your characters to bring them fully to life; edit your story structure from the top down; fix broken scenes; and polish your action and dialogue. * Finding An Agent and Getting Published: Write a query letter, a synopsis, and a proposal; pitch your work to agents and editors without fear. Writing Fiction For Dummies takes you from being a "writer" to being an "author." It can happen--if you have the talent and persistence to do what you need to do.


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A complete guide to writing and selling your novel. So you want to write a novel? Great! That's a worthy goal, no matter what your reason. But don't settle for just writing a novel. Aim high. Write a novel that you intend to sell to a publisher. Writing Fiction for Dummies is a complete guide designed to coach you every step along the path from beginning writer to royalty- A complete guide to writing and selling your novel. So you want to write a novel? Great! That's a worthy goal, no matter what your reason. But don't settle for just writing a novel. Aim high. Write a novel that you intend to sell to a publisher. Writing Fiction for Dummies is a complete guide designed to coach you every step along the path from beginning writer to royalty-earning author. Here are some things you'll learn in "Writing Fiction for Dummies" * Strategic Planning: Pinpoint where you are on the roadmap to publication; discover what every reader desperately wants from a story; home in on a marketable category; choose from among the four most common creative styles; and learn the self-management methods of professional writers. * Writing Powerful Fiction: Construct a story world that rings true; create believable, unpredictable characters; build a strong plot with all six layers of complexity of a modern novel; and infuse it all with a strong theme. * Self-Editing Your Novel: Psychoanalyze your characters to bring them fully to life; edit your story structure from the top down; fix broken scenes; and polish your action and dialogue. * Finding An Agent and Getting Published: Write a query letter, a synopsis, and a proposal; pitch your work to agents and editors without fear. Writing Fiction For Dummies takes you from being a "writer" to being an "author." It can happen--if you have the talent and persistence to do what you need to do.

30 review for Writing Fiction for Dummies

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bucket

    Let me begin this review by saying that I'm usually *not* a fan of the Dummies series. I hate the fonts and layout, they're odd-sized and ugly, and the information harbored within is almost always sub-par. Let me also point out that I am *not* a Dummy or a beginner, but an experienced writer who has read upwards of 20 books about the craft of writing. So I was surprised that I really, really liked this book. If you're looking for advice about craft, the finer points of good prose, or syntax, look Let me begin this review by saying that I'm usually *not* a fan of the Dummies series. I hate the fonts and layout, they're odd-sized and ugly, and the information harbored within is almost always sub-par. Let me also point out that I am *not* a Dummy or a beginner, but an experienced writer who has read upwards of 20 books about the craft of writing. So I was surprised that I really, really liked this book. If you're looking for advice about craft, the finer points of good prose, or syntax, look elsewhere. But if you want ideas about plot and structure, how to organize scenes, when to cut a scene, how to analyze your characters, keeping your story focused, and what order to do it all in, Ingermanson has some insights that might blow your mind. Here's my metaphor. Say your finished novel is a completed puzzle that you made yourself from scratch. Most writing books (about craft) will tell you how to make each individual piece beautiful and functional: how to paint them, what colors to use, what the best shape is, etc. Another handful of writing books (about plot) will tell you what the finished picture should look like: that the edges should be on the outside, that people prefer rectangular to triangular finished puzzles, that gray is the new blue, and so on. What Ingermanson teaches you is *how to put the damned thing together.* If you're like me, you've got great writing skills and a vision of what the big picture should look like, but stumble through getting from A to B. Ingermanson, in my elaborate metaphor, says: first you put all the edge pieces in a pile, then you separate the different colors, then you check your reference photo... It's *enormously* helpful, and he has some pieces of advice that I haven't read *anywhere* else, which is saying a lot since (god help me) I've read about a bajillion books about writing. FYI: Writing Fiction for Dummies is basically an expanded explanation of his Snowflake Method of plotting, which you can read about for free on his website. If it resonates with you at all, I would highly recommend checking his book out.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Wes Harris

    Loved this book. I don't always read Dummies books cover to cover because they are how-to guides but this one was great. I've recently read several writing books and I regularly listen to a writing podcast. This book explained many of the key concepts that I have run into in other books in a clear and concise manner and added some additional tools/approaches. They didn't settle for hand-waving they got down into the nitty gritty and really helped me understand how-to-write in a way that I hadn't Loved this book. I don't always read Dummies books cover to cover because they are how-to guides but this one was great. I've recently read several writing books and I regularly listen to a writing podcast. This book explained many of the key concepts that I have run into in other books in a clear and concise manner and added some additional tools/approaches. They didn't settle for hand-waving they got down into the nitty gritty and really helped me understand how-to-write in a way that I hadn't seen before. I especially liked the sections on specific writing tools (i.e. action, dialogue, description, interior monologue, interior emotion, flashbacks, and narrative summary) and writing clips (a few lines or paragraphs focused on a character at a time). The book is full of examples to illustrate the points that they are making. The content is spot on. I found myself highlighting and bookmarking my way through the whole text. I got it free on my kindle and then ended up buying it to have as a quick writing reference (I wanted to be able to quickly flip back and forth and thumb through the text). On a separate note there is so much good content in this book you may feel overwhelmed after reading it. Remember line upon line, here a little and there a little--you don't have to be perfect but this book will get you closer.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Ives

    Remember all those articles you've read on writing? Some were useful, some were not. If you're like me, you've collected those useful articles for years. Yet I always wished they could be collected in a single place. "Writing Fiction for Dummies" does that! It is by far the best, most comprehensive book I've read on the subject of writing fiction (and I've read dozens). Highlights that I found especially useful: - How to create (or fix) characters so they resonate with readers. - How to balance the Remember all those articles you've read on writing? Some were useful, some were not. If you're like me, you've collected those useful articles for years. Yet I always wished they could be collected in a single place. "Writing Fiction for Dummies" does that! It is by far the best, most comprehensive book I've read on the subject of writing fiction (and I've read dozens). Highlights that I found especially useful: - How to create (or fix) characters so they resonate with readers. - How to balance the structure of the novel so it never lags. - How to write a novel that creates a powerful emotional response. - How to revise and edit a novel for essential elements. - How to interpret feedback you may receive on a novel and apply it. The structure of the book makes it possible for the authors to pack large amounts of information into a relatively short space. First, the principles are presented and explained. Then, examples from literature are presented so you can see the principles in action. Finally, exercises are outlined so you can apply the principles yourself. If you are a serious fiction writer (published or not), this book should be on your shelf. Better yet, this book should be open by your computer or notepad as you write.

  4. 5 out of 5

    William

    Writing Fiction for Dummies offered me some great, essential advice towards putting my ideas on paper. After a few false starts, I realized how little about writing, I know. Like most readers, I have a general sense of how a book flows, but the technical process was lacking. Randy guides us through the entire book writing process at a high level, explaining the technical components of writing with plenty of examples. The layout is straightforward and it works equally well reading it cover-to-cov Writing Fiction for Dummies offered me some great, essential advice towards putting my ideas on paper. After a few false starts, I realized how little about writing, I know. Like most readers, I have a general sense of how a book flows, but the technical process was lacking. Randy guides us through the entire book writing process at a high level, explaining the technical components of writing with plenty of examples. The layout is straightforward and it works equally well reading it cover-to-cover or using it as a reference. Writing Fiction for Dummies filled in enough technical gaps to make me feel more confident about completing my first short story since college.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Robert Bidinotto

    I downloaded Writing Fiction for Dummies with some trepidation, figuring that any book with a title like that had to be hack-work. And that it also had to contain tips and advice redundant with every one of the dozens of other books I've read on fiction-writing. I thought that, by now, I'd read about everything to be said on the topic. Boy, was I wrong. This is THE best book on fiction-writing. Bar none. Period. End of story. It is THE most systematic, comprehensive, creatively fertile, and techni I downloaded Writing Fiction for Dummies with some trepidation, figuring that any book with a title like that had to be hack-work. And that it also had to contain tips and advice redundant with every one of the dozens of other books I've read on fiction-writing. I thought that, by now, I'd read about everything to be said on the topic. Boy, was I wrong. This is THE best book on fiction-writing. Bar none. Period. End of story. It is THE most systematic, comprehensive, creatively fertile, and technically useful guide on the subject that I've ever had the pleasure to encounter. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I've learned more about fiction-writing from Mssrs. Ingermanson and Economy than from all the other books on the topic, combined. I won't try to itemize its many virtues or summarize the breathtaking scope of its content. Suffice it to say that if you are going to read just one book on writing fiction, Writing Fiction for Dummies is the one to read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Merb

    Writing Fiction for Dummies essentially goes out to complete what the title implies - teach dumbos like myself how to begin writing fiction. It is a beginning analysis, with no bias included in all aspects of creating and method. The writers are open to all kinds of fiction, and unlike teachers at school, do not hype up classics and literature and make fun of books like Harry Potter. The language is very easy to approach and understand, with concise headers throughout the book. Examples are also Writing Fiction for Dummies essentially goes out to complete what the title implies - teach dumbos like myself how to begin writing fiction. It is a beginning analysis, with no bias included in all aspects of creating and method. The writers are open to all kinds of fiction, and unlike teachers at school, do not hype up classics and literature and make fun of books like Harry Potter. The language is very easy to approach and understand, with concise headers throughout the book. Examples are also thrown in throughout every chapter to allow readers to see things clearly. Although this book is easy to follow and understand, I believe it is beneficial to have already done some writing yourself so you have something to reflect upon, but this is not necessary as it really does go back to the roots of writing fiction. Some topics it touches upon are: - Writing paradigms - Character values, story goal and ambition - Scene structure - Pro-active scenes and re-active scenes - Storyline - The publication process - World building - Showing vs telling - Narrative summary the list goes on This is my first dive into a writing fiction book so I have nothing to compare this to, but I do believe it went deep into the nitty gritty, which is what I was looking for. Whilst going over the basics, it still had some new extended information to allow readers to actually go straight onto creating for themselves with some good knowledge of what they are doing. For more advanced writers this most likely is not going to be beneficial, however it is nice to see all the fundamental tasks written out nice and clearly. My only wish is that it could have gone a little further into unique voice, as I feel I am not ready to look into this yet and will need further understanding. Yes it is a personal task, but it feels like I need a little more groundwork to help guide my personal endeavour. Either way, for beginners this is definitely a good place to start. The writing is down to earth and approachable, unbiased and not judgemental, with many passages about normalising failure and mistakes. I left this book feeling like anyone, including myself, had a chance at working hard and writing some good fiction.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather Mims

    Books about writing are an addiction of mine, though I never bothered to read this one until it was offered on Kindle Unlimited. I assumed it would be overly simplistic, dumbed down to the point that only writing novices would gain any insight from its contents. Happy to say I was wrong about that! This book offers unique perspectives on everything from writing summaries to plot structure and character development, including quite a few suggestions that i've never found anywhere else. Though the Books about writing are an addiction of mine, though I never bothered to read this one until it was offered on Kindle Unlimited. I assumed it would be overly simplistic, dumbed down to the point that only writing novices would gain any insight from its contents. Happy to say I was wrong about that! This book offers unique perspectives on everything from writing summaries to plot structure and character development, including quite a few suggestions that i've never found anywhere else. Though the publishing information is a little outdated, there are still lots of helpful tips on writing query letters and finding the right agent (for those interested in traditional publishing). Definitely recommended!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    I wanted to like this book, but I didn't. It is highly-rated both here and on Amazon, and I am familiar with Ingermanson's website "Advanced Fiction Writing." I figured I would give it a shot. I think part of the problem is that this book sticks to the Dummies format of step-by-step instructions, helpful hints, and a beginning-to-end process. The problem is that there isn't a strict process in writing, which to be fair to Ingermanson, he does point out (before giving a step-by-step process). What I wanted to like this book, but I didn't. It is highly-rated both here and on Amazon, and I am familiar with Ingermanson's website "Advanced Fiction Writing." I figured I would give it a shot. I think part of the problem is that this book sticks to the Dummies format of step-by-step instructions, helpful hints, and a beginning-to-end process. The problem is that there isn't a strict process in writing, which to be fair to Ingermanson, he does point out (before giving a step-by-step process). What works for him may not work for you, and almost undoubtedly will not work the same way. There is some good information in there. It is a good overview of terms and general "rules" for writing, although there are a lot of books that address those topics more completely, some of which he mentions in this book. Go through and make a list of the books and sites he references, it could be worth your time. They, for the most part, do a better job of addressing their topics. However, my real problem with this book concerns how it treats publication. Going with the general format of a Dummies book, it addresses the process of publication, and even goes through rejection as if it was troubleshooting errors on Windows 8. In someways, this trivializes the toughest part about being a writer. Golf for Dummies doesn't talk about how to win tournaments. Cooking for Dummies won't help you open a restaurant as head chef. Baseball for Dummies isn't going to get you a pro contract. Instead, you learn the basics to use Linux or build a deck, or whatever you are reading about. Publication (and getting paid for it) makes a professional writer. Most pro-rate magazines have a acceptance rate of less than 5%. That means the editor has to like your story better than 95% of the other stories. Book publishers have just as high of a rejection rate. Neil Gaiman could write a shopping list tomorrow, and it would be nominated for a Hugo. Stephen King could write poetry that started with "There once was a girl from Nantucket..." and Esquire would publish it in the next issue. But until you are at that level, you are going to be rejected. Even professional writers who do this for a living deal with rejection. Unfortunately, this book doesn't really address that. Even if you have a strong story, it might get rejected, probably will, in fact. Look at the list of publishers that rejected Harry Potter, one of the best-selling series of all-time. This business requires a thick skin and a lot of time. If you follow this book step-by-step, you will have a story. But that is all you will have,and it probably won't be any good, especially if you are a beginner. Don't be afraid of that. Embrace it. Start writing another. Read a lot. Write a lot. Submit your strongest, most polished stories, shrug off the rejections and keep going, because that is really the only way to get there.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I wish I would've had Writing Fiction for Dummies when I wrote my first novel several years ago. Such a wealth of information! I appreciate the authors taking a multi-faceted approach, giving room for different types of plotters. I also applaud the attention to scene structure and self editing. If you're starting this journey, or you're partway through and you don't quite know how to continue, or you're farther along but want some excellent tips, this is an informational and inspirational read. I wish I would've had Writing Fiction for Dummies when I wrote my first novel several years ago. Such a wealth of information! I appreciate the authors taking a multi-faceted approach, giving room for different types of plotters. I also applaud the attention to scene structure and self editing. If you're starting this journey, or you're partway through and you don't quite know how to continue, or you're farther along but want some excellent tips, this is an informational and inspirational read. It's such a holistic resource that I plan on using it when I teach fiction.

  10. 4 out of 5

    C.M. Skiera

    This book has a lot of good information and is a very helpful writing guide. The main reason I only gave it three stars is because it suffers from the same type of bloat I see in a lot of writing guides. Too much repeating the same information and too much cross-referencing (i.e., "we discuss this topic more in Chapter Two...etc., etc.). This book has a lot of good information and is a very helpful writing guide. The main reason I only gave it three stars is because it suffers from the same type of bloat I see in a lot of writing guides. Too much repeating the same information and too much cross-referencing (i.e., "we discuss this topic more in Chapter Two...etc., etc.).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn

    Needs to be updated. The book is kinda old. It may not seem so since the copyright is only 2010, but a lot has happened in the publishing industry since then. The book doesn’t even mention self-publishing once. Also I think I was a little too advanced for it, I mean sure it’s a “for dummies” book but I was required to read it for a course I was taking and I realized as I was reading through it that I was learning nothing. There’s nothing in this book I couldn’t have found with a quick google sear Needs to be updated. The book is kinda old. It may not seem so since the copyright is only 2010, but a lot has happened in the publishing industry since then. The book doesn’t even mention self-publishing once. Also I think I was a little too advanced for it, I mean sure it’s a “for dummies” book but I was required to read it for a course I was taking and I realized as I was reading through it that I was learning nothing. There’s nothing in this book I couldn’t have found with a quick google search or a browse through a few of my favorite writing blogs. It’s a good handbook, but reading through it feels like reading an encyclopedia. Best to just keep this one on a shelf and pick it up when you get stuck on something and skim through the related chapter.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    I am generally a fan of dummies books (while not the best style, they are consistent and only presents information that is well-accepted by professionals in the industry). While I have studied writing at the post-secondary level, a traumatic event became associated with writing for me and I hadn’t written a word for well over a decade. Spontaneously, I began writing again, but I could tell immediately that I am not at my former level. While this book did not help remind me of everything I once kn I am generally a fan of dummies books (while not the best style, they are consistent and only presents information that is well-accepted by professionals in the industry). While I have studied writing at the post-secondary level, a traumatic event became associated with writing for me and I hadn’t written a word for well over a decade. Spontaneously, I began writing again, but I could tell immediately that I am not at my former level. While this book did not help remind me of everything I once knew, it had great coverage of the basics including structure and housekeeping (also referred to as paperwork). I appreciate that they emphasized that planner writers and improvisational writers are equivalent and equally talented; approach is individual, and gets you to the same place. It is going to help me get my novel to the next level, even if I see how many more levels I have to go. The publishing information is quite dated, though I am reading a 2010 edition. Not only did it gloss over some important aspects to publishing that I learned in school, it does not represent the current industry. Now, I still read it over to (a) remind me of what I learned then and since; and (b) can be easier to update yourself than learn new, especially since now you have an idea of what questions to ask (not all, but a place to start).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    It took me awhile to finish this book because it was mainly about technique. Halfway through, I realized that most of what Randy Ingermanson was describing seemed obvious to me, instinctual. Technique isn’t my problem (yet), my roadblock seems to be a paralyzing fear that what I have to say won’t be interesting or important. So for me, this book became a tool of avoidance to keep me from actually writing, because I could say “I’m doing research on writing” instead. That said, this is a reference It took me awhile to finish this book because it was mainly about technique. Halfway through, I realized that most of what Randy Ingermanson was describing seemed obvious to me, instinctual. Technique isn’t my problem (yet), my roadblock seems to be a paralyzing fear that what I have to say won’t be interesting or important. So for me, this book became a tool of avoidance to keep me from actually writing, because I could say “I’m doing research on writing” instead. That said, this is a reference book that I will keep handy and my copy is marked up with all kinds of things I want to remember. My single best take away: “You don’t develop your voice by just doing exercises. You develop your voice by writing - for real, without a net.”

  14. 5 out of 5

    NatalyaVqs

    Great for the birds eye overview and includes excellent resources on what to read next

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jill Williamson

    Review by Jill Williamson Randy Ingermanson is my hero. I have been learning from him since I discovered his website in 2005. The man is not only a wealth of information, he teaches in such a fun and friendly way, you can’t fail to learn. And now, everything Randy teaches is here in one convenient package. Man, how I wish he had written this a few years ago! It would have saved me a lot of trouble. I highly recommend this book to any writer, but especially to beginners who want to write a novel. Review by Jill Williamson Randy Ingermanson is my hero. I have been learning from him since I discovered his website in 2005. The man is not only a wealth of information, he teaches in such a fun and friendly way, you can’t fail to learn. And now, everything Randy teaches is here in one convenient package. Man, how I wish he had written this a few years ago! It would have saved me a lot of trouble. I highly recommend this book to any writer, but especially to beginners who want to write a novel. You’ll learn how to come up with a plot and test it to see if it’s strong, how to create amazing characters that are deep and engaging, how to plot your story and avoid the dreaded sagging middle, how to keep the tension and pacing strong, and how to edit your novel. This book even includes cool things like an interview between J.R.R. Tolkien and Frodo Baggins. Ahh, Randy. What a funny guy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Abdullah

    I've not read the whole book cover to cover. I actually skipped the parts I already know. It is a good reference for starters. It certainly gives you some useful insights about developing characters, scenes...etc. I'm going to keep it as a reference and refer to it whenever needed. While it mostly concentrates on novel writing, it is definitely recommended for any one interested in fiction writing. I've not read the whole book cover to cover. I actually skipped the parts I already know. It is a good reference for starters. It certainly gives you some useful insights about developing characters, scenes...etc. I'm going to keep it as a reference and refer to it whenever needed. While it mostly concentrates on novel writing, it is definitely recommended for any one interested in fiction writing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Metz

    Fun to read with lots of helpful insights. I liked the way they used known books as examples. They did a very good job of using examples all the way through. Some writing books just tell and don't show. ;o) This is one I can see myself referring to again in the future. Fun to read with lots of helpful insights. I liked the way they used known books as examples. They did a very good job of using examples all the way through. Some writing books just tell and don't show. ;o) This is one I can see myself referring to again in the future.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Corrie Eavenson

    I read this book for my creative writing class and found it pretty helpful. It's an easy read and full of relevant advice for aspiring writers. I'll probably hold onto it for future reference when I need to troubleshoot specific issues. I read this book for my creative writing class and found it pretty helpful. It's an easy read and full of relevant advice for aspiring writers. I'll probably hold onto it for future reference when I need to troubleshoot specific issues.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Macster

    ithink it was a really good books because now i know what fiction is

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jodie Renner

    An excellent resource for anyone who's getting started writing fiction! An excellent resource for anyone who's getting started writing fiction!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tiana Dalichov

    Full of amazing advice. I highly recommend this to all authors!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I definitely learned a lot from this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael Rhames

    Overall: 4.1/5 This is a powerful tool for aspiring fiction writers with some to no knowledge about the craft or the publishing industry. It guides them through the whole process, from writing a novel to selling it, in layman's terms. It's definitely helped bring focus to my work. Cover: 5/5 Well, it's a Dummy series installment, so not much else to be expected here. Writing/Delivery: 10/10 It's my first time reading this book to which I'll be coming back for sure. While the guidance us step-by-step, Overall: 4.1/5 This is a powerful tool for aspiring fiction writers with some to no knowledge about the craft or the publishing industry. It guides them through the whole process, from writing a novel to selling it, in layman's terms. It's definitely helped bring focus to my work. Cover: 5/5 Well, it's a Dummy series installment, so not much else to be expected here. Writing/Delivery: 10/10 It's my first time reading this book to which I'll be coming back for sure. While the guidance us step-by-step, there are constant references to other parts of the book which allow you to tackle any particular topic at any given time, so you're not restrained to a traditional reading sequence. I still wanted to go with the intended flow for my first read, though. Editorial: 6/10 It was okay for the most part, but there was room for improvement. Chapter fonts seem too large to me, for example. Page breaks seem nonexistent. The book seems to end abruptly, with none of those sections that tell you beyond doubt that you're indeed done. Just the 100% mark makes it obvious.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Daws

    An excellent resource for all types of writers. The authors touch on topics broad enough to be helpful to pantsers, planners, and everyone in between, but they also get specific enough to teach new writers and more experienced authors do better. For example, they encourage writers to think about their settings--what naturally exists as well as how the culture influences it, what the political and spiritual backdrop affects the environment, and how all of that sets the emotion and changes the con An excellent resource for all types of writers. The authors touch on topics broad enough to be helpful to pantsers, planners, and everyone in between, but they also get specific enough to teach new writers and more experienced authors do better. For example, they encourage writers to think about their settings--what naturally exists as well as how the culture influences it, what the political and spiritual backdrop affects the environment, and how all of that sets the emotion and changes the conflicts. Also, they dive deep into characters--asking the writer to think past the simple goal of the scene to the motivations and ambitions that would fuel the passion or determination to press through the obstacles. For new writers, this is not a quick read, but a workbook to consume and apply. To more experienced authors, this is a book to reference, strengthening weaker areas and reminding oneself of good practices.

  25. 4 out of 5

    KingSolomon

    I had taken a break in reading this book. I decided to plow through this weekend. Perhaps my sole complaint is that it’s a bit prescriptive and inclines a bit to set climaxes and acts you have to hit in your story, which is super helpful but may take a bit of the artistry out of it. But then again, as I said, even that is super helpful, and they cushion that with multiple mentions of doing what works for you and that there is no definite method. That was literally my only negative. If you are sli I had taken a break in reading this book. I decided to plow through this weekend. Perhaps my sole complaint is that it’s a bit prescriptive and inclines a bit to set climaxes and acts you have to hit in your story, which is super helpful but may take a bit of the artistry out of it. But then again, as I said, even that is super helpful, and they cushion that with multiple mentions of doing what works for you and that there is no definite method. That was literally my only negative. If you are slightly interested in writing a book, this book covers everything it entails A-Z. From outlining to publishing, this book is replete with valuable information with excellent examples. I am amusingly surprised that even in a self-help book the likes of this, the authors’ voices come through so crisply. They really do practice what they preach. If you are an aspiring author, read this book, thank me later.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Friscomama

    Writing Fiction For Dummies is popular because it covers writing fiction all the way from starting your stories, to what will keep buyers reading past bedtime, to editing, and submitting to publishers. So much information, I'm not sure I would ever be able to get a novel published. Somehow with all the details and tips they still found room for much repetition, and referencing chapters read or coming later in the book. I suspect this would not be a problem if the reader is determined to work thr Writing Fiction For Dummies is popular because it covers writing fiction all the way from starting your stories, to what will keep buyers reading past bedtime, to editing, and submitting to publishers. So much information, I'm not sure I would ever be able to get a novel published. Somehow with all the details and tips they still found room for much repetition, and referencing chapters read or coming later in the book. I suspect this would not be a problem if the reader is determined to work through all of the information into their books in progress.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Peter Dennett

    Budding writers should read this. This book is absolutely perfect reading for a student of writing. If you plan to write stories, particularly, or even how-to books, this book will show you how to create believable characters and situations. It will teach you the don'ts too. If you plan on writing then buy this book. If you want to know the do's and don'ts then buy this book. If you think that writing is the purvue of only those people talented enough, read this book. You be surprised! Budding writers should read this. This book is absolutely perfect reading for a student of writing. If you plan to write stories, particularly, or even how-to books, this book will show you how to create believable characters and situations. It will teach you the don'ts too. If you plan on writing then buy this book. If you want to know the do's and don'ts then buy this book. If you think that writing is the purvue of only those people talented enough, read this book. You be surprised!

  28. 4 out of 5

    MaryAnn Diorio

    Although I am not generally a fan of the "Dummies" books, I found this one to be exceptional. If followed carefully, the authors' suggestions for writing a novel will result in a finished manuscript. As one who has written four novels and is working on my fifth, I found this book very helpful in returning to the basics and firming up my foundation. I would definitely recommend this book both for beginning novelists and for those who have already published a novel. Although I am not generally a fan of the "Dummies" books, I found this one to be exceptional. If followed carefully, the authors' suggestions for writing a novel will result in a finished manuscript. As one who has written four novels and is working on my fifth, I found this book very helpful in returning to the basics and firming up my foundation. I would definitely recommend this book both for beginning novelists and for those who have already published a novel.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary Pat

    It took me a while to get through this one the first time, but it's a great tool for writer's craft. While crafting blurbs, the 3 act structure, and even a refresher on the snowflake method, this reference work is easy to use. I highly recommend it for aspiring fiction writers. The breakdown is user-friendly and a pleasure to refer back to. I'll use it again and again because the basics are presented so well. It took me a while to get through this one the first time, but it's a great tool for writer's craft. While crafting blurbs, the 3 act structure, and even a refresher on the snowflake method, this reference work is easy to use. I highly recommend it for aspiring fiction writers. The breakdown is user-friendly and a pleasure to refer back to. I'll use it again and again because the basics are presented so well.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Copeland

    Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy make a great team. This is an excellent book for aspiring writers of any age. I loved the examples they gave to illustrate their points as well as the touches of humor. One flaw that kept coming up was the repetition of points. But overall, well worthwhile.

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