Write Great Fiction - Plot & Structure Paperback – Oct 6 2004
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About the Author
A former trial lawyer, James Scott Bell is an award-winning author and frequent speaker at writing conferences.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have been writing about scuba diving and shipwrecks for several years (my first piece appeared in 1978!), and my books have won awards. That genre, however, involves research and describing whatever I find underwater.
Quite separately, for many years I have been working on a novel only to discover Fiction is not as easy as it might appear - even for a modestly successful writer such as myself. Fiction is not about my ability to tell a particular story. Instead, it requires me to learn how to weave intrigue into the everyday life of the central character so that the reader WANTS to continue reading. For example, a Memoirs or Biography is the retelling of a series of events - year by year, as they happen to the subject of the work. The life of a fictional character, however, cannot be a series of stories without the addition of unanswered questions and other events of which he is unaware (the intrigue!) along the way. In my case; yes I have a central plot, yes there is sex and violence (in moderation!) and yes the outcome is exciting. That however, is not enough and is why I have found myself starting and shelving the book over many years.
Finally, I recently purchased a number of books about writing techniques and the various lessons I need to learn. I am studying each in turn and each will be reviewed in time.
As the cover of `Write Great Fiction - Plot & Structure' by James Scott Bell suggests, this book gives an insight into "Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish." Already, I have learned a great deal and would suggest any would-be author of Fiction should study this excellent work.Read more ›
When I had the library copy with me, I found myself making plenty of notes based on the tips provided. Then I said to myself that I might as well get my own copy so that I save the time spent on note-taking and use it for actually writing something!
I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to take their writing a notch (make that several notches) higher.
Though I've got hundreds of scene ideas noted down, I'm just starting out to actually do something with them really, I learn t a least a dozen l more things to help refine my structure especially in the areas of making a page turner. My copy now has loads of bookmarks and highlights I expect to refer back to regularly. I probably won't do all the exercises, just the ones that appeal to me for my goals. The rest of the book is more interesting to me.
I don't know if what is in here is old news to experienced writers, but if something isn't working for your draft, perhaps worth take a look.
This is one of the best books I've read in fiction writing.
Bell's style is very straightforward and friendly. He introduces some tried-and-true concepts that have worked for professional authors, but also provides his own take, including his LOCK system for devising a well-structured story that should keep a reader interested. His ideas work well for those who want to write in the bestseller or genre fiction style, but they can be applied to literary novels as well. There is no attempt to dictate a standard procedure for plot writing and Bell tries to be accommodating to every style of author, from the pre-planner to the free-wheeler.
He also provides practical exercises for the budding writer to follow, so there's lots to do in getting the process moving.
For more experienced writers, this book may be too basic and it does not delve deeply into the finer points of plotting structure. But as an overall guide for new writers, it fits the bill.
Most recent customer reviews
Again I was not disappointed by the how-to help James Scott Bell gives. In Write Great Fiction he goes into enough detail to instruct without overwhelming the reader. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Wendy L. Macdonald
This book on plot and structure, in itself, has excellent structure -- author goes to great lengths to make sure that everything he is presenting in his work is brought to the... Read morePublished on Sept. 2 2011 by MOONFIRE