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3.7 out of 5 stars16
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on May 8, 2004
I'm glad I bought this book. As an author of suspense myself, I found it very worthwhile. It won't teach you how to write--but I've found no book can really do that. In the same vein as Stephen Kings book On Writing, it is more an account about how this highly successful author developed her craft over the years, her successes and failures. If you want a how to guide you would be better off with another title. It also enhances the enjoyment of this book if the reader is familiar with Highsmith's books. I found it interesting to know where she got her ideas and how she developed a small incident into a novel.
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on August 7, 2003
A modestly written, terse, readable and nuts and bolts book about how plots come to be put together, how a writer makes a living (or doesn't) and how to tell the story. What I found most charming about this "How-To" book was that it wasn't chirpy, wasn't preachy, didn't have a whiff of unreality arising from its advice, and was eminently practical. The only crime writing manual so far that I have picked up, browsed in, bought, took home and actually finished reading from cover to cover (sometimes doing the reading on a bus, that's how gripping it is). Recommended.
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on April 24, 2000
I always query these "how to write..." books, because everything they tell you is taken for granted by the most mediocre authors. This book is well written and everything in it seems very sensible and sound advice, but wouldn't it be better to be original and devise your own method of plotting, rather than writing to someone elses formula.
If you are completely clueless, by all means, this book is worth-your-while, but for the more serious 'authorial' hopefuls Ð try something of your own devising, it will be better in the end.
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on March 14, 2002
I thought this was an interesting book, and I read all of it, but I didn't get any useful pointers about writing from it. I would recommend it to readers who just enjoy reading about writers, but it certainly isn't any kind of guide to plotting and writing.
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on February 24, 2004
Very little useful information contained in this book. You can learn more about the craft from reading her fiction!
Get Stephen King's On Writing instead. Much more practical advice.
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on August 26, 2014
Got the book. Expect it will meet my needs but format is dull and suspense is supposed to keep you on the edge of your seat is it not?
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