Most helpful positive review
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A thorough explanation of the subject.
on October 29, 2012
This review is based on my own personal experience of writing in the hope it will assist others.
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 where I describe history, facts, figures and, of course, whatever is found underwater.
For many years (yes years!) I have been working on a novel and am, therefore, fully aware that writing about Fiction is not as easy as it might appear - even for a modestly successful writer of non-Fiction. Fiction is not about an ability to tell a story. Instead, it requires the weaving of intrigue into everyday life so that the reader is compelled to continue. For example, a Memoirs or Biography is the retelling of a series of events - year by year, as they happened to the subject of the work and there cannot be scenes with actions or conversations in which that person was not present. No matter how interesting that life may have been, it simply does not translate into fiction without the addition of suspense and intrigue and these are skills which must be learned.
Every book has a beginning, a middle and an end and these must all be planned, worked out (and worked on!) in order to make the work unputdownable. In this book by Nancy Kress we have an explanation of the fundamental requirements of each of these three elements written in an easy-to-understand manner from which I have learned a great deal.
Laid out under three basic headings (Beginnings, Middles and Ending, of course!), the content is confined to three chapters under each heading with the final one in each case being a most useful `Help' section which really does work.
Might I suggest, therefore, any aspiring writer grabs notebook and pen and settles down to read this work from cover to cover making whatever notes are appropriate to either your own style or whatever work you are currently struggling with. I did exactly that and my Novel is much improved as a result.
Altogether, thoroughly recommended.