countdown boutiques-francophones Learn more vpcflyout Home All-New Kindle Music Deals Store sports Tools

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on August 13, 2001
I read this book when I was revising a manuscript. Nancy Kress shows how to make all the parts of a novel connect to provide a satisfactory reading experience. Her section on endings was particularly strong, and helped to transform my last page from merely so-so to five paragraphs that sum up the message of the story in a powerful and readable piece of exposition and dialogue. This book is ideal if your unruly story is escaping from your control, or if it doesn't deliver its message with the power you know it could. Helpful for the beginning novelist who needs assistance shaping a story as well as for the experienced novelist who wants to increase his or her mastery in the craft of writing.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 16, 2001
After reading "Beginnings, Middles and Ends," any beginning writer will have many of the tools needed to put together a good story or novel. Kress takes the reader through a step-by-step process that makes you think, "It's so simple. Why didn't I think of that?" It's so simple because Kress has expertly targeted the areas that most writers have trouble with and has offered workable solutions. Her writing is very clear and readable. The examples and exercises alone are worth the price of the book. If you are interested in writing fiction and can only buy one book, this is the one.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 4, 2000
My favorite in this series, this book is the definitive source in describing how important each part of your book is to the overall story. I ended up re-writing the first three chapters of my novel based on the author's excellent advice. She gives specific examples of how to grab the reader from the very first sentence, keep him/her reading the first few pages, and holding their attention all the way to the climax. A must for any writer's library.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 30, 2001
I've not been a fan of learning to do something by reading, but this book has turned me around. It is fantastic. It gives really good guidelines of how to approach the three areas of a story and the activities to have you work on your stories are really inspiring. I used this book to workshop a story I had written and I now believe it's the best story I've written yet. I'll be using the ideas and formula's in this book for a long time.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 26, 2003
The 'how to write' shelves at bookstores groan beneath the weight of all the tomes written on the subject. How to choose, how to choose? Easy: choose this one. I'm primarily a nonfiction writer with a published memoir (BABY CATCHER: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife, Scribner 2002), but I itch to write fiction. Like many writers of occasional fiction, I often have trouble with one aspect of the craft. For me, the middle of the stories comes easily, but I often have difficulty knowing how to begin - or, once begun, I can't figure out how to wrap it up with a believable ending.
This book, Beginnings, Middles & Ends, is a HUGE help at every step along the way.
Five stars and then some.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 11, 2003
Gets you in from the first page of the introduction. Explains how different people have problems with different sections of the novel writing process. Kress breaks down the elements of each section, gives examples of good and poor efforts in those areas, and has writing exercises at the end of each chapter. Can be read and re-read over and over as you progress through your own novel.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 15, 2000
An excellent book on writing. Using the same example throughout the book, Kress shows you step-by-step (without being dogmatic!) how to write a well-crafted story. Her advice is so much common sense you'll be smacking yourself. Also a good book to refer to while you're writing. Not all how-to books can make that claim. Heartily recommended.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 19, 2003
If I could only buy two books on writing fiction it would be this one, and Noah Lukeman's The First Five Pages. Kress explains how to structure a novel in simple, understandable terms. She can steer you away from common mistakes and provide helpful solutions and suggestions for problems that can come up in your writing. Nancy Kress writes in a very approachable style. Buy this one, and Noah Lukeman's book and don't just read them, study them.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 10, 2003
This is a very useful guide on how short stories and novels should be structured from beginning to end. When you read fiction only for entertainment, it's easy to forget that there's as much craft involved in writing as there is creativity. It's hard to teach creativity, but a book like this can be really helpful in recognizing the conventions that most well written books follow. Some of these conventions seem fairly obvious when you read about them, such as providing sufficient motivation to show why a character changes during a story and delivering at the end of the story the implied promises made at the beginning, yet I've read a lot of published fiction that could have benefitted from the advice in this book.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 31, 2003
I've only read the first chapter but it has already been a great help to me. It's a sort of like a user friendly text book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse