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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough explanation of the subject.
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...
Published on Oct. 29 2012 by Ned Middleton

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6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too 'literary' in orientation
My first impression of this book was that I was reading an English professor's view on writing. If Nancy Kress isn't an English professor she certainly should be but, unfortunately, that particular profession is more of a hindrance than help to a writer of good popular fiction.
On finishing the book, this suspicion was sustained by her constant reference to works of...
Published on Oct. 31 2002 by Don R Waterman


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5.0 out of 5 stars How to turn an okay manuscript into a winner, Aug. 13 2001
By 
Suzanne P. Thomas (Colorado, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Paperback)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Helpful, Very Practical, No Nonsense, Dec 16 2001
By 
A. Wolverton (Crofton, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Paperback)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best in this series, July 4 2000
By 
poetree "Author" (San Luis Obispo, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Paperback)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for all Beginning Writers, Sept. 30 2001
This review is from: Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Paperback)
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.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So many to choose from. Get this one!, June 26 2003
By 
Peggy Vincent "author and reader" (Oakland, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Paperback)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have, Jan. 11 2003
By 
Evie Kildea (Canberra, ACT, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Paperback)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So good I've read it twice, June 15 2000
This review is from: Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Paperback)
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.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, July 19 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Paperback)
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.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful guide for structuring a story, Dec 10 2003
By 
Gary Riley (Webster, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Paperback)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars helpful, May 31 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Paperback)
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.
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Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends
Elements of Fiction Writing - Beginnings, Middles & Ends by Nancy Kress (Paperback - March 15 1999)
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