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The Essential Guide to Writing a Novel: A Complete and Concise Manual for Fiction Writers
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The Essential Guide to Writing a Novel: A Complete and Concise Manual for Fiction Writers

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  61 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The New York Times Book Review said James Thayer's "writing is smooth and clear. It wastes no words, and it has a rhythm that only confident stylists achieve." The Essential Guide to Writing a Novel is a practical, step-by-step manual on how to craft your novel. The Essential Guide presents a set of tools for large issues such a story development and scene construction ...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published September 17th 2010 by Createspace
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A. P.
Jan 09, 2013 A. P. rated it it was amazing
I read several books that deal with this topic - myself being a published author (under a pseudonym) and I have to tell you that it's the best. Finally, here's a guy who gives useful advice instead of writing quite entertaining anecdotes. Up until now, I've considered Larry Beinhart's book (How to Write a Mystery) the best in the field but Thayer surpasses him. Down to earth, non-nonsense, well written and insightful book that can help even published authors not only beginners. I'm not ashamed t ...more
Elision
Sep 26, 2011 Elision rated it really liked it
This book is a great resource & fantastic read for anyone interested in writing/publishing popular fiction. I participated in a year-long certification program taught by the author, James Thayer. The book is basically a crystalized version of Thayer's writing courses. I highly recommend the book, as well as the certificate program.
Danielle Coleman
Great read

In taking this course I've learned a great deal. I love learning how to improve my novel, And plan on using this book more often.
Debra Daniels-zeller
Nov 12, 2014 Debra Daniels-zeller rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, writing
This is a great book with lots of tips that would also be great for creative non-fiction. It does lay out everything step by step, so some of the information in the beginning, I'd read more than once--finding the time to write, how easy reading is hard writing, being consistent, rewriting---these are all general ideas that for me would have been better left out since I just wanted information for the actual writing part. I found the section on vivid writing the best and will probably use it as a ...more
Kathy Steinemann
Oct 11, 2013 Kathy Steinemann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because I enjoyed “Show or Tell? A Powerful Lesson on a Crucial Writing Skill”, another book written by James Thayer.

In “The Essential Guide”, James has produced a practical reference book that will steer you through the entire process of creating a novel. He includes numerous excerpts and quotes from famous writers. In fact, I found the examples distracting at times because they were so frequent. However, the advice is excellent.

One of the most useful sections is “The Nutshel
...more
Jason
Mar 08, 2015 Jason rated it really liked it
Covers a lot of ground. Its a great book for someone who is considering writing a novel, but doesn't have the foggiest idea how to get started. My only complaint is it might be a bit "too" comprehensive. I would have liked to see less topics covered with more direct focus in certain areas, such as character creation, pacing, and editing. Still, you get quite a bang for your buck with this one.
Rada
Nov 23, 2015 Rada rated it it was amazing
This was the best book about writing that I've read. Talk about funny. Thank you Mr. Thayer for making me smile, giggle and at some points laugh out loud. I loved all the bad writing examples "cringe", that was awful. Maybe I'm not as hopeless as I think I am; certainly not after reading this book. I also loved all of the book recomendations for examples of great writing.
Vilmos Kondor
May 28, 2013 Vilmos Kondor rated it it was amazing
Priceless. All the books I read about writing - if I combine them the final score is way beyond the usability and intelligence of this book. I honestly think that anyone who wants to deal with genre fiction in a serious way should buy one book, only one. This one.
Bailey
Feb 20, 2014 Bailey rated it it was amazing
it was SOO helpful! It gave me a lot of much-needed advice, and I loved all the awesome quotes from different authors.
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