Between the Lines: Master the Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Between the Lines: Master the Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  135 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Effective storytelling stems from many elements, the most crucial of which are unseen or blended in so unobtrusively that they are difficult to spot and analyze. Still, they are necessary to the wholeness and coherence of a story–to create a work that lingers and resonates in the reader's imagination.In "Between the Lines," author and writing instructor Jessica Page Morrel...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published April 11th 2006 by Writers Digest Books (first published January 1st 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 375)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Rose
This is a good guide, don't get me wrong, but I'll be honest - a lot of this felt more instructive on elements that I already knew, and it didn't engage or inspire me in the same way as some writing guides I've perused with respect to working with my own WIPs. I usually like a lot of Writer's Digest guides, but this one seemed bogged down in the narrative and not quite as practical for me personally as I would've liked. However, I'm not going to say that it isn't useful, because it delves into a...more
Mark Souza
It's not often you find an insightful "How To" book on writing that is also an entertaining read. This, however, is a trademark of Jessica Page Morrell books. Ms. Morrell has been in the editing business for a long time and it shows. But she is also an entertaining and talented writer. Her passion for good writing shows on every page.

Each of the points she makes is backed up with real examples from some of the best authors in the business. Those example really drive the lessons home and show wh...more
Sherry Gorman
I met Jessica through a mutual author friend. My friend's words (paraphrased) were, "Jessica will take your work, rip it to shreds, and you'll never learn more from anyone else." My friend was right. Jessica is genius, and her book is nothing less. It is concise, but packed full of tips that keep me on my toes. In fact, in all my years of college, medical school and residency, I have never picked up a 'text' from which I learned so much. In fact, I went back through it a second time and created...more
Samantha
Lunga recensione con stralci
http://www.libriecaffelatte.com/2012/...
Conclusioni: A mio avviso, questo manuale è davvero ben gestito. Mi è servito molto. Mi ha spiegato molto. Soprattutto la parte del tema e della premessa che, inizialmente, mi ha creato dubbi su alcuni miei lavori. Ma con calma e riflessione, sono saltati fuori. E' stato piacevole scoprire alcune tecniche per tenere viva la lettura e come migliorare la trama ponendo più attenzione alle scene.
Soprattutto, la lettura di questo man...more
Tom
In Between the Lines, author and writing instructor Jessica Page Morrell shows you how to craft a unified and layered novel or short story by mastering subtle storytelling techniques, such as:

· Using emotional bombshells, surprises, and interruptions to intensify cliffhangers
· Enlarging your story world through the use of layered subplots
· Building suspense one scene at a time to maximize the emotional payoff
· Anchoring your premise to your protagonist’s character arc
· Transitioning into an...more
Jennifer
An excellent book that examines technical aspects of writing in a more in-depth fashion than many books about writing. Everyone will get something different out of this book--some chapters will seem review of fundamentals, others will give new insight--but Morrell does a very good job of giving clear examples and explaining how and why things work in writing. I found especially valuable the chapters on Epiphanies & Revelations, Flashbacks, and Subplots. Lots of stuff to mull over and try to...more
Athena
I really think the importance of this book cannot be stated enough. It’s fantastic. A great teacher for beginners, but also a fabulous reminder to those who’ve been at writing for a while and sometimes forget the necessity of layering and subtext. What’s between the lines is often overlooked by writers in their own work – but a reader will know immediately that something is missing. If you’re a writer – do yourself a favor and get this book for your reference. You’ll go back to it again and agai...more
Amanda
If you don't own any other how-to book on writing, buy this one. I've only had my copy for 2 weeks and it is already full of post-it notes and most of the text is highlighted by now. Definitely worth the money.

Just be sure not to try to incorporate EVERYTHING you read in here into your first draft - otherwise you'll never get it done! This book is more of a toolbox to use in your final drafts. Keep some of the tools on your desk, keep some in the box while you're writing.
L.M.
Wow. This book changed me forever. It literally put my writing and how I thought about writing on a different level. I loved how I could skip about the book as I needed for what I needed at the time and yet, this entire book works from start to finish for any writer at any level. It can serve as a teacher and mentor for the beginner, or a kind reminder for the seasoned author. I love this book and while I am willing to share it, it will never leave my home.
Linda
Still reading this but so far I really like it. The author discusses all the important elements you need to keep in mind while writing fiction, and she does so in a very conversational, easy-to-read way. I would say it's like a classroom in a book. Plus, she uses plenty of familiar examples from both books and movies to help convey her points. And I love the design of the book and pages -- really clever and unique.
Carla Perry
Now, this was an amazing book that taught me ALL the stuff I should have studied BEFORE writing a novel. NOW I understand peripheral character development. NOW I understand subplots. I've been writing a novel entirely based on instinct, but this book is so clearly written and so complete in its offerings that it's as if I took a course in fiction writing. THANK YOU JESSICA! I took lots of notes as I read.
Billie Milholland
Easy to read. A wide variety of practical examples from many different authors' works. Advice is more detailed than many may want at one time, but an excellent resource to return to. Her favourite writers are not mine, but that doesn't prejudice the usefulness of what she has to say. My copy is underlined all over the place and sticky tabs bristle out of the pages like porcupine quills.
Nicole Marie
An excellent book and a must-have for anyone who wants to make to be a writer. Practical and straightforward advice with clear examples, it gives you all the necessary tools to craft stories that not only appeal to the reader but also make them feel they live in your story.
Bruce


Reading this book is like taking a college course: full of things you should be writing notes about, topics to visit again and again until they are burned into your brain. If you master the material written here, you will be doing well in you writing.
Jeanne
A good book with useful advice on many nontraditional topics, such as subtlety, epiphanies, backstory, foreshadowing, tension, theme, and subplots. Recommended for intermediate to advanced writers.
Shane
Jan 12, 2010 Shane rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: jakob
Shelves: 2010-books-read
Excellent book for any writer. Well written, concise, and full of incredible information for anyone trying to tell a story or who want's to improve their writing overall.
SmarterLilac
Good, even if the author is a little picky, likes Alice Sebold (a writer I can't stand) and seems more interested in helping people craft popular paperbacks than make art.
Danny
A great book to help authors. It explains a lot on the mechanical aspects of writing, such as when to use and when to not use prologue and the effects it will have on your story.
John
Fantastic book on writing. Not for the novice, this is for when you've mastered the baby steps, and now want to write something people will want to read.
Melissa
I liked how she used classic and current books along with movies as examples. Very easy to read with great insights.
Melissa
Another excellent book for advanced fiction writers.
Nicky
Badly written writing books negate themselves.
Tamara Felsinger
My go-to guide after finishing a manuscript!
cheri madden
Aug 13, 2007 cheri madden rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: writers
much like a bible for writing.
Melinda
Melinda marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2014
Taya
Taya added it
Apr 18, 2014
Josiah
Josiah marked it as to-read
Apr 09, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great
  • Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time
  • Conflict, Action and Suspense (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Dynamic Characters
  • The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life
  • Dialogue: Techniques and exercises for crafting effective dialogue
  • Scene and Structure (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore
  • Description
  • The Scene Book: A Primer for the Fiction Writer
  • Plot
  • What Would Your Character Do?: Personality Quizzes for Analyzing Your Characters
  • Description & Setting
  • Characters and Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Story Structure Architect: A Writer's Guide to Building Dramatic Situations and Compelling Characters
  • The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller
  • Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively
  • The Writer's Guide to Psychology: How to Write Accurately about Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human Behavior
Bullies, Bastards and Bitches: How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction Thanks, But This Isn't for Us: The Compassionate Guide to Understanding What's Wrong with Your Writing and Leaving the Rejection Pile for Good Voices from the Street: Truths about Homelessness from Sisters of the Road Writing Out the Storm The Writer's I Ching: Wisdom for the Creative Life

Share This Book