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The Story Within

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  56 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Laura Oliver has been teaching aspiring writers how to plumb emotional contradictions for insight for more than a decade in workshops and university classes. Now she has written the book her students have been asking her for, a book that aspiring writers of every genre can use to guide, coach, and encourage them on their journey.The Story Within employs the compelling art ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Alpha
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Victoria Hudson
Jan 15, 2013 Victoria Hudson rated it it was amazing
Laura Oliver’s The Story Within is not your every day craft book. This is a whooping roller coaster over the highs and lows of the vocation of writing. Every writer has heard “Show, don’t tell.” I never thought I’d find an entire book on the craft of writing that page after page did just that over 26 topics of writerly discussion.

Full disclosure – Laura sent me the book, after I sent her my book No Red Pen: Writers, Writing Groups & Critique. We have never met, I’ve never been in her worksho
...more
Mike Kalmbach
Feb 22, 2012 Mike Kalmbach rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Beginning or intermediate writers
Recommended to Mike by: Gene Flaten
Shelves: writing, non-fiction
Overall, this is a great book. Lots of good advice for beginning to intermediate writers. It's organized in short, easy-to-consume sections that lend themselves well to reading in fast bursts, and her advice runs the gamut, from getting started to distributing your work. For the most part, the advice is solid and her analogies really help her examples hit home.

The one complaint I have came toward the end of the book, where the author seemed to recommend sending editors a "rejection" of a rejecti
...more
David
Apr 29, 2012 David rated it liked it
This book wasn't bad. It had a good presentation and covered a lot of material. I don't think I was really the right audience, though. A friend picked it up as a gift and I read it for that reason. It read a little too "chicken soup" for my tastes, but that is purely personal and I don't think it is in any way a fault of the book. I also didn't see a lot that I hadn't already seen before, but I think the book is intended for much more beginning writers. It isn't a bad book, it just wasn't really ...more
Cathleen
Jun 11, 2012 Cathleen marked it as to-read
The Story Within: New Insights and Inspiration for Writers was recommended by The Writer magazine, and since I usually always enjoy reading books on writing, I bought it. I'm only in early chapters, so I don't yet have a sense of the whole. So far, though, Oliver's approach reminds me more of a Cameron, Goldberg, Lamott book than one by Burroway, Gardner, or Clark. She may go more deeply into strategies and craft further in the book. In these bleak days of early winter, though, I appreciate her ...more
Christopher Stolle
Mar 05, 2013 Christopher Stolle rated it liked it
This book has some great tips about writing, but as a professional editor, I stumbled in many places by some awkward constructions and curious punctuation choices. This distracts from the overall message that good writing can take you places. I don't know whether to find fault with the author or the copy editor, but I felt that some major tightening could have really strengthen this book. Plus, it seemed to go on unnecessary tangents, as if we were reading a book of fiction. It seemed that some ...more
Borah
It wasn't bad. But it's going to be a very personal reading experience, and I think whether you like the book/find it useful is largely going to depend on what you're bringing to it as a reader/writer in the first place.

All of my feelings are in my review, at MyEntertainmentWorld.ca.
James Larranaga
Jun 27, 2013 James Larranaga rated it really liked it
I picked this book up by accident at Barnes & Noble and what a pleasant surprise. Oliver offers helpful advice for writers and great insights into the deeper messages in our stories. I enjoyed reading this and will enjoying re-reading it. I highlighted many pages which, for me, is a sign of a book worth revisiting.
Kita
Dec 09, 2011 Kita rated it it was amazing
My mom passed on this book, written by her writing teacher, to me. I loved it and found it truly inspirational. I especially appreciated chapter one, about quieting your inner critic, and chapter 3, on "calling a story to you." I enjoyed the stories she wrote about herself and her students to highlight her points about writing. Highly recommend it for anyone interested in writing.
MelissaH
Feb 05, 2015 MelissaH rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Good read. Not my favorite book on writing, but there were some helpful insights and quotes, but other than that, it was just good.
Sabrina Bullock
May 10, 2012 Sabrina Bullock rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Gives great information whether writing personal essays or fiction. Great writing tips and inspirational quotes as well. It is a book I will refer to again.
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