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Crafting Novels & Short Stories: The Complete Guide to Writing Great Fiction

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3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  184 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Learn How to Create Stories That Captivate Agents, Editors, and Readers Alike!

Inside you'll find the tools you need to build strong characters, keep your plots moving, master the art of dialogue, choose the right point of view, and more.

This comprehensive book on the art of novel and short story writing is packed with advice and instruction from best-selling authors and wr
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Paperback, 355 pages
Published January 12th 2012 by Writer's Digest Books (first published December 15th 2011)
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Florin Pitea
Jul 06, 2015 Florin Pitea rated it really liked it
A collection of Writer's Digest articles on the craft of fiction writing, this book covers, in turn, each stage in the process, from planning to writing the first draft to revising to submitting the manuscript for publication. Also, special sections contain practical advice on how to integrate writing routines into everyday life. Recommended.
Dee Waite
May 21, 2012 Dee Waite rated it really liked it
Just finished reading Crafting Novels & Short Stories. Excellent book full of concrete information. Holds the tools you need to build strong characters, keep your plot moving, master the art of dialogue, choose the right point of view, and more. Highly recommend.
emily
May 13, 2012 emily rated it did not like it
Shelves: didnt-finish
To be fair, I'm not even 100 pages in yet, but this book and it's "tips" have irked me on almost every single page so far. Especially as I read it right after Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose (which is a million miles better, more instructive, and to a higher level), this book pales in comparison, and gives the kind of writing advice that Reading Like a Writer warned us to remain wary about - particularly how this book tells you many things you should not do, when in Reading Like a ...more
Unaris
Jan 09, 2014 Unaris rated it did not like it
This is one of the worst instructional material I've ever read. Skip it completely, as there is lots of better books about this subject out there. For one, the author thinks being antisocial and being a sociopath are the same thing. Secondly, when the author gets to the subject of writing a good villain, the author recommends making your villain have several mental disorders to make them dislikeable and to give them an excuse to behave irrationally. Are you for real? Thirdly, the author writes ...more
Erin
Feb 18, 2013 Erin rated it it was ok
There are some good pointers here as well as information you can go back to at different stages in your writing. It is repetitive. I felt much of the information is relative to the type of writer you are and many of the contributors directly contradict one another as to what is necessary and what is not (art vs. form).
Lauren
Nov 08, 2012 Lauren rated it did not like it
This book has a TON of repeat information... I mean the cut chapter one out of the Writers Digest series Write Great Fiction and pasted it to make this book. If you want more than a summary, than try the series mentioned. If you are not a beginner and have read writing books, you will likely use this as a coaster.
Amber
May 19, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it
There are three types of information in this book: industry and pro tips, stuff you might know but it's helpful to have exemplified, and information that you know but could use a refresher on.

There categories are helpful as are the multiple authors (hence multiple perspectives). Unless you're regularly selling blockbusters, you can probably find some help in here.
Kristian Thoroughgood
Jan 27, 2016 Kristian Thoroughgood rated it really liked it
A collection of essays and webposts from WritersDigest, this is an excellent writing advice book. Solid tips, easy to read and understand, I chewed through this in a few days because it's written in an engaging & instructional style.

Would recommend.
Kasie Whitener, PhD
Mar 25, 2013 Kasie Whitener, PhD rated it did not like it
I skipped around because from beginning-to-end wasn't getting it done. But even just choosing what to read I had a hard time wanting to read this book. It was just boring mostly.
Elizabeth
Aug 02, 2014 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
Judging from the permissions page, this book is a collection of articles that previously appeared in Writer's Digest Magazine with an occasional excerpt from a book published by Writer's Digest. Obviously the authors didn't coordinate their articles with each other, so there's some overlap in what they cover and the occasional contradiction. Nor does any topic get covered in much depth, so "Complete Guide to Writing Great Fiction" is an exaggeration. I'd suggest borrowing this book before decidi ...more
Raimey Gallant
Aug 18, 2016 Raimey Gallant rated it it was amazing
So many talented writers contributed to this writers' tool. I was jumping back and forth between chapters, so I started putting check marks beside the chapters I read. It's now to the point where most of the chapters have at least two check marks beside them, because I find the information so helpful to revisit.
Lindah
Aug 10, 2014 Lindah rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Full of condensed information and topics, as well as so much wonderful and much-needed re-assurance that a novice writer is coming along fine. I'm very impressed with the quality of all the Writers' Digest books I've read so far.
Larry K
Jun 17, 2016 Larry K rated it really liked it
helpful. slightly inspiring but mostly technical. some pieces are better than others and some pieces make the whole process of writing and publishing seem like an overwhelming herculean task that may end in total defeat.
Jim
Nov 10, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it
Others have capably described the approach, format, and intent. IMHO it succeeds in accomplishing its purpose.
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