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Conflict, Action and Suspense (Elements of Fiction Writing)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  350 ratings  ·  25 reviews
What makes a book a page-turner? How do you grab your readers from the start and hold them through the last sentence? How do you make your plot twist and turn and keep the action moving without losing continuity?

You do it by generating drama and developing it using conflict, action and suspense. You make your reader burn to know what's going to happen next. You create tens

Paperback, 185 pages
Published March 15th 1999 by Writer's Digest Books (first published 1994)
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Becky Black
I got as far as chapter 10 of this, but didn't finish. I just lost confidence in the writer, because of a couple of annoying errors I found when he cited examples from books. Like he referred to Gatsby and "Dolly". Well unless that's a different Gatsby than the obvious one, that should be Daisy. Okay, so that could have been a typo, I let it pass. Until I came to where he started talking about Sherlock Holmes' "curious incident of the dog in the night" time and referring to that as being in The ...more
Anyta Sunday
There are a few examples earlier in this book that are quite blunt and it gives the narrator a bit of an arrogant feel, but the content and instruction worked for me. I look forward to applying some of these methods in my writing.
One of my dad's old books that I thought I'd read before giving away, been a while since I thought about craft anyway. It's a good thing to think about, reconnect with a little, and this is fairly good for that. The thing that's stuck with me is his writing teacher asking everyone if they had a deep dark secret no one knew, and of course most people do. Then they had to build a character around it. He didn't make this point, but I liked thinking about how most ordinary every-day folks have a dar ...more
Wanda Paryla
This book is helpful even if you're not working on your first novel. I highly recommend it. It gave me a lot of good "ah-ha" moments which I believe will help me to better my writing. I gave it 4 stars because I feel there could have been a bit more information and examples in the book.
Glen Stripling
As a writer myself, I am always looking for improving my writing skills and I need all the help I can get.

Mr. Noble's book has taught me a lot about using action and suspense to grab a reader's attention and to hold it from start to finish throughout a novel.

I would suggest this book to any writer who seeks improvement of his writing skills or who is just getting started.

Writing a good quality novel is not easy and I believe this guide is one of the best.

Glen Stripling
Jennifer Griffith
I read this as preparation for a workshop on conflict, and it wasn't exactly what I was looking for at the moment, but it was well organized, well thought-out, and well expressed. I liked all the angles he covered, up to and including the fact that grammar plays a role in building tension in a story. (Any argument for better grammar goes a long way for me.) Noble makes several very good points I'd never considered, and he explains better than any other book I've ever read how to handle pacing in ...more
Sayang sekali terjemahan bahasa indonesianya kurang menarik. Tapi secara substansial, buku ini cukup berguna sebagai pegangan untuk meracik kisah yang dapat membuat pembacanya penasaran, tegang, dan terkesan.
Jeffrey Howard
It is part of a great series (Elements of Fiction Writing): however, it fell short of my expectations. I read Characters and Viewpoints, by Orson Scott Card, and loved it. This was a let down. Although I learned new techniques and gained insights, it was redundant and chalk-full or writing examples, used to prove points, that were of sub-par quality themselves. I have not read any of Noble's fiction, but based on this book and the examples he included, I doubt I would be very impressed.

Again, s
Jennifer Worrell
This book is very accessible and brings up some good points. Good for keeping you on track. However, some of it seems obvious, like not making a novel action-packed from beginning to end. I was hoping for more details on the actual writing, like what makes the actual prose suspenseful? What's exciting to me as the writer may not translate that way to the reader, since I can't control what they're seeing.
A.L. Stumo
Has some very useful advice, especially if the work in progress is a suspense thriller or mystery. For other genres, some of it applies.
An interesting book on how to improve your writing. As its title implies it deals with those elements that spice up one's fiction. Examples are given which are drawn mainly from the mystery and suspense genres. What surprised me were a couple of editorial errors which I would not have expected from a book published by Writer's Digest Books.
Takim Williams
Great advice here especially on writing dialogue, which to me is one of the hardest aspects of fiction. Ill be coming back to consult these pages many times, and Ill probably check out some of the other books in the Elements of Fiction Writing series
So far, buku ini memberikan penjelasana tentang bagaimana menimbulkan konflik dalam sebuah cerita, membuat tegang cerita, dan sebisa mungkin mempertahankan pembaca untuk tetap penasaran, menduga-duga, dan terus membaca.

Saya menikmati dan memahaminya. :)

This book has quite a bit of good advice in it, without a lot of the space filler a lot of "how to" authors include. I was very pleased. I couldn't put it down until I did at least one quick read-through. Now to go back for read number two!
I'm very gradually reading my way through this series of writing books from the library. This one is not as good as the others I've read so far, but not a complete waste of time either. Some errors and strange bits, but some solid advice as well.
May 24, 2007 Femmy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: authors
Shelves: writing, nonfiction
Another great book from the "Elements of Fiction Writing" series. Learned a lot about creating, well, conflict, action, and suspense. A must-read for any aspiring or established authors who wants to add some punch to their stories.
David Fortier
Another great book in the Elements of Fiction Writing series by Writer's Digest Books. This is a book, I could review again and again. The information here can help any book stay interesting through the creation of drama.
Kimberly McRae
I highly recommend this book to all aspiring writers of both fiction and non-fiction. William Noble does a fantastic job of both instructing and inspiring the use of techniques to engage the reader.
Really helpful to me. It brought up questions I could pose to the piece I'm working on and dug into various ways of developing conflict that were new to me.
February Four
His exhortations grew a little tiresome after a while. There are things one can learn from this book, which is the only reason I didn't send it back.
This is a great book for all novelists to have and look back for future reference who needs help on conflict, action and suspense for their novels.
Probably the most helpful writing book I've ever read.
Michael Prenez-isbell
Good follow up to Scene and Structure.
May 01, 2010 Vicky rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
Desiree marked it as to-read
Aug 08, 2015
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  • Description
  • Plot
  • Scene and Structure (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Dialogue: Techniques and exercises for crafting effective dialogue
  • Characters and Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Dialogue (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Description & Setting
  • Revision & Self-Editing: Techniques for Transforming Your First Draft Into a Finished Novel
  • The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life
  • Between the Lines: Master the Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing
  • 20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them
  • 45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters
  • The Writer's Guide to Character Traits: Includes Profiles of Human Behaviors and Personality Types
  • Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook: Hands-On Help for Making Your Novel Stand Out and Succeed
  • The Power of Point of View: Make Your Story Come to Life
  • World-Building
  • Scene of the Crime: A Writer 's Guide to Crime Scene Investigation

Other Books in the Series

Elements of Fiction Writing (10 books)
  • Beginnings, Middles & Ends (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Characters and Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Description
  • Dialogue (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Manuscript Submission
  • Plot
  • Scene and Structure (Elements of Fiction Writing)
  • Setting: How to Create and Sustain a Sharp Sense of Time and Place in Your Fiction
  • Voice and Style
Steal This Plot: A Writer's Guide to Story Structure and Plagiarism Show, Don't Tell: A Writer's Guide Noble's Book of Writing Blunders: And How to Avoid Them Shut Up! He Explained: A Writer's Guide to the Uses and Misuses of Dialogue Show Don't Tell: A Writer's Guide (Classic Wisdom on Writing)

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