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Solutions For Writers: Practical Craft Techniques For Fiction And Non Fiction

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  92 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Aimed at writers of all standards, this book presents practical guidance on how to create interesting pieces of writing. Sol Stein''s book includes advice on how to use techniques of fiction to enhance works of non-fiction.' ...more
Hardcover
Published May 21st 1998 by Souvenir Press Ltd
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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Zoe
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been working with writers for over 20 years, as an editor and a book doctor. Solutions for Writers is my most recommended book in terms of nuts and bolts solutions to the problems newer writers face when they're learning their craft. Nancy Kress comes a close second, but as a starting point, Sol Stein can't be beaten in my opinion. ...more
Thomas Edmund
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-on-writing
For a long time I've been firmly in the camp of 'How Not to Write a Novel' in the argument that even in a life and death situation, there is no consensus on how to write a good novel, only agreement on what NOT to do.


However, in Solutions for Writers, stein offers a course in fiction (and a little non-fiction) writing and what 'to do' when writing. Chapter by chapter Stein covers pretty much covers all the basics of writing from characters to clichés.

Stein is a little light on the specifics of p
...more
TreforL
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book off my shelf to browse and ended up reading it cover to cover with great pleasure. Stein had a stellar career as a playwright, novelist, publisher and teacher; this book is a distillation of all he learned. As a 'How To' book, it's very refreshing as he sets out a clear view of what distinguishes material worthy of publication, both in fiction and non-fiction.

I don't agree with everything he espouses, especially some of his ideas around using fiction techniques to jazz up fact
...more
Joe Stamber
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paper-read, read-2018
Solutions for Writers includes a lot of advice for both fiction and non-fiction writers, although the emphasis is on fiction. Some of the advice can be applied to both. The book is divided into chapters covering different aspects of writing, from opening sentences to revision. Each chapter includes relevant samples from real-life authors, which go a long way to explaining Sol Stein's points. The advice in Solutions for Writers is how to improve your writing, rather than how to get started or a s ...more
Naomi
Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More a 3 1/2 star rating.

Some excellent tips, but Stein's ego makes this an unpleasant read in places.

He unashamedly uses his own writing as the standard every writer should aim for (and some of his own work makes me cringe, particularly his racial stereotypes). He sneers at writers of "transient fiction" (sometimes calling them out by name) and *constantly* name-drops writers like James Baldwin and Elia Kazan.

I hate name-droppers. And so does my good friend, Brad Pitt.

If you can get past all
...more
Simon J. Wood
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In my humble opinion, THE 'go to' book for general writing advice, whether fiction or non-fiction. Sol has worked with the best in the business and selflessly passes on his hard-earned recommendations. A great jumping-off point for more detailed advice covered elsewhere but complete in itself. I have the print edition, the kindle edition and the audiobook. Each catch one's attention and inform/enthuse in a different way. ...more
Mike
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Similar in subject matter to Solutions for Novelists by the same author. Only the examples are different. Lots of reasonable good sense scattered around, a fair amount of Stein self-advertising, and a lot of stuff I already understand.
Suzi
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I TAKE FROM EACH BOOK WHAT I MOST NEED TO FINISH MY WRITING PROJECTS. THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING THAT gives ME AN "AH-HA" MOMENT. ...more
Allan Fisher
May 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, writing
Sol Stein has a great way of guiding the student of creative writing...
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Sol Stein was a best-selling novelist and the publisher of works by James Baldwin and Che Guevara. He also worked with David Frost, Jack Higgins, Elia Kazan, Dylan Thomas, and W.H. Auden.

Stein and Baldwin met as students at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where they worked on the literary magazine.

Stein served in the Army during World War II. In 1949 he received a master’s degree in Engli
...more

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When it comes to the romance genre, second books can be a bit like second dates, can't they? You've had that great initial meet-cute with...
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“He glared at me and said, "Look how you're dressed." I looked down and could see only what I had seen in the mirror that morning, the suit and shirt and tie that was customary for students at the time. "Your suit is blue," he said. "Your shirt is blue, your tie is blue. That's what's wrong with your writing." When my ordeal was over I slunk away from Goodman's cubicle to rethink the sameness of my writing and to learn the value of variety. It took some time for me to learn the other lesson, that a writer, shy or not, needs a tough skin, for no matter how advanced one's experience and career, expert criticism cuts to the quick, and one learns to endure and to perfect, if for no other reason than to challenge the pain-maker.” 0 likes
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