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The Mind of Your Story: Discover What Drives Your Fiction

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The Best Fiction Has a Mind of Its Own&break;&break;How do you create a successful story that captures readers from its first page and never lets them go until the final page is turned?

The secret is a delicate balancing act between allowing a story a mind of its own and holding tightly to its reins.

Award-winning author Lisa Lenard-Cook takes you through the entire
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published April 30th 2008 by Writer's Digest Books
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Reggie Carlisle
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It almost seems unfair for me to review this book at all.
I met Lisa and had a class from her before I got to her book.
However, this book reinforced so many of the lessons she taught.
And, having read it while camping, I got the time to digest the lessons.
The insights I gained into the book I am working on were invaluable.
Quick review for a somewhat quick read. I picked up this Writer's Digest published book from my local university library - mostly to research and read more authorship books to see what I could glean from them. "The Mind of Your Story" is a mix of personal narrative and authorial advice from Lisa Lenard-Cook's experiences. The book is divided into three parts as follows:

Part I: Seeds and their Nourishment - goes into the nuts and bolts of the compositional pieces of a story: ideas, character,
Janet Flora Corso
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book for writers which really lays out the steps needed particularly for drafting and revising, but also takes another approach by looking at the science and the mental process of both writing and reading. It took me a while to get through this because I had to absorb some of the info and advice. She includes exercises and 'assignments' so you can make progress whether you are beginning a draft or working with old WIPs. Really a lovely book too, with illustrations and graphs as well as ...more
Jan 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
Do not read this book.The advice is sound, but nothing new. It isn't re-packaged in a new or unexpected way.

Read, read, read. Try other points-of-view. Don't head hop. Cut the adverbs. Focus on the conflict. Etc.

The only reason really to read the book is that it is pretty. Good font, nice paper. Plenty of illustrations. Hard cover.

So, why should you avoid the book? The voice.

"It's possible (in fact, it's likely) that your brain doesn't work precisely the way mine does. For one thing, I have an
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was more interesting in the first half, (or perhaps the first two parts) than it was at the end.

The advice seems to get less practical the further one gets into the book. And while the author is very clear about her opinion that her methods won't work for everyone, she nonetheless spends a great deal of time getting into the specifics of her methods for writing a novel. So specific does she get, in fact, that at times this reads more like an author's memoir than a reference for
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Everyone has his or her own story to tell, but how to translate our experiences and memories into a successful novel is not an easy task. To help with this process, Lisa Lenard-Cook has written The Mind of Your Story: Discover What Drives Your Fiction, an informative and well-written guide to help a beginning novelist find their way into the writing world or a published author find the missing key in their latest novel. Lenard-Cook starts with the basics of formulating ideas to eventually ...more
James Field
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
When you've finished reading all the books on how to write, and still can't seem to grasp the magic, read this book, take a step up to the next level, and discover the secret behind success.
Lisa Lenard-Cook's own writing style is what I think of as flowery – soft petals and perfume. Certainly not my style, but her solid methods, addressing both the creative and logical sides of writing, apply to every style. As I read through this interesting and inspirational book, with the odd pieces of
Mark J.
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All
Recommended to Mark by: An older Writer's Digest advertisement.
An excellent instructional into the art and craft of writing fiction. Its author (Lisa Lenard-Cook), explains the complexities of crafting stories in simple, easy to understand language and takes you from a story's conception all the way to its completion.

It is a somewhat rare pleasure to find a book that is both a good instructional and very enjoyable to read, but Ms. Lenard-Cook goes the extra mile and gives us an inspirational book as well. I most heartily recommend this work to any writer,
Georgina Allen
Jun 30, 2013 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings on this book. I loved the section on seeds and inspiration - I found that extremely interesting and useful.

Pacing, structure and timelines was far less helpful and just not how I work. I suspect this is one of the differences between genre and literary fiction.

Her process for revising was interesting, but again completely different to how I work. Some good tips mixed in, but mostly not as helpful to me as it could have been.

Overall though, I'm glad I read it and it'll
Kit Dunsmore
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
I'm excited about this book. She has a detailed approach to revision and editing, something I have always struggled with when it comes to fiction, and something I intend to be doing a lot of this year. I look forward to giving her methods a try.
Mar 17, 2009 rated it liked it
This is an enjoyable read about writing, striking a balance between helpful hints and a deeper exploration of the creative process.
Taya Baker
Jun 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful.
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
I learned oh, so much from this book. It's a treasure of fiction writing technique while getting to know your story. I think I'll read it again.
Oct 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
As a writer re-seeing a manuscript is essential for revision. This book leads my mind on new pathways to make my work better.
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