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Writing Popular Fiction

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  187 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Writer's Digest, second printing 1974. Dust jacket with edge wear, 2 3/8" closed tears back top. Some fading. Yellow linen boards clean. Binding tight. Name in ink on first page, no other marks. Proceeds benefit the Oro Valley Library.
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published December 1st 1972 by Writers Digest (first published 1972)
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Chelsea There are countless books that are more relevant to today's market, though this one also has useful advice. But I'd recommend getting it from a…moreThere are countless books that are more relevant to today's market, though this one also has useful advice. But I'd recommend getting it from a library, if you can, rather than buying it for $100+ online. If you're in the market for more relevant writing books, try out The Making of a Story by Alice LaPlante, Invisible Ink by Brian McDonald, or Writer's Digest's guide on Crafting Novels & Short Stories.(less)
Carol Ochs To library called me back as WAS able to find this book as part of the Library Share program, are ordering it for me, it will take…moreTo library called me back as WAS able to find this book as part of the Library Share program, are ordering it for me, it will take about a week to arrive at my local library, and I will be able to check it out! So anyone looking for a copy might be able to do the same through your own library if they are affiliated with the Library Share program. :)(less)

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Timothy McNeil
A lot has changed since the mid-1970s, especially if one is writing about that period while still cognizant of the lingering impact of the late-1960s. It would be wrong to think that the market for fiction is anywhere near the same. While the shift is likely less jarring than the pre- to post-Hemingway era of American literature, genre fiction – the subject of Dean R. Koontz's Writing Popular Fiction (1974) – one must consider how different the world is the more recent now.

Koontz was writing ab
Eustacia Tan
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Previously, I talked about how Tell Lies for Fun and Profit taught me a bit about writing. Well, after that, I went to hunt down more books about writing and found Writing Popular Fiction by Dean Koontz. And you know what? It taught me a lot about plot.

Basically, the book deals with category fiction, and then in each category, discusses the basic plot-types, plot pitfalls and things that are absolutely necessary to include if you want your book to sell. In fact, compared to Manual for Fiction Wr
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Out of print but worth getting your hands on even if you only fantasize about writing fiction. My daughter grew up with this book and wanted to take it to college because it is such a pleasure--using one of his exercises we made up a title for a book we haven't yet written--Orbiting Body Parts.
Danny Tyran
Apr 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
I suppose that in 1972 when this book was published, it was a great reference for writers, but now... Meh!
Jordan Lombard
Some of the information here, such as what the "current" market is doing, is out of date. However, the middle sections were Koontz gets into the nuts and bolts of writing a novel, are extremely valuable to the new writer. He talks about plot and structure, dialogue tags, and researching places you've never been, among other things. He writes in a clear, precise manner that is easy to understand and I appreciated how he worded a few things.

On top of all this, he lists 99 authors he recommends an
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although an older book, I have used this guide many times. Dean has stated that he does not wish others to read or use this book as he wrote it when he was so young and so much has changed over the years. I can't say that I agree with him totally as I have found a lot of his information has withstood the test of time. It is rare to find for cheap and I'm hoping he will do another writing guide in the near future.
Mary Crabtree
Don't be turned off by the boldness of the title. This is really a good book for anyone that wants to write. Koontz offers advice on pacing, voice, point of view and even his recommended reading list. It's out of print, hard to find and kinda expensive but well worth the trouble.
A generous look at some of Koontz's tricks of the trade.
Michael Lewis
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly one of the classics! Extremely hard to find and very expensive on the back market. Worth every penny. Koontz gives the budding author inside information on writing and the industry (at the time). Great resource for any author. Highly recommended.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A little dated, but super helpful if you wanna become a writer.
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Given the difficulty in tracking down a copy of this book (to say nothing of the cost if you do find one) and how outdated some of the information is, I’m not sure why this book enjoys such a cult status. Actually, I answer my own question: it’s hard to find and expensive, ergo it must be brilliant.

It’s fine. Like I said, a lot of the information is outdated, and too many chapters are less advice and more personal opinion (although this book did get me thinking about what the line is between opi
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent "How to" book from a master writer. Koontz details the necessary concepts for writing - plot, characterization, background, style and more - giving examples of what to do and what not to do. He also gives pointers on how the industry works. This was written in 1981 so some items (typewriters, encyclopedias, etc) are out of date, but most of the advice on writing is valid. The last chapter is a listing of writers and their works that he suggests reading. Again, only works up to 1980 ...more
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
It is no fault of the author that some sections of this book are terribly out of date; it was written in 1972, and markets and tastes have changed. But a lot of the writing advice is still solid, especially the first chapter, "Hammer, Nails, and Wood."

For anybody seeking direction on how to understand and employ the requirements and forms of genre fiction, this book remains the only one of its kind by a writer whose publication record is proof that his advice is worth taking.
Jul 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting insight from a best selling author before he became as large as he is. Some of the items mentioned were very dated but funny that Koontz was ahead of his time on a couple of others. The funniest tidbit about this book comes directly from Koontz's website: " He suggests this book is only for collectors who are completists, and he doesn’t recommend that anyone turn to it for valuable writing advice."
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have no doubt this was a fantastic book in the '70's. For the things about genre writing that are timeless, it is spot on, unfortunately, tastes and the market have changed since then and as a result large chunks of this book are now irrelevant. Still, there is value to be had here and even the parts that talk about now forgotten genres/sub-genres are worth the quick review. There is inspiration into how to handle newer genre fiction that wasn't a thought yet then - if you dig and think.
Jay Deb
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think all new authors like myself should read this book. This book was written decades back. It is still relevant because the basic tenets of writing, as book correctly says, has not changes. It covers topics from plot, scene, dialogue and character development so nicely and completely.
Cynthia Vespia
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This may be a little dated but the advice is still sound. A learned quite a few new tricks to improve my writing and marketing, including the fact that Koontz recommends a specific page count everyday in order to release more novels within a years time frame.
Jun 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
I think a lot of what this book has to offer is outdated, but it's still an excellent resource for those who want to learn to write, and learn from one of the best.

I don't own this book- it's a library book. :) Hence the special shelf.
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
An instruction manual on who to write fiction by a multi-published author. Questions with answers are distributed throughout the book.
Sep 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely essential. Did you pay attention to what I just said? GO OUT AND GET THIS OLD BOOK AND READ IT!
Tim Potter
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Out-of-print and almost impossible to find, this is a great book on the craft, written before Koontz became a mega-seller.
Robert Hult
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Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the na
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