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How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling [Format Kindle]

James N. Frey

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Written in a clear, crisp, accessible style, this book is perfect for beginners as well as professional writers who need a crash course in the down-to-earth basics of storytelling. Talent and inspiration can't be taught, but Frey does provide scores of helpful suggestions and sensible rules and principles.

An international bestseller, How to Write a Damn Good Novel will enable all writers to face that intimidating first page, keep them on track when they falter, and help them recognize, analyze, and correct the problems in their own work.


"At last. A damn good how-to book about writing a novel. Practical, down to earth, easily assimilated advice, presented with humor and authority."—Irma Ruth Walker, author of Air Force Wives

"Frey has the genius of a true teacher: a thorough knowledge of his subject, combined with the ability to entertain while communicating that knowledge. This book has practical adviuce for serious writers."—Donna Levin, author of Extraordinary Means

"Superb. The kind of book that should be kept by every author next to the typewriter. Frey not only includes the basics of good writing, but the invaluable hints of how to add depth and texture to a novel. Inspiring and clear, the book gives detailed examples of common pitfalls and how to correct them . . . Not only instructive but pleasurable."—Alla Crone, author of Winds Over Manchuria and East Lies the Sun

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 394 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 192 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0312010443
  • Editeur : St. Martin's Press; Édition : 1st (1 avril 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004WPGF4Y
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°100.497 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  186 commentaires
221 internautes sur 228 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 If you're a writer, don't ask, just buy this. 1 juin 2001
Par E. Dunn - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I had this idea that I'd write for a long, long time. I would jot down this or that, and then forget about my idea. I'd attempt to keep at it, but without any real plan. Well, this book changed my life.
In the two months since I've read this book, I've written over 50,000 words. Granted, much of that is background material and draft, but frankly, this book moved me. It gave me direction, inspiration, and a healthy dose of reality.
Now, don't be mistaken, Frey is not going to teach you all the grammatical rules you're going to need to know. He's not going to go into great detail about characteriztion, voice, plot etc. However, he will cover all of these, and organize them to a conceivable whole. He offers realism in what to expect out of writing.
His tone is light, engaging, and very easy to read. I've already read the book twice, and referred to it, when reading other people's writing.
Simply put, if you ever plan on writing a novel, READ THIS BOOK.
216 internautes sur 223 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Most Practical Manual on Fiction Writing 12 juillet 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
James Frey, where were you when I was taking all those creative writing workshops back in college? His insistence on the Three C's of Premise (character, conflict and conclusion) says it all. He offers practical, down-to-earth advice on writing fiction you will not find in most of the college creative writing workshops, which naturally are mainly taught by very artistic, literary-oriented writer/instructors who do not believe in the validity of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Michael Crichton or any other best-selling, "commerical" authors.
If you want to write fiction that sells to the masses, at the same time use all the necessary literary conventions used by even the most Pulitzer-winner writers, this book is for you. Frey cannot in the thin volume of this book make you into a writer. What he does is give you a fast, concise rundown on the main techniques that are critical to the story, as well as ways to avoid pitfalls. Every good novel from my experience, whether it be a critically-acclaimed "literary" piece or a commercial bestseller, contains the elements discussed in the book.
If you're in to pretentious books on writing, books that are geared toward English Literature majors, this book is not for you. If you want hard, practical easy reading manual on that silly enjoyable thing you love doing (writing fiction), this book is must for you.
286 internautes sur 300 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great steps for getting from A to Z 22 septembre 2002
Par Michael Beverly - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
How to Write a Damn Good Novel is a fairly quick read and although studious, it doesn't read too much like a text book. I've noticed that some writing books tend to be very dry and sound like they were written by a teacher, like Bickham's writing books. This work is a considerably better than that. Some tend to be more friendly and fun to read like King's "On Writing" and to a lesser extent "The First Five Pages".
One thing I've noticed is that advice can be at polar ends and yet still sound like it is good genuine advice.
Frey recommends using a very structured route to completing a novel. You must have a premise. Write character bios. Complete a step sheet. Know where you are going. The key to writing a salable novel is too write a certain amount every day following the guide lines and rules. Follow them and you will succeed. For a writer that is going to follow this route I'd also recommend the book "Writing the Blockbuster Novel" as it gives some great examples of structuring a big novel. It also gives examples of an actual outline used in a Follet novel, which I thought was very informative. I recommend both of these books.
Stephen King's "On Writing" tells some of his life story and also tells how he writes his books. He describes writing a fictional novel as being like a palentologist digging up bones; the story is already there, it exists in total and the writers job is to dig it up without destroying all the fragile and delicate pieces. King doesn't mention in his book on writing anything about a premise, a step sheet, writing character bios or even knowing the outcome of the story. He mentions that in the writing of "The Green Mile" he didn't even know if the central character John Coffey was going to live or die. One might just say that he is a genius so the rules don't apply. Perhaps.
Another good book that seems to be in conflict to Frey's work is "Immediate Fiction". In this book we are told to start writing. Write. Write. Write. Ok, I get it. Write something.

I think that a melding of the two approaches could probably work very well. Write as much as you can with the basic idea that you have. Write a lot. Then look at the work as if you were following one of the more structured techniques. Does it work? Did you break the rules or seem to follow them instinctively?
I am going to strongly suggest that the beginning writer like myself read a few different types of writing books. I read various reviews and ordered a bunch of books based on what books received some decent reviews. Some of those are listed here. I would also recommend staying away from the more dry, teacher sounding type books, at least at first. There are harder to read, not as fun and don't really say anything different from the others.
How to Write a Damn Good Novel has received lots of good comments, and I concur, it is a very good book and highly recommend.
120 internautes sur 123 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This book deserved editiorial reviews! 29 décembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Along with Renni Brown's Self Editing for Fiction Writers and Bird by Bird, this has become one of my favorite books on writing. I just read it yesterday and am amazed at how good it was. I expected another ho-humish how-to with the same old Writers Digest advice but got instead exciting insights, analysis of fine literature, and professional tips on how to improve my novel. I especially liked the way the author kept referring to several master works (A Christmas Carol, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Madam Bovary, Lolita, and The Godfather) to illustrate his points about how to have a premise, internal and external conflict, and a satisfying climax. I loved the tips for avoiding melodrama and producing dramatic literature instead, as well as the original suggestions for improving dialogue, tips I have not encountered in a dozen other books. I am a journalist seven-eigths done with my first novel and think this book would be great for both beginners and those who have been working on their craft for years. Frey has something unique to say and says it so well that it is a treat to read. His gift of self-expression and insights into writing make the qualities of fine fiction understandable and something one can learn to reproduce. The book has a scholarly foundation (with helpful references and research) and original premises but is very funny and entertaining, too.
40 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Practical, Professional, Insightful 3 mars 2001
Par Rita Smith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Practical, professional, and, despite its title, a very insightful book.
I've read scores of books on writing fiction, and this is one of the best I've found. Along with Self Editing for Fiction Writers and If You Want To Write, it's one of those books that's beautifully written and has something special to say. It can teach you structure and how to write drama instead of melodrama to create a novel that hangs together as a satisfying whole. Frey uses examples from noted novels--The Old Man and the Sea, Madame Bovary, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, The Godfather, A Christmas Carol--and shows you how great novels begin, create rising action, and have climaxes that come from their characters' conflicts. This book brings together the worlds of the English classroom and the publishing workshop to show how to write novels with the narrative drive that readers love. There is neither the snobbery of the purely literary nor the crassness of the commercial how-to. I learned more about writing fiction from it than in my Master's program, an English major, and years of writing groups. It's top advice from a practitioner of craft--and funny, inspiring, and entertaining to boot. If I sell my first novel, which two editors are currently considering, it will be because of this book along with the editing I learned from Renni Browne and the inspiration of B. Ueland. It's helped me tremendously as a teacher of writing, too.
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