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500 Ways To Tell A Better Story

500 Ways To Tell A Better Story [Kindle Edition]

Chuck Wendig
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

“If it weren't for Chuck Wendig's advice, I'd have fallen off the writing map long ago.” -- Karina Cooper, Author of Blood of the Wicked

“In terms of style, Wendig reminds me most of Stephen King. There's a way of using somewhat fevered, rugose prose to describe both the beauty and horror of the mundane, then switching to a plainer mode when describing the outer limits stuff, that brings to mind King's 80s and 90s work." –

* * *

500 WAYS TO TELL A BETTER STORY aims to help you be a stronger writer and a savvier storyteller. You’ll learn how to infuse your narrative with mystery and gain tips on tackling the first chapter or mushy middle of your story. The book answers questions like, “What is transmedia? Why is now the coolest time to be a storyteller? How do I write a fantasy novel? What’s this guy’s fascination with unicorns, pornography, whiskey, and profanity?” And, finally, “Where are my pants? I was wearing pants when I started reading this book.”

The book roves giddily between advice that is practical, abstract, and downright satirical. Whether you’re a novelist, screenwriter or game designer, contained within you’ll find an exploration of what it is that we do – and how we do it better.

(Warning: Okay, seriously? This book really is NSFW. It features a heaping helping of naughty language. Proceed with filters off.)

500 WAYS TO TELL A BETTER STORY contains the following:

25 Lies Writers Tell (And Start To Believe)
25 Realizations Writers Need To Have
25 Reasons I Hate Your Main Character
25 Reasons Now Is The Best Time To Be A Storyteller
25 Reasons You Should Quit Writing
25 Things All Writers Need
25 Things I Learned While Writing Blackbirds
25 Things I Want To Say To So-Called “Aspiring” Writers
25 Things To Know About Writing The First Chapter Of Your Novel
25 Things Writers Should Know About Creating Mystery
25 Things You Should Know About Creativity
25 Things You Should Know About Transmedia Storytelling
25 Things You Should Know About Word Choice
25 Things You Should Know About Writing Fantasy
25 Things You Should Know About Writing Sex
25 Things You Should Know About Writing Short Stories
25 Ways To Earn Your Audience
25 Ways To Fight Your Story’s Mushy Middle
25 Ways To Unf-ck Your Story
25 Ways To Write Full-Time

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 565 KB
  • Print Length: 177 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Terribleminds; First edition (22 Jun 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008E71JC4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #143,226 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Motivating and refreshing 20 Nov 2012
By alibryn
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is easy to dip in and out of, being a collection of points on different topics for writers getting their story written to the best of their ability. If you don't like self-deprecating or vulgar (but humorous) motivational nudging (or sometimes shoving), this might not be the writing aid you need, but with that in mind, you can't buy it and then complain it's "too" this or that. It is what it says: 500 ways to tell your story better. It's not a series of sweet and mild suggestions. Wendig may ramble in his ranting at times (as he warns right from the start) but I find it all adds up to his purpose, and why not? It makes for a more enjoyable read than your typical dry "how to be a writer" books cluttering the market that tend to be 80% blank worksheets. The colourful language and in-your-face style wakes me up with each read and gets my ideas flowing, and that's the point, as far as I'm concerned. Definitely will recommend!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another badass dose of tough love from the master 11 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If what you want is a warm and fuzzy book about the writing life, with lots of gentle encouragement and "yay, go you little snowflake!" - type advice, this book is not for you. If you're not a fan of 'earthy' language and irreverent humour, you will most likely be offended by this book. If, on the other hand, you want the gold nugget truth about writing, getting better at writing and whether making a living as a writer is even possible, from someone who's fought in those trenches and not only survived but thrived - and you're not averse to laughing until coffee comes out of your nose while you get that - then you NEED this book. Packed with all the advice other writing how-to books won't tell you, it covers subjects like tackling the 'mushy middle' of your story, how to break out of that 'aspiring writer' mindset and what you really need to make it a full-time writer. It's not for the sensitive little flowers. But you can't make it as a writer anyway if that's what you are.
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I have all of Chuck Wendig's books on writing and they are simply fantastic reads with good, clear advice. I've read Stephen King's 'On Writing' and Sol Stein's 'Stein on Writing' and, where they are fairly long-winded and take their time to deliver the requisite advice, this book (and the others in the '500' series) hammer out the same advice and more with lighting rapidity.

If you're serious about writing, read this. And does it help? Well, I just finished a novel after reading this, so probably.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of the usual practical writing advice, dispensed irreverently 15 July 2012
By Penfist - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like Chuck Wendig's penly persona. Not everyone will. Chuck is one of the more prolific non-algorithmic list generators that I am aware of (never end a sentence with a preposition). If you are wondering how 500 Ways to Tell a Better Story might help you become a better writer, I'll fill in the blanks. Mr. Wendig lays out 500 tips broken into lists of 25 semi-related ideas. So you get categories like: 25 Reasons You Should Quit Writing and individual items like: "Deny anybody who wants you to work for free. If you work for free, that's something you do, not something someone asks of you -- doubly true where they're making money and you're not. They might as well ask you to bend over and stick tennis balls up your poopchute for the pleasure of an audience without you getting even the benefit of a reach-around. Or health care. Or free tennis lessons! Stories have value. Storytellers have value. Anybody who says different should be thrown into a wood chipper and used for mulch."

The advice is practical. If it doesn't get you off your butt and get you writing, nothing probably will. Why not five stars? The Kindle book links don't resolve correctly. Clicking on 25 Reasons to Quit Writing takes you to a different section. The Kindle Table of Contents page was missing in my e-copy. I had to keep scrolling back to the very top and manually finding hyperlinks to the sections I wanted to peruse first. Having whined about those minor issues, there are still 500 tips on how to be an effective writer. If that's your goal, there is sure to be something in here for you. I think five of the tips, applied to my writing life, well worth the price I paid for the 500.

If you don't like "foul" language none of Chuck's work is going to be appropriate for you. His analogies are often crude and filled with sexual overtones or blatant politically incorrect witticisms that could make some people uncomfortable. I think that's the intent though. If you are reading a book like this, you should be uncomfortable - at least until you have mastered the craft of writing and are pumping out whatever sort of yarns it is you wish to pump out. Chuck is doing that, and if you heed him, you might end up becoming more effective at writing your own self.

Pick and choose tips that work for you. C'mon - there are 500. Any one of them you find effective in your own writing life ought to be worth a measly $3.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more fun writing 9 Feb 2013
By whyibother - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
there is more sanity within these pages than most people know what to do with. Chuck Wendig has followed on from his previous book, 250 things you should know about writing, with this little gem on practical ways to become a better writer in his own unique style. I enjoyed reading this so much that , surprise surprise, i actually retained more information than with any other "learn to " book that i have in my library.
The real winner with any of Chuck's books is the reader, learning and applying the knowledge becomes enjoyable and easy due mainly to the low pressure of the lessons..... learning must be fun and also meaningful other wise its just a "have to but don't really wanna " proposition.....thanks Chuck and keep up the good work
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can see how this could not work for everybody... 2 Dec 2012
By Piotr Szymczak - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
.. but it's certainly worked for me. I'm a big fan of Wendig's outrageous similes, mad hyperbole and all-purpose profanity, and his writing advice is very sound.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motivtational! 28 Nov 2012
By crs - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Chuck has a way of making you want to cease your sniveling excuses and just write! His 'colorful' language really gets your attention, and gives you thought provoking tid-bits that eat away at your brain all day while you are doing your 'regular' job! I hesitate to recommend this to any other friends because they might be shocked-- but that didn't stop me from reading all his books, so hey-- this book (and all his other stuff) is great, you will definitely want to tell a better story-- even if you do learn a few new cuss words!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More profanity, karate unicorn anecdotes and writing advice 7 Aug 2012
By Dave Versace - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Regular readers of my reviews will be in no doubt as to my regard for the profanity-laden, wisdom-hammering excesses of Chuck Wendig. Better Story is his sixth (and perhaps final) collection of essays, culled from weekly posts at his weblog, on the psychology, craft, dangers and business of writing. Once again I have nothing but praise. All of these essays - each of which comprises a 25-dot-point commentary on some aspect of writing from creating interesting characters and writing better sex to avoiding self-defeating habits and deciding to going pro - are available for free from the website. But having them collected together for easy e-reference is well worth your three bucks.

Highlight in this outing include the ascerbic '25 Thing I Want to Say to So-called 'Aspiring' Writers' ("Write...write better than you did yesterday and better tomorrow than you did today"); '25 Things Writers Should Know about Creating Mystery' ("The audience must not be left comfortable. They should be forced to stare at those dark corners as long as they can stand it"); and of course, the ever-popular '25 Ways to Un[deleted] Your Story' ("Go through every sentence with pruning shears. Cut out junk language like so many fatty tumours. Dead-head your darlings.")

Amongst a constant stream of imaginative new profanities, unsettling imagery and jokes about dead unicorns and chainsaw-wielding hookers, Wendig's writing advice is solid, unsentimental and above all useful. He fixes his drunkenly roving attention on everything that is transcendant and vexatious about the art and craft of writing. He takes his readers' hands in an only slightly shaky grip and steers them through the slurping quagmires of the publishing industry, online community-building and their own self-doubt. He leads them to writing, and it's good.
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