A practical yet far from basic how-to guide, this book concentrates on advanced techniques for fiction writers. Frey has a deep appreciation and understanding of the power of fiction, telling us in the chapter titled "The Fictive Dream and How to Induce It": "When transported, the reader goes into a sort of bubble, utterly involved in the fictional world to the point that the real world evaporates. This is the aim of the fiction writer: to bring the reader to the point of complete absorption with the characters and their world."
Frey explains the finer points of writing powerful fiction, including how to make your reader identify, and not just sympathize with characters; how to go beyond the "hook" to develop engaging "story questions" that sustain curiosity and suspense; how to comprehend and use the notion of "premise" to drive your stories; and how to avoid the "Seven Deadly Mistakes" of the inexperienced writer.
The book balances concept with application beautifully, analyzing what makes good fiction work, and then showing us how to apply this understanding in our own writing; you won't find a better book out there for sharpening and expanding your skills as a fiction writer.