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How to Write a Damn Good Novel II [Hardcover]

James Frey
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: 13.99
Price: 13.15 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

How to Write a Damn Good Novel II + How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-By-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 161 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press; First Edition First Printing edition (31 Dec 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312104782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312104788
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
As a literary agent I have given copies of the first edition to many of my clients: it has helped them all. I wish this second edition was available from a British publisher. It's practical and down-to-earth, concise, and always keeps one aim in mind: to help you write a novel that will be a) saleable and b)readable. You need the two to come together to achieve real success in the marketplace. There are very many books about how to write, but I think this is one of the best in that all the advice is easily applied...
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb continuation from the basics... 24 Feb 2003
Accomplished writer and lecturer James N Frey returns to his successful 'How to Write' with this succinct guide. While the book only contains about 150 pages it includes very useful anecdotes and advice, references and examples all with Freys light splash of humour throughout.
Although published in 1994 in America it has now been published in the UK by Macmillan in 2002 under the same title with a grey keyboard on a blue background as the more 'professional' looking cover.
Written more for people who feel they have a grasp of the basics of writing creativity, structure, language, dialogue etc. and want know more, this book delivers very well. Dispensing with what Frey describes as the 'pseudo-rules' of a lot of other writing guide books he encourages and guides instead of trying to inhibit your creativity. All round an excellent book from a very good teacher.
The one thing none of these books can do of course is criticise any work you have produced and although they help you do this for yourself with a new perspective, better armed with a mind more aware of the common mistakes, try to get a few people from differing backgrounds to read your work if possible and listen to what they have to say about it. Nothing beats a second pair of eyes picking up the things you hadn't noticed before.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, but be careful... 6 Feb 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great little gem of a book, but fans of Mr Frey watch out: This is republished as "How to write a damn good fiction", so don't buy it if you've already got that one - the text is identical and you only end up having to return one...
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for serious writers! 11 Jun 1998
By A Customer
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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advanced Advice 1 July 2003
You know the basics, you have the grammar down, the characterization, the plot, the lot - then this is what you want! I read this after writing my first novel, and was sorry I hadn't read it before; my first novel would have been so much better.
This book is for those who knows the basics and want to move on, to really get the goodies on writing. I put the book down, fully charged, and my head burst with creativity!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book for fiction writers 16 Feb 2008
A damn good book. I recommend it 100%. It is essential reading for writers and was recommended to me by published novelists.
BUT BEWARE. The book is called HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD NOVEL 2. It is exactly the same book as Frey's differently titled, but cheaper HOW TO WRITE DAMN GOOD FICTION. So make sure you don't buy the same book twice like I did.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical and easy to read 16 Nov 2005
By Agarack
This is a gem.
The design and chapter layout is good and follows a logical progression. This helps the reader to build an excellent mind map of his advice.
It gives good, practical advice and uses excellent examples to portray his points.
As a manual it is impressive and it's a good read to boot. I highly reccommend it, now if only I could use his great advice!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for more advanced writers 9 April 2003
Hard-hitting, no-nonsense advice that does the job. This gives excellent guidelines for writers who find writers' guides sometimes a little basic. Truly invaluable and eminently usable.
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