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How to Write a Novel Paperback – 25 Apr 1974


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Paperback, 25 Apr 1974
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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Methuen Publishing Ltd; Re-issue edition (25 April 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0413315401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0413315403
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 20 July 2005
Format: Paperback
The Finnish reviewer has written an intelligent and accurate appraisal. I teach writing and always recommend Braine's book but thought it was long out of print. He has some odd, idiosyncratic, ideas (e.g., that a novel 'must have' at least twenty chapters) but overall this is an enlightening and practical book. As the other reviewer mentions, the book contains an exact method for getting the job done. This is unusual. Perhaps I can recommend also the following writers-on-writing: Dorothea Brande, Damon Knight, and Dwight V Swain.
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97 of 99 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 May 2002
Format: Paperback
I have read lots of How-to-Write-books. This is one of the important ones. Many books will tell you how to structure your scenes, how to write dialog etc, but very few tell you how the process of writing actually works. I know that everybody works differently, but I followed the technique in this book and it works amazingly well: (in short, you'll need to read to book to get the details) Frist, write the whole book from start to finish, without worrying about editing or inconsistencies ar actually anything. Then, write a 2000 word synopsis, until you are satisfied with the story. Then rewrite from start. The reason this works for me is that I have a tendency to wory too long over a certain scene or even a word. This technique allows me to just not care if the writing is lousy, just get on with the story. You'll have a novel written in about 3 months, BUT it's only the first draft and it's bound to be embarrasinly poor. But now you have the story, and you start again, and now when you now what you are doing you can agonize over the words and scenes until they work. If you do it the other way round, you spend a lot of time writing scenes that never make it to the final draft.
You'll need other books on writing, too, this is not the bible of writing, but certainly one of the best.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lulamae on 21 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
This and Stephen King's 'On Writing' are the two most useful books I have read about the writing process. I kept starting a novel then going back to re-write and never getting very far. Once I read this book, I sat down and wrote the whole thing out without stopping. It was incoherent, but I had enough (more than enough to work with). Best kickstart I have ever had.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By sprout on 13 Feb. 2006
Format: Paperback
Braine knows how to call a spade a spade and although sometimes i wondered how much of a personal rant this book was becoming, it does contain a lot of useful information. If you want to be a writer surely it makes sense to sit down for a chat with a writer who knows his stuff. And if you can't get a chat, then read the book and listen to his forthright opinions on the subject of (you guessed it, the title's a dead giveaway) how to write a novel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cover 4.0 I first read this book in early 2011 after I had started writing in 'my own way' in June 2010. I like the blunt no nonsense approach to the issues. I also have John to thank for introducing me to the first person with Joe Lampton in Room at the Top. I started a re read last week. To get copies one has to source from the USA where he must have sold better. My copy is also annotated by its previous owner with caustic comments about John's blunt comments so two of them in the room together would have been quite an occasion. I recommend this book ahead of Stephen King's "On Writing" book simply because it is shorter and written more tightly. Alexander of the Allrighters and Ywnwab!
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