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How to Write a Novel [Paperback]

John Braine
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 April 1974
The internationally known author of six novels, including the celebrated Room at the Top speaks out candidly on his craft, and shares with the reader his professional expertise and personal experiences. As entertaining as it is useful, Writing a Novel is a practical handbook as well as an insider's account of the art and craft of a successful and widely respected writer.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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: 21.7 x 13.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top drawer 20 July 2005
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
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the important ones 3 May 2002
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the good ones 21 Mar 2008
By Lulamae
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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