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The Writer's Little Helper Paperback – 25 May 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (25 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599634090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599634098
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 361,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

James V. Smith Jr. has published more than a dozen novels. His latest novels, the Delta Force series, appear under his pen name John Harriman. Smith is a former combat soldier, helicopter pilot, newspaper writer and editor, national award-winning columnist, and magazine editor. He is also the author of You Can Write a Novel (both 1st and 2nd editions).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DonnaEliza on 3 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I have read many books on fiction writing, but this is without doubt my favourite. It contains everything you need to know about fiction writing and the author gives a clear understanding of the breakdown of a novel - one which doesn't overwhelm the mind. The tips and tools will definitely get you motivated in starting your novel. Every writer should buy this. 10/10
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent resource for writers. It contains essential guidance on all elements of fiction writing and also very useful for the editing process.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great little book, written for anyone who wants to know a few tricks of the trade. Only negative comment I would make is that after you have read a book such as this you start considering the writing styles of many well known and published authors and find that not all of them comply with the rules but still manage to get published and this I do find quite baffling. For example you are told that you should not mirror the thoughts of more than one character in a chapter even if the story is being told from the viewpoint of many different characters and yet I have read books (I won't name the authors) who do exactly this. It makes the book no less enjoyable but you do wonder why a book like this exists if some authors ignore the rules. Show not tell is another bit of advice but some authors just tell and tell and tell. They get published.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Still a terrific book 16 May 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book has the same material as an earlier edition by the same title. The main difference is in how the book is organized. In the first "Writer's Little Helper," the author was going for a random "start reading anywhere in little bites" kind of structure. Not a bad idea, but it was jarring and disjointed if you were trying to focus on one general topic at a time.

This version of the book is now more user-friendly, so you can still take it in little bites, or in big chunks if you choose.

My favorite topic is probably the 10 Scene Tool, which helped me finish two novels for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Whether you have this one or the earlier incarnation, the material is solid, portable, accessible, and practical, and you can't go wrong either way.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Nothing "little" about the content! 30 Aug 2012
By Baron Von Cool - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a helpful how to book, jam-packed with bite-size nuggets of writerly wisdom that touch on just about everything you need to know, including some stuff barely or never mentioned in thicker, more detailed how to books. I think it is especially helpful if you're just getting started in your career, but even writers of some experience will likely find useful bits within these covers. It's written in a fun, concise style and provides exercises, examples, and checklists aplenty. It includes its own character bio cards and story structure system. The latter uses algorithms, which some may enjoy using, but which I found too complicated--my only real criticism of this book. Overall though, the book provides excellent value for your money and serves as a wonderful overview of the craft of writing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Little, but supersized book 20 Aug 2012
By Julie G - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Highly recommend this book. Clear, concise, informative and yet, for novice or experienced writers, it is easy to comprehend and apply. Excellent. Good for all writing actually, basic principals can be applied even to good poetry writing.

Julie George
One of My Favorites on Fundamentals......No bloat and a quick enjoyable read. 6 Sep 2014
By George - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a terrific book loaded with common sense fundamentals, a couple of suggested tools (Pacing tool etc.), and its a quick enjoyable read. There is no bloat here. Should be a must read for newer writers of commercial fiction. If you know a young hopeful get them this book as a gift, they will love it, and their writing will improve.

Like almost all craft of writing books it touches things that have been gone over a million times, but does it in a quick enjoyable way.

I highly recommend.
Best writing book I found so far 9 Sep 2013
By cartooncool - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like this little book. It has just about every tip a fiction writer could want. I like that the tips are usable, and to the point. You won't find any unnecessary fluff in this book. I have already read the book once, and I am going to read it again in case I missed something. After that, this book will stay by my desk for quick reference.
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