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Writing Fiction For Dummies

Writing Fiction For Dummies [Kindle Edition]

Peter Economy , Randy Ingermanson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘…an easy–to–follow guide providing step–by–step instructions…’ (Writers Forum, December 2009).

Product Description

A complete guide to writing and selling your novel

So you want to write a novel? Great! That’s a worthy goal, no matter what your reason. But don’t settle for just writing a novel. Aim high. Write a novel that you intend to sell to a publisher. Writing Fiction for Dummies is a complete guide designed to coach you every step along the path from beginning writer to royalty-earning author. Here are some things you’ll learn in Writing Fiction for Dummies:

  • Strategic Planning: Pinpoint where you are on the roadmap to publication; discover what every reader desperately wants from a story; home in on a marketable category; choose from among the four most common creative styles; and learn the self-management methods of professional writers.
  • Writing Powerful Fiction: Construct a story world that rings true; create believable, unpredictable characters; build a strong plot with all six layers of complexity of a modern novel; and infuse it all with a strong theme.
  • Self-Editing Your Novel: Psychoanalyze your characters to bring them fully to life; edit your story structure from the top down; fix broken scenes; and polish your action and dialogue.
  • Finding An Agent and Getting Published: Write a query letter, a synopsis, and a proposal; pitch your work to agents and editors without fear.

Writing Fiction For Dummies takes you from being a writer to being an author. It can happen—if you have the talent and persistence to do what you need to do.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1004 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470530707
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (11 Nov 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,282 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining & Educational 25 Oct 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I am looking to move from writing short stories to trying my hand at a novel, I thought I had better do some research on the subject. This is the third book on novel writing techniques I have bought but I wish it had been the first. If I had started with this title I doubt if I would have bothered with the other two.

Don't be put off by the "For Dummies" in the title. This volume contains pretty much everything you need to know to avoid making common mistakes. It is entertaining enough to be read from cover to cover whilst also featuring self contained chapters that allow you to jump to areas that you need advice on. Covering every aspect of the novel writing process, this book will help you get off to the best possible start. If you are looking for a book about writing fiction I would advise you start here.

The Kindle edition also has a full table of contents that allows you to jump to the section you need.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than you'd think 30 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Despite this being one of the 'Dummies' books, 'Writing for Fiction' is for anyone but dummies. I found Ingermanson's advice to be extremely good. The book makes you think about your work and how to make it better. The only problem I've had with it is that I read a passage, get excited, go to my work-in-progress, and then days later return to 'Writing Fiction'. I really should read it in one go and then start using it as a guide. Again, forget about the title, just get it, especially if don't know how to move your story forward.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By Alys
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Writing Fiction for Dummies" provides a solid and comprehensive overview of the subject. The chapters are subdivided into sections that deal in turn with different aspects of how to produce a manuscript from start to finish. The book concentrates mostly on two key aspects: the technique of how to structure a novel - the overall skeleton of a book - into three main sections or acts, each consisting of numerous scenes, which can be proactive or reactive; and how to "work the manuscript", covering in generous detail the literary devices available to the novelist in giving life to the story and the characters through their writing - such as dialogue, narrative summary, action, or interior monologue, to name a few of the possibilities - and how to use each effectively. The reader also learns through detailed examples about point-of-view (POV) strategies and characters, and the difference between showing and telling. "Writing Fiction for Dummies" also covers such essentials as how to edit and polish your manuscript; how to decide what genre your novel is and what your target audience is; how to target a literary agent, acquisitions editor or critique group; what a storyline, synopsis and executive summary (and other essentials) are, why they are needed and how to produce winning ones; the most common reasons why manuscripts get rejected; and urges the reader (nicely!) into an essential but often overlooked in-depth analysis of their own manuscript.

This book is written in a very approachable style with a generous helping of humour.

There are so many good things in this book that it is difficult to single out topics for special praise, but one that I particularly appreciated was learning how to write an effective storyline.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahh, Randy. What a funny guy 4 Jan 2010
Review by Jill Williamson

Randy Ingermanson is my hero. I have been learning from him since I discovered his website in 2005. The man is not only a wealth of information, he teaches in such a fun and friendly way, you can't fail to learn. And now, everything Randy teaches is here in one convenient package. Man, how I wish he had written this a few years ago! It would have saved me a lot of trouble.

I highly recommend this book to any writer, but especially to beginners who want to write a novel. You'll learn how to come up with a plot and test it to see if it's strong, how to create amazing characters that are deep and engaging, how to plot your story and avoid the dreaded sagging middle, how to keep the tension and pacing strong, and how to edit your novel. This book even includes cool things like an interview between J.R.R. Tolkien and Frodo Baggins. Ahh, Randy. What a funny guy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By trisha
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are good things about this book and there are bad. The information for novice writers is good as is the information on getting published. However, as a writer of some years I found that this virtually stopped me from writing anything. I found myself questioning so much of what I did in an effort to pigeon-hole myself.
It's a well intentioned book with a lot of good information but very repetitive and somewhat stifling.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad 17 Dec 2011
By SJJones
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's okay. Does what it says on the cover really. I've never bought a 'Dummies' book before and I like the ethos of plain speaking to a newbie reader, but there's a lot of paper devoted to what is a relatively small amount of solid advice.

A good start to the absolute beginner, but if you've read more than one other book on the subject you might give this a miss.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made a huge difference to my writing 11 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I learned a lot of writing techniques from this book. Looking back at my work now, there's a definite pre/post Dummies split. It made that much difference, and I've been writing for years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't need to read any other how to write novels book ..
I've read most of this book. It's a very useful read. I don't think you'd need to read anything else in order to have a good stab at writing a novel. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sonny Manou
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thought it was a great idea for a friend who has started to write fiction. She thinks so too!!
Published 2 months ago by F Duncan
5.0 out of 5 stars Many thanks
Published 3 months ago by tullibody
5.0 out of 5 stars It not a book you would read once, but one you would keep go back to
I have enjoy read this book and it seem to have a lot of information. It not a book you would read once, but one you would keep go back to. Read more
Published 4 months ago by malcolm bamber
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book for aspiring novelists. if you want some pointers on writing you will not regret buying this!
Published 4 months ago by kevin davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great advice!
Published 4 months ago by Allen Poulson
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have written a first draft and it's a ...
If you have written a first draft and it's a total mess, this will help you break it down into chapters, scenes, tighten things up, ditch the rambling bits, and generally get your... Read more
Published 5 months ago by KayBee
1.0 out of 5 stars hated it
This book was not for me. I started read it it but got bored easily and gave up with it.
Published 6 months ago by natalie
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny!!!
Whether you're new to writing or have made the progression to published author, you will definitely find this book invaluable!
Published 11 months ago by Inspired
3.0 out of 5 stars helpful
Too long winded and basic for more experienced writer but nonetheless is helpful. I would recommend to a beginner author
Published 11 months ago by Ann Bowyer
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