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149 of 150 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2008
I was one of those people who said for years that they wanted to write, but never quite got round to it. In January of this year, I decided to stop procrastinating and DO something about it. I bought lots and lots of books on writing, and I have to say that of the seven or eight I bought, ''Your Writing Coach'' is by far the best (with Stephen King's ''On Writing'' coming a close second.)

First of all, it's immensely readable. Like one of the other reviewers of this book, I read it from cover to cover, rather than just dipping into it, though now I am writing regularly, I refer to sections of it again and again.

It is very well laid out, with an overview of each chapter, and a summary of the key points, along with exercises to help you. There are also bonus features, in the form of an internet link, at the end of each section. These links will take you to interviews and advice from writing and marketing experts.

If you are planning on writing for publication, this book is an invaluable guide which will answer most of your questions. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2010
This is the first how-to writing book I've read and as such, I can't compare it to anything. I'm about to start a creative writing course so wanted something inspiring and helpful before I started. Your Writing Coach caught my eye and I finished it within a day.

Your Writing Coach is essentially a short overview on almost everything the writer has to consider -- the techniques of writing, such as how to create and use plot, characters, setting and point-of-view, and the more general aspects of writing, like how to inspire yourself, how to find out what you want to write, how to get published, how to fit your writing time in your schedule, etc. I'm struggling to think of something it doesn't cover. It doesn't mention poetry and short stories very often, it is stronger in information about novels and scripts.

It's very focused on positivity, encouragement and aiding you with the emotional problems that make you want to give up the dream; after reading it, I felt as if I had the encouragement to just do it and start my writing career. It contains several useful exercises to both improve your technique and to inspire yourself into ideas and writing them down, shown by many examples both of Wolff's experience and work and of quotes and writings of bestselling authors. I have tried out some of these exercises and they alone are worth the price of the book. One thing that has to be said about this book is that Wolff genuinely seems to want to help and insire you.

However, it has its flaws. The drawback of covering nearly everything is that it tends to skim over nearly everything; it only really devotes a few pages to each individual topic and some chapters seem to consist mainly of examples which may not be useful. Another flaw is how it covers almost all forms of writing. Although this is good for the writer who doesn't know what they want to write or wants to dip into several forms, it can get too general. Because of the nature of the book, many examples can be fairly useless because they deal with a topic or form you have no interest in -- for example, I am interested in writing fantasy novels, so some of the topics that dealt mainly or purely with scriptwriting or focused on particular fiction topics like crime novels weren't too helpful. That said, they can be applied to your own interests.

It is a good, handy, well-organised book that covers a remarkable amount of topics, but it can be too generalised and basic at times. It would be a good addition to most writers, but it may not be what you're looking for. If you're fairly knowledgable in the craft and practice of writing, its primary use may be just reinforcements and reminders of what you already know. If you're looking for a book that deals strictly with the nuts-and-bolts of actual writing, it may not be too useful, as it tends to skim over those aspects. If you're adamant that you want to write one particular genre in one particular form, you may want something more specific.

In essence; inspiring, useful and highly recommendable for a broad overview, but it may not quite be what you're looking for.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2010
Well, I (like others who have reviewed this book) have spent years claiming that I want to write yet never getting around to it. Well, that all changed recently. I picked up 'Your Writing Coach' on a bit of a whim a few months ago and now I have my first book finished and printed. Yep, it's sitting here next to me at my workstation, hard bound with a nice glossy dust jacket. It's currently self published, but I intend to come back to it with fresh eyes once my second novel (which I'm currently working on) is done and get it into a shape that I consider ready for sending out to agents and publishers.

Jurgen Wolff's book really helped me with getting past procrastination and actually getting something done, which is more than any of the many other books I've read about writing have done. Don't get me wrong, many of those are excellent books, but 'Your Writing Coach'(although it does talk aboout characters, story, etc) addresses the more difficult aspects of actually being a writer. In short, it deals with motivation, time management, selling, and generally just helps to get you out of that limbo between interesting idea and finished book/article/screenplay/etc.

Best book on writing I have ever read, it really is as simple as that.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2009
A very straight forward and useful guide to writing. It will help you to use your time more efficiently, how to come up with new ideas, how to market your work better, how to keep going when you doubt yourself and how to improve your writing.
It's written by someone who actually is a successful writer rather than someone who only has success in telling others how to write.
The website which has a lot of bonus information, is great as well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2010
I too (as the others have written) had wanted to write for many years. I had the ideas and the creativity, and obtained good English qualification, but, as it had been a while since school & college (not too long ago!), I had forgotten a lot of the technicallities involved; the do's and don'ts. This book was a great source of inspiration - as I recently commented on the Jurgen Wolff website - it was like a bible to a priest. The chapter bonuses online are fantastic. I refer back to this book time & time again for tips and reminders. If you are serious about becoming a writer and think that you have what it takes, then I recommend that you buy this book.Your Writing Coach: From Concept to Character, from Pitch to Publication - Everything You Need to Know About Writing Novels, Non-fiction, New Media, Scripts and Short Stories
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2010
Someone said they found this book a bit boring, but then, so are Fighter Jet manuals. The important thing is, this book tells you what you need to know in a nuts and bolts way and continually assures you that you will eventually be able to 'fly' if you simply read the book and stay the course.

I bought 'Your Writing Coach' along with 5 others to prepare for a project. I intended to sell them all on ebay after I had read them, but this one became 'mine' not long after I began reading and it will sit alongside my day-job trade reference books- that I would never think of selling.

I also bought 'On Writing'. I don't think it's a good idea to compare these two books, but you can read my Amazon 'On Writing' review if you want to see what I thought of it.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2007
So many "help" books are little or no help, meandering about, but giving no real practical advice, just dangling carrots. Jurgen's book gives clear, inspiring, encouraging advice. His web link is invaluable - often I find I am reading books he has recommended, or following ideas he has suggested. And if you can get along to one of his workshops, in person he is just as friendly and helpful and encouraging. For beginners, get reading. And for every other writer this book offers new ideas, new ways of thinking. A jolly good read!
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2007
I don't read non-fiction, I refer to it, but I don't just sit and read it. Until I got my hands on Your writing Coach.

Jurgen Wolff's book is a great read, well he's a writer so I suppose I should not be surprised. There are so many books out there giving advice to potential writers, but this is the first I've read cover to cover, it's also the first I've seen which gives "been there" advice in all the other parts of the job - apart from the excellent tips on actually writing the damm thing.

I've already bought three copies for my writing friends and recommended it to many others. If you are involved in any kind of artistic endeavour this advice is spot on. If you are actually trying to write a book, then this is essential reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2013
The problem with this book is that it tries to be all things to all writers. It attempts to address novels, screenplays, blogs, journalism, non-fiction books, plays and short stories in one rather slim volume (once you account for typesetting and formatting). The result is that each section is rather slim on content. As a primer for writing in general it's quite good, however, it is a very preliminary primer rather than a proper guide. That said, it does have some useful tips, particularly the Q&A method for developing story and character.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2007
Your Writing Coach is a cut above other writing books because it not only guides you to writing successfully but also to being a successful writer.

I've used the practical and holistic strategies from the book/website to turn a niche teen novel into the basis of a mulit-media project. More importantly I know that I will continue to use it as that project develops or mutates into something different.

It came as no surprise that Your Writing Coach delivers on a great concept. I used Wolff's (with Kerry Cox) Successful Screenwriting book to shape a project that was subsequently accepted by a prestigious EU Media Training Programme.

Your Writing Coach is also a good read (with a couple of laugh out loud moments) and the concept is both creative and generous.
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