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Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time Paperback – 23 Nov 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Writers Digest Books (23 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582974799
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582974798
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jordan is author of the novel of suspense Forged in Grace, and the writing guides Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time, and Write Free: Attracting the Creative Life with Rebecca Lawton. Jordan's essays and articles have appeared in such publications as AlterNet.org, Marin Magazine, Publisher's Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, The St. Petersburg Times, Whole Life Times, The Writer and Writer's Digest magazine. Her book commentaries have appeared on The California Report, a news-magazine produced by NPR-affiliate KQED radio. She is co-founder of www.indie-visible.com, a writer's collective offering publishing and marketing support to indie authors.

Jordan is working on two forthcoming writing books from Writer's Digest Books: A Writer's Guide to Persistence: A Toolkit to Build & Bolster a Lasting Writing Practice (Spring: 2015), and, with Martha Alderson, ("The Plot Whisperer") Deep Scenes: Plot Your Story Scene-by-Scene Through Action, Emotion & Theme (Fall, 2015). Also, under the pen name J.P. Rose, Jordan's first novel of Romantic Suspense, Night Oracles, releases in Spring, 2014.

She teaches an ongoing series of online writing courses and webinars on the subjects of plot, scene and tension-building, and will be holding the first annual Plot & Scene retreat with author Martha Alderson, The Plot Whisperer, in May 2014.

Product Description

About the Author

Jordan E. Rosenfeld is the creator and host of the literary radio program Word by Word: Conversations with Writers on NPR-affiliate KRBC radio. Her essays and stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines such as Night Train, the Summerset Review and the Dickens Literary Journal. She has written articles for Writer's Digest, The Writer, and the St. Petersburg Times.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shah Wharton on 25 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you need to know what a scene is, what its job is, how to write one, and how to string them together, this is your go to book!
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By Jesamine on 18 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback
Still finding inspiration and advice. Often I find it difficult to really 'dig' away at a character. As a test, I did an alternative version of a scene in a story I wrote, and it did come out better. With the help of the Positive Trait Thesaurus, the Negative Trait Thesaurus and the Emotions Thesaurus, I somehow got a better scene out of it. I'll incorporate it later into the story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 55 reviews
59 of 69 people found the following review helpful
excellent practical advice, easy to put to use 28 Nov. 2007
By susan_d - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a published writer who already knows a few tricks of the trade. But I was thrilled to read this book and learn so much more. Rosenfeld deconstructs all the different elements of scene writing in a very easily digestable manner, gives examples and reasons for what can work, and what can't. Most importantly, her focus is always on how things will affect the reader, which means that it can help other writers to keep their audience in mind and is a great guidebook to help us edit/trim/revise for maximum impact with our audience. This book is comprehensive, but very well laid-out so it makes for a great quick reference quide. I'm quite sure it's going to help me get more oomph out of my storytelling.
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Make A Scene 25 Dec. 2007
By Stephanie Anagnoson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Rosenfeld's Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time is an extremely useful book for writers, both fiction and nonfiction. She has divided the book into four parts:

Part I Architecture of a Scene;
Part II The Core Elements and the Scene;
Part III Scene Types; and
Part IV Other Scene Considerations.

After reading the book cover to cover a month ago, I've turned to it three times in the past month to look up issues including trying to identify what worked so well in Jim Shepard's short story, Love and Hydrogen, locating a specific scene type for a memoir that I'm writing, and trimming narrative summary in a piece that I'm editing.

This is truly a comprehensive, compelling, and fun read. The exerpts that she uses as examples are all interesting, not all classic but perhaps soon to be. I highly recommend it to people who write.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Informative Writing on Crafting Scenes 1 Aug. 2009
By Tommy Gunn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love "Make A Scene". The author breaks down the scene to its core elements--Setting, The Senses, Character Development and Motivation, Plot, Subtext, Dramatic Tension, and Scene Intentions. AFter breaking down the elements of a scene, she then continues to give insight on the different types of scenes at a writer's disposal, and techniques to use to make the scene work. I love this book; it is stationed by my computer desk, on standby, for immediate use.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Well written instruction 3 April 2009
By Gary Desomber - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Are you a beginning writer looking for help getting started? Are you an accomplished writer with several sales under your belt? Either way, you can't go wrong with this book. I am a screenwriter and the book is written primarily for fiction book writing so I had to transfer the information into a different format for my purposes, but the breakdown & explanation of a scene and how they form a story is quite helpful.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Gem for New and Veteran Writers 23 May 2008
By Donna G. Storey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have a lot of writing reference books in my library--A LOT of writing reference books--and I'm rather picky when it comes to adding another one. But after reading MAKE A SCENE, I happily made room in the easy-access "favorites" section of my bookshelf. This is one of those rare a how-to books that not only makes me feel sharper as an editor, it inspires me to dive back into the creative phase of the process, not to mention the humor and flowing prose made it a true pleasure to read. The book is a great resource not just for scene-building but for all the fundamentals of good writing, with checklists, or "muse points," to help make your characters more compelling and your plot--even if you write literary fiction!--into the foundation of a page-turner. Beginners will get lots of new information (check out "Architecture of a Scene," and "Core Elements"), while experienced writers will benefit from stepping back and examining why they do what they do from instinct. This book is invaluable for the editing phase of novel writing--remember, each scene has to earn its place--and I know I'll be referring to it often!
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