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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best How-To Book I've Read, 18 July 2009
By 
Dr. H. Kara (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction (Paperback)
The first book of Mr Stein's I read was 'Solutions for Novelists', which is also a very good book, but one that made me cross. When I reached the chapter on revising - the chapter I was, at the time, most interested in - it said 'the method I recommend is covered in another book of mine, Solutions for Writers'. At first I thought that was a money-grabbing ploy to sell more books, and swore I would never buy or read another book by Mr Stein. But after I calmed down, and thought about how much I'd learned from 'Solutions for Novelists', I decided to stretch a point, and I'm very glad I did.

I have read around 40 how-to books on writing, and if I had to choose one to take to a desert island, it would be this one. It really does include so many practical solutions that I now re-read it regularly, turning to particular chapters for specific issues, and re-reading from cover to cover every couple of years. The book covers fiction and non-fiction, and makes the point that many of the same techniques need to be used by writers in both camps, to make writing come alive and appeal to its readers. Mr Stein's writing style is very clear and readable, frequently humorous, and based on decades of knowledge and experience. Highly recommended.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of gems and practical advice, 24 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction (Paperback)
Working on the umpteenth draft of my second novel, this book has pointed out all the mistakes I made in the original planning phase. I realise now why my book 'sags' in the middle. Thankfully, 'Solutions' offers supremely practical ... well, solutions. With tips from chapter 9, 'Suspense: Keeping the Reader Reading', I should be able to fix the sag.
There are also techniques for non-fiction writers, worth reading even if you have never written an article and never intend to.
'Solutions for Writers' is also full of great quotes, like Vonnegut's "Make your characters want something right away even if it's only a glass of water." But my favourite is one in the chapter titled 'Liposuctioning Flab' which I'd never come across before: "If you catch an adjective, kill it!" (Mark Twain)
There's also a fun Ten Commandments for Writers at the end. Commandment number 8: "Thou shalt have no rest on the sabbath, for thy characters shall live in thy mind and memory now and forever."
I'm just glad I've found this book before plotting out novel number three!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely useful insights for any writer, 19 Sept. 2004
By 
Rolo "rolo211" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction (Paperback)
I'd written a whole novel before I picked up Sol Stein's book and started reading it seriously. I so wish I'd done that before.
It is packed with genuinely useful insights, written in a witty, anecdotal style that is a pleasure to read. Much of the advice evoked the 'yeah, yeah, know all that stuff' response at first sight. When I picked it up again, months later, it immediately highlighted many weakness and problems in my own work. He opens our eyes to the obvious faults we fail to notice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solutions for Writers, 28 Sept. 2010
By 
A. C. Hull (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction (Paperback)
~For anyone starting out as a writer, or wanting to improve their writing, this is an excellent resource. As an editor, it is definitely something I would recommend to writers, and I would also use it on the writers' courses I teach on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive, 12 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction (Paperback)
Forget all other guides to improving your writing, this one's definitive. A truly excellent book - and recommended by publishers. Practical and full of examples which show you how to transform your writing. Unreservedly recommended; an indispensable guide to how to get it right, clearly and eloquently written by a man who ought to know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an excellent guide, 19 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction (Paperback)
This book was recommended me to a leading professional in the writing industry and I have to agree - What an excellent guide to writing. The concise chapters meant I could learn something new everyday and I've already put some of the advice to good effect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 11 Feb. 2013
By 
Wendy Jones "wjones7423" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction (Paperback)
In Solutions for Writers Sol Stein has given us a book which should be read by aspiring writers and writers alike. Each short chapter is packed full of advice and tips which should help anyone revolutionise their writing. Throughout its pages I could see ways in which I could develop my writing style and make my novel a much more enjoybale experience for the reader. He uses examples of ways in which writers make mistakes and then provides examples of how these could be improved. He does this in an interesting way which meant I wanted to keep reading. This in itself is a testimony to his skill as a writer. I felt that I could tap into this skill helping me to move from being a writer to a good writer. It has given me the feeling and the confidence that I can write books which people will want to buy and read. I would advise all writers to buy this and read it as soon as possible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Do not hesitate - It's the best!, 26 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction (Paperback)
This is by far the best book on writing that I've come across. Each chapter focusses on a particular aspect of writing (opening chapters, dialogue, characterisation, suspense, pacing, plot...) and is packed with examples of both good and bad writing. He also practises what he preaches - every sentence counts in this book, there is no waffle, it's entertaining and I found it hard to put down. After reading just the first chapter I knew instantly what was wrong with the opening to my novel. I would have paid my money for that alone!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on writing., 28 May 2011
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This review is from: Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction (Paperback)
I have dozens of books on writing and this is one of the best I own. Sol Stein writes in an interesting style to reveal cracking information about fiction and non-fiction.It's easy to understand and once you use his advice there's no looking back, your work shows a definite improvement. I found his chapters on dialogue and particularity very revealing and helpful but overall the book is fascinating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 27 July 2012
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This review is from: Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction (Paperback)
If you've been developing your creative writing skills and studying the craft for a few years, as I have, this book does as it says.

When you know the questions, this book provides the answers.

It's probably the best 'how to' book on writing I've read. Pragmatic advice from a professional with a lifetime's experience.

I recommend it.
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