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4.5 out of 5 stars22
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on 27 February 2013
"How to write a damn good novel" was the best "how to write" book I have ever read. It is friendly, understanding, and easy to follow, yet it educates the reader to the highest writing standards. Just like a very good teacher should be.
I read it a few years ago, nevertheless I still keep returning to it once in a while. Its advice influenced my writing greatly: it made me construct my book around well-defined premises, interest the reader using conflict techniques, develop my own voice as a writer, search for the art within the words, and savour rewriting, rather than complain about it. I found the chapter "zen of novel writing" encouraging as well.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who aspires to become a writer, or just enjoy writing.
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on 21 October 2005
This book is great, it is very helpfull; full of techniques and the "do's and dont's" of 'dramatic novel writing'. This book not only educated me, but inspired me to crack on with my book, and i believe that it has made me a better writter (not to mention a more possitive one). I am somewhat of a novice writer, (I dont mind admiting it) this book has helped me to structure, plan and execute my stories to great effect. I would advise any writter (novice or not) to get this book, it has something for everyone.
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on 8 February 2013
There is nothing wrong with the information in this book - what there is of it, but it is very basic. I am aware that the book was written some time ago and in my view it desperately needs updating. I would have sent it back had I read it in time, because I didn't read anything new or inspirational. There should have been much more information and tips. Not very impressed I'm afraid.
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on 2 September 2010
JNF is a genius. I never read a book on writing as lucid, clear and unputdownable. In my opinion it is inspiring and makes you want to sit down and start to write now. A must for anyone into writing. Hats off to JNF. - SuMa
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on 3 October 2015
Bought this is a gift and had a quick look. Good ideas and easy format. Sadly the recipient has not started to write his book.
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on 10 September 2014
Good but probably not such an inspiration as the first book. Excellent, though!
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on 3 March 2016
This is the book to read if you are serious about writing damn good novels.
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on 25 March 2010
I was writing for at least five or six years before I bought this book. The cheesy title put me off. I'd had moderate success but I hadn't, despite investing in countless other books on writing learnt how to properly define and develop a premise or look at my manuscript objectively. Both big problems if you want to write anything well. So I swallowed my literary ego and sought the support of our friend Mr Frey. And he is our friend. This man has named this book in the same way Ronseal branded their wood preservative. It does exactly what it says on the tin. I read this book cover to cover twice, made some notes, took a long hard look at my work and wrote a response to the professional that had sent me some crushing editorial feedback. I outlined my own thoughts on corrections for my manuscript. They were impressed. I was relieved. I've never looked back. If you want to write. If you really, really want to know, you could do a lot worse than to start with this book. It's honest, it's readable and damn it, it's funny. Good luck!
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on 5 February 1999
I have read this book and II. I have also taken his three-day writing course. You will find him critical, arrogant, impatient, occassionally hostile, in short the best course a fiction writer can take.
His initial salvo is, "Where's the F***ing Conflict?" In honor of his salvo we have named our critique group in Jim's honor, WTFC Critique Group.
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on 19 November 1997
Damn embarassing book to be caught buying, but well worth the risk.
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