on 4 June 2003
This is the best 'how to' book about novel writing that I have read. It is clear and easy to understand and almost feels like the age old mystery of story telling is finally laid bare for all to see the bare bones. Once you can grasp the concept of where the power of myths comes into it, it's like 'eureka!' - I now understand many of the things others were trying to tell me. Now I feel I can apply good old fashioned common sense with a generous helping of tips and techniques. I really understood this book and have been using it to guide me through my novel. Mr Frey certainly has a way with words - he's down to earth and makes this book very user friendly. I've read it over and over and I would certainly recomend it to anyone who wants the mysteries of story telling unravelled so that they too can apply the power of myth.
on 10 September 2014
The Key: How to Write Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth is an excellent book, and I recommend it warmly to anyone who wants to write powerful, fascinating novels. As in his other ‘How to Write’ books, James N Frey analyses the characteristics of good (and bad) novels, and provides the reader with a deep understanding of the way stories should be told. This time, James N Frey takes an especially interesting angle: he explores the conjecture that many successful novels are based on mythical characters and events. Then, he shows how to use this idea to write modern fiction. The book includes plenty of useful examples, and the principles are explained in a clear, direct way. I enjoyed reading this book, and found it useful and encouraging.
on 26 November 2013
Entertaining and enlightening. He teaches by example, which is very helpful. I felt thrilled whilst reading this book, as though I was receiving gems of knowledge and initiation into the mystical teachings of writing lore. It not only describes how to write damn good fiction using the power of myth, it echoes life itself. You can see the map of your own life. What a truly wonderful, enchanting book.
on 20 August 2008
Many books promise to teach you how to write, this book actually delivers. I mark it down one star because like many self-help type books it take a while to make a fairly simple point. Other than that I can recommend this book. It takes a classical viewpoint to the novel (acts, protagonists etc.) which gives a sense of foundation to the advice. This book will not cover every aspect of writing, but it does give you the backbone to story structure and aims.