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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kiss your writer's block good-bye forever!
Anyone who has ever suffered from writer's block should rush out and pick up a copy of "Story Starters" today. This useful volume includes hundreds of suggestions for stories in every conceivable category to help get you over the hump. Each chapter addresses a different type of story, from age old themes to stories pulled from the headlines, then shows the...
Published on 2 May 1998

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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was hoping for
Hhhmm. It's difficult to know quite what to say about this book. For me, it's next to useless but I guess for others it may be of some value. What I was hoping for when I ordered it was practical advice describing methods and techniques for going about turning a germ of a story idea into a full blown, structured plot. Well, this book doesn't deliver that. What it does do...
Published on 3 Jan. 2002 by Andy Cook


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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was hoping for, 3 Jan. 2002
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This review is from: Story Starters (Paperback)
Hhhmm. It's difficult to know quite what to say about this book. For me, it's next to useless but I guess for others it may be of some value. What I was hoping for when I ordered it was practical advice describing methods and techniques for going about turning a germ of a story idea into a full blown, structured plot. Well, this book doesn't deliver that. What it does do is give dozens of one or two line "what ifs" and very basic scenarios. The rest of the book consists of quite a bit of padding supposedly going into more detail but I found it far too vague and superficial to be of use.
Whether this approach is of any value to you will depend on where you get stuck in the plot making process. I guess there may be the odd one or two ideas in the book that strike a chord with someone and lead them to creating their opus. Personally, if generating basic ideas was the problem, then I'd have preferred the book to contain one or more techniques for generating them but, instead, the book just consists of dozens of basic premises of very variable quality.
If you think it's not possible to have a technique for generating ideas then you'd be mistaken. Take a look at "Successful Sitcom Writing" by Jurgen Wolff for a couple of solid, practical methods for pumping out ideas.
All in all, this is not a book I could recommend to anyone, I'm afraid.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard Going, 26 Mar. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Story Starters (Paperback)
This book contains lots and lots of 'what if? ideas' some good some bad. I found one or two interesting. I think the main problem for me was that the book was aimed at an american audience. Lots of the scenarios made no sense or had no relevance to me (English). I also found it hard going - in that it was difficult to actually read. I was thinking 'What is she talking about ?' quite a lot of the time. For instance she often refers to classic works by the christian name of the main character - fine if it's Huck or Holden but confusing a lot of the time. As an English reader I needed sentences that were finished or at least contained more information and a few less colloquialisms. I shouldn't complain I suppose - it is an american book after all and other people have found it useful, but if you're not american perhaps there are better books for you to try?
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kiss your writer's block good-bye forever!, 2 May 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Story Starters (Paperback)
Anyone who has ever suffered from writer's block should rush out and pick up a copy of "Story Starters" today. This useful volume includes hundreds of suggestions for stories in every conceivable category to help get you over the hump. Each chapter addresses a different type of story, from age old themes to stories pulled from the headlines, then shows the writer how to look at familiar concepts in order to use them for inspiration. I loved this book because it not only makes you anxious to hit the typewriter, but it shows you how easy it can be to draw plot ideas from your everyday life. Ms Stanek also includes pertinent lessons that answer questions you might have regarding technical aspects of different genres. For instance, the chapter on writing based on memories discusses the use of flashback as a literary tool. The book is filled with examples from a wide range of fiction and the story starters themselves are so numerous, the most prolific writer would be hard pressed to work his way through them all. I recommend this book whole-heartedly to all writers everywhere.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spoilt for choice, 21 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Story Starters (Paperback)
This book has so many story starters you really are 'spoilt for choice'. Before I had finished reading the first chapter my story was planned. Before I had finished the second it was written. Every page is packed full of good, sound, exciting advice that has you twitching to start another piece.A book that should be on every writers bookshelf.
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Story Starters
Story Starters by Lou Willett Stanek (Paperback - April 1998)
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