Top critical review
25 people found this helpful
There are far better books on writing out there...
on 2 January 2008
Whilst by no means a complete waste of time, Bickman's book doesn't have the general application that some better guides offer. It's probably quite useful if you write romance, or pulp westerns and espionage thrillers as Mr Bickman himself apparently did - anything with a single protagonist battling against the odds - but for most other genres his limited (and limiting) advice is less than helpful. Personally I write fantasy, horror and science-fiction, and the model he puts forward as mandatory for any good fiction would exlude many of the great works in those genres (as well as the majority of literary classics, for that matter). As proof of this there's the fact that Bickman offers almost no examples to cooborate his arguments, and a couple of the few there are are from his own works! On the plus side, it's a very readable and stirring book, and even if like me you disagree with much of what's said, it at least pushes you to question your own style and decisions. Personally I would recommend Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King, as a much more generally applicable and less personal and occassionally bizzare guide than this.