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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best
This is by far one of the best books on writing I have ever read.

Firstly, Monica Wood is a first rate writer herself who communicates the information clearly and with good examples. Secondly, the book is not just about description in terms of showing how something appears, but about how a writer should use description to produce good prose. In this she...
Published on 8 Nov 2010 by SteadyEddie

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dissapointing
i have just managed to finish reading this - it was a struggle. the book is probably 5% useful instructions and 95% lengthy examples. i found the constant flow of (exaggerated) examples extremely over-whelming. barely is she finished - 'look what we did here' when she moves on to the 'and here' but dont forget 'this example' . had she spent more time telling us...
Published on 27 Nov 2008 by C. Patterson


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best, 8 Nov 2010
This review is from: Description (Elements of Fiction Writing) (Paperback)
This is by far one of the best books on writing I have ever read.

Firstly, Monica Wood is a first rate writer herself who communicates the information clearly and with good examples. Secondly, the book is not just about description in terms of showing how something appears, but about how a writer should use description to produce good prose. In this she succeeds tremendously, giving great advice on how to engage the reader in a variety of writing situations including dialogue, setting, flashbacks, context, scene and narrative. The chapter on point of view is worth the cover price alone.

I have learned a lot from this book, not just about using description, but about the whole writing craft - highly recommended.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Description, Description, Description...., 18 Jan 2004
By 
Mrs. T. Newton "Sassy Brit" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Description (Elements of Fiction Writing) (Paperback)
One of the best books i have ever read, introducing the subject of...you've guessed it...DESCRIPTION. Whether this is new to you, or used to improve your writing skills, it will not fail to please you. Here you'll explore how to use setting as the basis for creating dramatic, engaging stories.
You'll learn about:
- Detail
- Plot
- Style
- Point of View
- Word selection
Wood teaches by example, in a clear and concise manner. Developing stories with characters in various situations will never be so difficult again!
Buy it for yourself and you will soon see an improvement in your writing. Also, there is a brilliant list of descriptive alternatives to common VERBS and NOUNS.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars God is in the Detail, 16 Jun 2012
By 
Christopher H (Keilor, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Description (Elements of Fiction Writing) (Paperback)
This is a "how to write" book that impresses me, and that's rare. It doesn't treat the reader like an idiot, or push a set of rules. Instead, it is more an aid to reading, in fact, you will get more out of novels and stories as a reader, appreciating the handling of the prose (the author stresses that the way to improve as a writer is to write, write, write; AND to read, read, read, becoming discriminating in the process). In this Ms Wood's invented samples of writing - which show alternate ways to write about the same thing - are extremely effective in conveying why one sentence or passage sparkles, and another just plods along. A major strength of this book is the high number of practical examples, demonstrating the value of sometimes tiny detail.

Make no mistake, the book does not delve into the nuts and bolts of grammar or prose style, muddling over when to put in a semi-colon, or when to use a clipped sentence. The stress instead is in identifying/selecting what information might go into a passage to improve its descriptive worth. This is where the samples stand out. They show how a word or two will not only enhance writing, but what sort of terms convey either overt or latent descriptive information.

For example, a section in one of her later chapters handles the different ways weather conditions can be suggested in passing, the author writing five sample sentences which show how exactly the same conditions are conveyed by refering descriptively to each one of our physical senses: sight, smell, sound, taste, touch. This not only leads one to think more carefully about your own writing, but you appreciate and recognise the subtleties in passages by major writers.

This book therefore has a much greater use and potential value than just writing fiction: about 60% of the text applies to all forms of writing that require descriptive prose, from journalism through to narrative history. The same issues governing description apply across disciplines, even down to how dialogue/quotations can be integrated into text.

The great architect Mies van der Rohe used to insist to his students, "God is in the detail", and so far as writing is concerned, Ms Wood ably proves it. Actually, the book would be a handy primer for history students who are working on developing material for a broader or popular readership.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really liked this book, 12 Aug 2013
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It has given me a really good idea how I can improve and work on my descriptions. A book I will certainly go back to a lot of times for refreshing and inspiration.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Describes Description!, 11 Aug 2009
By 
Hassans (New Malden, Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
This book tells you where to describe, where to narrate and where to summarize. MW has written in a way which tells you to 'flip through the white pages originating from thought and research', rather than just reading a book!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dissapointing, 27 Nov 2008
By 
C. Patterson (staffordshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Description (Elements of Fiction Writing) (Paperback)
i have just managed to finish reading this - it was a struggle. the book is probably 5% useful instructions and 95% lengthy examples. i found the constant flow of (exaggerated) examples extremely over-whelming. barely is she finished - 'look what we did here' when she moves on to the 'and here' but dont forget 'this example' . had she spent more time telling us directly how to 'show or tell the reader' - rather than bombarding the reader with countless examples - it would have been easier to absorb. i have learned more on description from general 'how to write a novel' books, than i have from this.
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Description (Elements of Fiction Writing)
Description (Elements of Fiction Writing) by Monica Wood (Paperback - 15 April 2000)
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