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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2009
... it's the mantra of the Creative Writing teacher and to be honest, it was beginning to wear a little thin. I suspect this is because there's never any comprehensive guide to revising, just general guides to making sure your characters are rounded and plot thought out and so on. This book is that guide that you need.

It's a practical guide with examples and explanations of why it's wrong to do some things, what you can get away with and what you need to change to add punch.

Kaplans basic 'laws' of revision are to revise for style, structure and meaning. Having finished the book I feel like I can attack my stories and make them into good pieces of prose instead of the limp lettuce stuff that occasionally comes out and can't understand why.

I'd recommend this book to any prose writers- I wouldn't bother if you're a poetry-only writer. Play and film writers can take it or leave it (might be better off with something like The Playwright's Guidebook,The Art and Science of Screenwriting or The Crafty Art of Playmaking), it will help with dialogue but it's not the main focus of the book.

His style is helpful and jokey, making it a joy to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2012
The two best books on writing fiction are Revision - A Creative Approach to Writing and Rewriting Fiction and Stephen King's - On Writing. Others may disagree with my choices. Most books on writing fall into one of two categories, either they are filled with very vague and general advice or they pretend to offer a formula. Neither category is of much use to the beginning and intermediate author. Revision is not a "How To" book in the DIY tradition. Rather it is one based on very good principles of story telling. Good story telling, whether it is written or oral, always requires revisions. A story is always retold with changes, many of them significant, until it has achieved the desired effect. This is the lesson Revision teaches and teaches very well. From concept of a story to the actual writing process, revision is an essential part of the process and marks the difference between the hack and the good writer. Now, assuming you read my review I urge you to read the one and two star reviews of all books under consideration. Please do not buy this book solely on my recommendation. Do your homework and if need be, go to the library and review or read a copy for yourself. And yes, I purchased this book on Amazon.uk and no, I have not been given any book, money, etc, for my review.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 1999
This book offers indepth suggestions on revision of fiction writing, including some forms of revision I would never have thought of personally. The over-all goal is seamless fiction writing and Kaplan has some concrete suggestions on how to achieve this. One of the most helpful books I have ever read on the subject.
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on 24 February 2014
A decade and more ago I was addicted to how-to-write books. Good, bad or ugly, I greedily swallowed them all. I still indulge now and then. Saw Kaplan's earlier version of this book ("Rewriting") recommended somewhere, and yes, it’s pretty good, but actually (come on, Bobbie) I already know all these great tips. Back it goes on my how-to shelf, beside Cook ‘Line by line’, Browne & King ‘Self-editing for fiction writers’, Bell ‘The artful edit’, Lerner ‘An editor’s advice to writers’, Lamott ‘Bird by bird’, etc, etc, because really I ought to get back to... er... rewriting.
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on 16 December 2014
Excellent book that gives help for all aspects of writing
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2011
The service was good, quite quick. Let down only by the postal system as the book arrived slightly damaged in one corner.
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