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on 2 March 2014
I would STRONGLY recommend this neat little miracle of an ebook. JSB's triangle theory is nothing short of simple genius, and has clarified much in the four previous hours I have been studying it and making notes.
A concise, understandable and friendly guide to what you REALLY need to know.
You've tried the rest, they didn't work, you haven't even read them; do yourself a favour and download 'From The Middle'.
If you're serious about novel writing and actually intend to STUDY this book and take it seriously, you won't regret it.
Also recommended is JSB's Reader's Digest book and plotting.
A wonderful and wise investment, which, I'm sure, will pay dividends.
Now, I have to do some writing - once I create my own character triangle.
Thanks JSB.
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on 27 July 2015
A slim, read-in-one-sitting book containing one original-ish idea and several rehashed ones. The original-ish idea is that each novel has a ‘mirror-moment’ of reflection (what am I becoming? Or the odds that face me are overwhelming) at its centre, and this moment defines what the story is about and anchors all the scenes before and after it. Scott Bell doesn’t prescribe that you must start planning or writing with the mirror-moment. He suggests, however you work, know that moment is necessary and test your story against it. I found midpoint mirror-moments in the novels I’ve written, but I’m not sure the idea will be much help to me in planning the next one.
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on 2 June 2014
As a writer, I welcome any approach that helps me to look at my work objectively. So I found this middle-out approach to building the structure of a story genuinely useful. It made me reassess what I knew about the private emotional life of the central character(s) and in so doing, find new and subtle ways to twist the plot. I would recommend it to any established or beginning writer who also values the creative benefits of objectivity.
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on 16 July 2014
I was curious about James Scott Bell's approach and took a punt on this book, based on the reviews. I think he is on to something with his approach. I have a novel outlined which has a number of themes which I want to explore. Bell's assumption that the best books and films, for that matter,have at their middle a defining 'moment' which shapes what goes before and sets the direction for what happens afterwards, is compelling. It set me thinking about my own novel outline and some scenes I have sketched. I realised that one of them is the defining mid-point moment and very quickly the order of events - up to now a bit of a jumble, started to take shape. It compliments the 'show don't tell' writing principle as well. This is not another 'blah blah whatever' book on writing. It deserves to be studied and thought about, (I've read it twice). Like other reviewers I believe it will change your perspective on how to construct and write a novel.
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on 8 March 2014
I don't usually buy books on "writing" but was intrigued enough by the title of this one and the reputation of its author to give it a try. James Scott Bell doesn't disappoint with this new approach to plotting a better book. Write Your Novel From the Middle is an excellent, short, and easy to read guide that will have you thinking in ways you have never done before when it comes to structuring your novel. Mr.Bell's passion for understanding and teaching great novel writing is also evident in this guide. I thoroughly recommend this book for all authors! And at 72 pages, it doesn't take you long to get through it.
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on 17 March 2014
I wondered if the idea behind this short book was going to be a bit of a gimmick but it really has injected new life into my writing. I have been working on a short story for longer than I care to mention and I thought I had finally finished it, then along came this book. It was everything I'd hoped for: brief, to the point and a plot polisher's dream. I feel like my story has a new layer, a clearer direction and more soul now. Yes the bones of the idea could probably have been covered in a generous blog post but who can blame the guy - a writer's got to eat. And at £1.84 for the kindle version, this is a bit of a no-brainer for someone like me who felt their story was still lacking something they couldn't quite put their finger on.
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on 30 June 2014
I thought I'd never find a writer's how-to book that would 'work' for me and my weird half-pantser, half-plotter brain. But this is that very book. Before I read it the title alone sounded like a terrible idea; write from the middle? There's no way that could ever work! But the reviews were all so positive that in the end I decided to give it shot - and boy, I'm so glad I did. I won't spoil it for those of you who are planning to buy this book yourself by telling you exactly how every part of the technique described in it makes perfect sense and will get you excited about your own writing all over again, because I don't want to rob you of that growing feeling of joy you'll get as you read through it and feel like a massive light bulb has been turned on in your brain. Just buy this book already! It will not only change the way you write, but give you a new passion for writing.
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on 7 October 2014
I give this five stars for doing exactly what it promises. The book is short, sweet, and to the point. I finished it in two sittings; and then I opened my own published novels, found the precise mid-point, and found that fleeting moment when something happens to shift the direction of the story. I never thought about this until I found it, right there at the midpoint of each of my novels. I think this means, essentially, that intuition can be powerful in writing a novel; but also that 'intuition' can be planned.
In his research that formed this theory, Bell found, almost without exception, that there is such a moment of epiphany in every good movie he has examined, and every great or good novel he has analysed.
Now he tells the young writer how to formulate a successful plot, starting from the mid-point. I'm not sure that it can be forced: but I am sure that when that fleeting moment of epiphany falls into place, it works well in the dramatic arc.
I always enjoy James Scott Bell's instructional writing. He is fun to read, and he has a lot to say.
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on 20 March 2015
I found the framework helpful - I managed to get a few plot ideas focused using Bell's approach.
I didn't give it 5stars because it was a short book and only half was spent on the idea which was very good.
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on 26 March 2015
An interesting proposition form James Bell that I will have to work through to see how it works for me. I found myself reviewing my own favourites to see if what he was saying was right (as well as my own writing too, of course), and it is! It wu=ill significantly enhance my writing technique and as I have two novels in draft right now, I will add his take on successful writing into the 2nd draft a=stage to see what I can do to make my books even better. Thank you!
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