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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The true craft - and graft - of writing, 8 Aug 2008
This review is from: The Creative Writing Coursebook: Forty Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction and Poetry (Paperback)
This book won't write your novel for you. It won't tell you how to get it published. But what it will do is guide new (and not so new) writers through the essentials.

If you have a great idea for a story and are basically literate, this book is a very good way to turn out an excellent book. It guides writers through the basics of plot and character, point of view and setting, and through to those final elements such as rewriting and editing many writers try to avoid. It is thorough and understandable, and, being written by a wide variety of accomplished professionals rather than just one know-it-all, it provides the best advice available from many sources.

It is often partnered with What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers, and for good reason. What If adds valuable exercises to this book, and is worth buying alongside it.

This is not a short-cut to getting published. It is a rigorous manual containing many exercises that while maybe not appealing on first glance, are well worth doing. It is a guide to the true craft - and graft - of the writing process. Ironically, it is increasingly apparent that publishers and their editors have little knowledge of these building blocks of good writing. This book can make sure what you present for publication is as good as it should be; whether editors actually recognise that fact is, unfortunately, beyond the scope of even this terrific book.
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