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Description and Setting: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Believable World of People, Places and Events (Write Great Fiction) Paperback – 24 Jun 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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  • Dialogue: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Effective Dialogue (Write Great Fiction)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: F&W (24 Jun. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158297327X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582973272
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Ron Rozelle is the author of three books and teaches creative writing at workshops and universities.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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I love most books on creative writing, I had an Amazon voucher, I saw this title and I thought "Why not?'. Big mistake! First of all it doesn't really do what it says on the tin. It's supposed to be about description and setting. There are only a few chapters on the latter. The rest is about character, show not tell, etc. O.K the subtitle of the book says 'crafting a believable world of people, places, and events' so I can live with the other stuff.However, I found myself flitting from chapter to chapter because every time I started to read the topic I would ask myself the same question every time : When are you going to get to the point? For instance chapter 5 begins with a story about James Michener and how he could write about a chair in such a way that the reader would know exactly how it would feel to sit in that chair. I was fascinated initially.I'm dying to know how to do it. Five and a half pages later (one page is a list of books with some form of sensibility in the titles) the author begins to tell me in a mundane manner stuff I know already.There are much better books than this about by Sol Stein(Solutions for Writers) and Janet Burroway (Writing Fiction). Save your money and give Description and Setting a miss.
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Format: Paperback
Rozelle's guide is better than most American writing manuals in that it is low on motivational spin, doesn't talk down to the reader, and, importantly, approaches the subject through studying passages from a very broad range of novels. It is definitely good.

The organisation of the book into a sequence of categories and sub-categories is straightforward and thorough, but what makes it worth reading is the capable use of quotations. For every point he makes, the author provides genuine examples from published fiction.

Rozelle's approach is equally informative for aspiring writers, and for readers. By looking at how texts have been assembled phrase by phrase, he heightens your sense of the craft that has gone into those works. The suggestions about punctuation and paragraphs are worth thinking over, and his remarks on cadence are worth their weight in gold. There were no surprises for me when Rozelle scrutinised sentences by Virginia Woolf and Flannery O'Connor, but his observations on John Grishim's and Stephen King's prose caught my attention.

This is not another one of those books intended for people whose ambition is to produce commercial mush. Rozelle recognises the differences between popular fiction and literary fiction, and he repeatedly discusses how to approach the process of description for each form. He stresses the need to develop worthy writing across the board, at times showing how a popular novelist handles describing a character, scene or mood, and a more literary figure tackles a similar problem, but in each case improving the quality of the final text.

This is a very useful book that certainly deserves a place on the shelf alongside Monica Wood's Description (Elements of Fiction Writing).
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This book is truly fantastic and opened my eyes to the importance of using the right techniques to awaken description and setting in my books. I think I would have been lost without this book and I always consult it. It's absolutely fantastic!!
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By zippy on 6 April 2009
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This writer's series of books is a joy, not only to learn the secrets of telling a good yarn, but most surprisingly also doubles as an excellent guide to understanding a lot about human nature. As with every book in this series (and I've got them all) the author's text is so easy to follow, and every point is illustrated with examples and very easy to understand. No way could these works be described as long winded or boring, in fact like any good story, they are very hard to put down.
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Format: Paperback
I found this the most useful and practical book on fiction writing I've read - and I've read a fair few. His examples are telling, he breaks his subject matter into digestible and often amusing chunks, and he inspires you to have a go yourself rather than be a passive reader.
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As with the other books in the Write Great Fiction series, this title is a great starting point for newcomers to writing - like I was when I bought Description & Setting. Do not let the bad reviews put you off.

This title teaches you some of the essentials of writing; showing vs telling and how to describe through narration and dialogue. If you are new to writing and you want a book full of a diverse range of examples and some simple tips to get you on the way, you can't go wrong here.
Obviously, if you want to really master the skills that this serves as a foundation for, you are going to have to move up to the next level after reading this and find information more specific to your chosen genre.

But, as a starting place, a good choice.
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I found the reading very interesting. Though some parts tell nothing new (which doesn't make them rubbish, anyway), others are well dealt with and help understanding the role of description and setting, always with practical advice that make the book easy to use.
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I have no idea why this was not the first book I ordered in this series. But i have it now and it's proving worth it's weight in golden advice. I'm looking forward to absorbing all I can from it.
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