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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 5 November 2006
Very little I can say, I cannot praise this book enough. If you seriously want to write fiction that will be enjoyable for others to read - buy this book. It is easy to read and easy to understand. It will transform your writing skills within minutes of dipping into it.
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on 9 August 2014
You want to remind yourself quickly, efficiently and in a manner which you'll remember - at least while you tackle the latest draft of your opus - and this is the quick easy enumerated book I return to again and again to refresh myself and help purge all the bad lazy habits that eventually creep back in as the memory fades.

I return again and again to the great little book.
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on 27 June 1999
This guy obviously knows what he's doing, and thank God he wrote this book. I now know where I screwed up majorly in my copy, and am starting to do major editing. Thanks to this guy and his book I now am carefully planning stuff for my next project. Also, he has written espionage novels and westerns. Also, "Wally" the student is hilarious, even though he is a real person!
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on 22 April 2009
This would have better been titled, "Writing for Dummies".

If you have read any decent books whatsoever on fiction writing, you won't find much (if anything) in here of use. Some of his basic rules are downright common sense. Others, outside of the narrow band of genres written for, are either regularly and successfully broken, or in fact the total opposite of "how to write well" in a genre.

If you plan to write pulp fiction or pure romance, where the things outlined are more of a must, or just have no idea where to start, then these "don'ts" will probably be of some use to you. If you have a clue, and especially if your literary ambitions range outside a fairly basic understanding of plot, character, and so on, this will just frustrate you.

I was grateful that I happened to get my copy for free.
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on 8 March 1999
Good solid advice. It gets down to the basics and doesn't waste time. If you want to write fiction this is a great book to start with.
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on 25 May 2004
I read this book thinking because its so small that it would be no help. Even though it's short it's quite a good read. Some of it is obvious it helps realise your small mistakes [and big ones]. Great for me a beginner
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on 27 May 2011
Very easy to read and very practical fiction-writing advice. Even after several writing courses, I have found several pieces of advice that I have never thought of, such as the No 25, that says uncontrollable overflow of ideas can be an obstacle to sticking to one's original plan instead of a positive sign of a vivid imagination. Highly recommended.
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on 22 March 1999
I reccomend reading this book before you writing your novel and then re-reading it again when your finished. The sections on confidence and persistence are what keep me writing. The rest I read while I edit. Noting wasted on buying this book!
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on 6 January 2012
Don't let the length of this book put you off - no waffle just good honest advice which sometimes contradicts what your English teacher told you. But who wants to write essays? Proof of the pudding is in the eating, and in Bickham's case, people not only go back for seconds but become lifelong fans of his prolific outpourings.

In a nutshell - those who can do & sometimes they're generous enough to share the foundation of their success with others.

I purchased this on the advice of an author I admire, and I'm spreading the goodwill by recommending it to others.
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VINE VOICEon 3 March 2013
I enjoyed reading this book, which did exactly what it said on the cover. However, it is a little out of date and, in places, misguided. In particular the section on Why Not To Attend Writing Groups was absurdly biased. The author is a lecturer and presumably believes everyone should attend creative writing classes!
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