Book: Pimp My Fiction - Powerful writing creates bestsellers by Paula Wynne, Rayne Hall (Foreword)categories: Book, Author, Book Reviews, Novel Writing, Becoming a Writer, Create Writing, Fiction Writing Skills, Fiction Writing
Paula Wynneabout this book: In this 40K book Paula Wynne presents, reviews and condenses the best fiction writing guides.
Here's the foreword by Rayne Hall:
During a clear-out, I stumbled across a shoe box crammed with 3.5" disks. My heart danced: These were the wonderful stories I had written fifteen years earlier and believed lost. Thrilled, I opened the files and settled down to read.
Oh dear! What predictable word choices, what shallow PoV! How could I have thought this was good writing? At the time, I viewed those pieces as proud pillars of my accomplishment.
Comparing my writing then and now, I marvel how much I've grown as a writer. I've learnt new skills, developed a strong author voice, and gained a nuanced understanding of the craft. Where I was once an apprentice and then a journeywoman, I've reached master level. And as with all trades, writing mastery is not a destination but a portal to further learning.
I didn't always see it this way. For many years, I wrote fiction in the belief that I knew it all and had to prove it. Success eluded me. Instead of acclaim, I garnered rejections - which in those days came in the form of pre-printed slips: "We regret this submission doesn't meet our current requirements, and wish you luck placing it elsewhere."
My breakthrough came when I changed my attitude and allowed myself to be simply a seeker with nothing to prove and a lot to learn - what zen practitioners call 'beginner mind'.
I identified the weaknesses of my writing - feeble plots, dragging pace and wordy style - and set about systematically upgrading my skills. Within months, this paid off. After years of spirit-sapping rejections, acceptances came rolling in. This wave of success has continued - with peaks and troughs - ever since.
Honing my craft to grow as a writer has become a joyful pursuit. Every year, I pick one area to improve, and work on it until my skill leaps to a high level.
For this, I've applied different learning strategies. I joined writers groups and critique workshops, took adult education and online classes, analysed the works of famous authors and studied how-to-write books. I even went to university part time to earn a Masters degree in Creative Writing.
To my surprise, the most effective learning methods were the inexpensive ones. I learnt more from books than from the costly university education.
For writers who want to take their craft to the next level, books are ideal. You can find guides for almost any specialist skill you seek. Good books guide, inform, inspire, solve problems, encourage, empower or entertain. Paula Wynne has compiled the books she found helpful on her journey, and her reviews can serve as your starting point. Which book is most useful for your work in progress? Which will help you most to grow as a writer? Which teaching style do you enjoy? Which aligns with your vision?
Modern publishing methods mean you can download the free samples of several promising books, or click the 'Look Inside' feature before you buy. Pick books which teach you want you want to learn, at your level, for your genre, and in a style you enjoy.
Keep in mind that nobody can tell you what you must write. Every writer and every story is different. Good guides don't make rules, they offer advice. It's your artistic responsibility to select influences which suit your vision.
For under £100 a year, you can get a college-level education, tailored to your interests. Put together your own programme of study, choose your major and supporting courses, decide which assignments to write. You won't have to pay tuition fees, spend your precious time travelling to college or abide by someone else's schedule. You can study full-time, part-time or in the brief periods between other commitments. You may decide to study dialogue this term, and plot structure next, or you may pick a new topic every month. Instead of formal assessments, you can invite constructive feedback from your peers.
Of course, you need to apply the techniques you learn to your writing. Pure theory won't make you an author. Write a lot. Try out many techniques and see how they work for you.
"Writing can't be taught," some people claim. What it means is that they can't teach it, or worse, that they can't - or don't want to - learn.
Unlike you. You've picked up this book because of your desire to learn new facets of your craft and to become the best writer you can possibly be.
Enjoy your journey to mastery.
Here's a list of topics covered in the book:
* The Craft of Writing: Find out what a bestselling, page-turning novel requires
* Structure Your Novel: Learn the different story structures and which one may suit your novel
* Creating Characters: How to create believable characters that readers will love
* Character Viewpoint: Which character viewpoint should you use and why
* Character Templates: Various resources for creating compelling fictional people;
* Creating Villains: Like heroes, your villains must jump off the page and grab your readers
* Your First Few Pages: Why it is important to hook your reader from the first sentence
* Sci-Fi, Supernatural and Fantasy: How to write in these fascinating genres
* Other Genres: Whether your passion is writing thrillers, supernatural and paranormal, fantasy and science fiction or romance, or even children’s books, there are several other genre resources
* Writing for Children: Learn how to write for children and young adults
* Writing a Thriller: It's not only pace that sets your novel alight, find out the secrets to thrill readers
* Character Emotions: Why your characters must have an emotional journey along with your readers
* Writing Dialogue: Why each character should have their own voice and how dialogue reveals their personality
* Cinematic Settings: Make your settings and scene locations come alive with vivid, sensory details
* Blueprints: Find writing templates and blueprints to get your novel started immediately
* Self-Editing: How to use self-editing tips and tricks to hone and tone your novel
* Dictionaries and Thesauruses: A long list of every kind of Dictionary and Thesaurus a writer requires
preview: read a sample from this book
what to read next: if you read and liked this book...
• Book Review: Writing Vivid Settings - Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors (Writer's Craft Book 10) by Rayne Hall|
• Book Review: Writing About Villains (Writing Craft) by Rayne Hall|
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