How to Write a Damn Good Novel II : Advanced Techniques For Dramatic Storytelling
"Damn good" fiction is dramatic fiction, Frey insists, whether it is by Hemingway or Grisham, Le Carre or Ludlum, Austen or Dickens. Despite their differences, these authors' works share common elements: strong narrative lines, fascinating characters, steadily building conflicts, and satisfying conclusions. Frey's How to Write a Damn Good Novel is one of the most widely used guides ever published for aspiring authors. Here, in How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II, Frey offers powerful advanced techniques to build suspense, create fresher, more interesting characters, and achieve greater reader sympathy, empathy, and identification.How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II also warns against the pseudo-rules often inflicted upon writers, rules such as "The author must always be invisible" and "You must stick to a single viewpoint in a scene," which cramp the imagination and deaden the narrative. Frey focuses instead on promises that the author makes to the reader-promises about character, narrative voice, story type, and so on, which must be kept if the reader is to be satisfied.
Frey ( How To Write a Damn Good Novel , St. Martin's, 1987) expands on his earlier take on the art of novel writing. His focus here is on dramatic fiction. Using examples from a broad range of fiction, he shows what these works have in common and how writers can learn from the authors to improve their own writing. Some of the areas discussed are developing characters, creating suspense, using a strong narrative voice, and understanding the author/reader contract. Chapter 8, entitled ``The Seven Deadly Mistakes,'' talks about being timid, trying to be literary, and the failure to produce; it gives some advice on how to avoid these writing traps. The final word is to write with passion. This is a good choice for the writing shelf. It is a clear-headed study, with a bit of humor and solid advice. Anyone who owns the first book should have this one, but it can also stand on its own. Recommended for public libraries.-- Lisa J. Cochenet, Winfield P.L., Ill. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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St. Martin's Press
March 14, 1994
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