Reviews of Writing Books

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Stein on Writing by Sol Stein

St. Martin's Press, December 1995.
Hardcover, 308 pages.
ISBN: 0312136080
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Stein on Writing
by Sol Stein Master editor (of writers such as Jack Higgins, F. Lee Bailey and David Frost) and bestselling author Sol Stein has created a winning writer's book with his informative Stein on Writing. Stein reveals how to improve your writing skills and how to create interesting fiction and nonfiction. Topics addressed in the book include essential writing skills, the fiction craft, the nonfiction craft, applying fictional techniques to nonfiction, literary writing, revision and a resource section with a glossary. Stein provides instruction on numerous writing techniques including openings, characterization, dialogue, point of view, flashbacks, pacing, book titles, and plotting.

Using examples from well-known short stories and novels, he shows the writer what works and why and provides numerous professional tips and techniques. Among the quality special techniques Stein shares with the reader are The Secret Snapshot Technique, a trick to get the writer to write material that will bring out emotions in the reader and The Actors Studio Method, a special system for creating conflict in fiction. Stein on Writing is a wonderful writer's resource that the developing writer will refer to time and time again, both for learning skills and for inspiration.

Idea Catcher by The Editors of Story Press

Story Press, April 1998.
Trade Paperback, 160 pages.
ISBN: 1884910416
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Idea Catcher
by The Editors of Story Press Idea Catcher is a journal that provides imaginative exercises for writers. Each page contains a brief exercise idea for the writer and then a full page for the writer to complete the exercise. Exercises are created to inspire the writer to write. Examples include: "Think of a person who seems to fit his or her name perfectly. Why do you feel this way?", "You are a house plant. What do you think about the humans in your life -- their habits, the way they live?", "The first human lands on Mars. She steps out of the spacecraft and says..."

An inspiring journal with plenty of exercises to keep the beginning writer busy writing, Idea Catcher is a great tool for breaking writers block or for coming up with an idea for a future story or novel.

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