How to Write a Damn Good Novel
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How to Write a Damn Good Novel

By (author) James Frey

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"Damn good" fiction is dramatic fiction, whether 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. James N. Frey's How to Write a Damn Good Novel is one of the most widely used guides ever published for aspiring authors who wish to write dramatic fiction. Now, 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. Frey 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. He 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. Honest, and often painfully funny about the way writers sometimes fail their readers and themselves, How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II should be on every fiction writer's shelf.

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  • Paperback | 161 pages
  • 144.78 x 210.82 x 22.86mm | 340.19g
  • 31 Dec 1998
  • St Martin's Press
  • New York
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0312104782
  • 9780312104788
  • 144,905

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Author Information

James N. Frey is the author of the internationally bestselling "How to Write a Damn Good Novel" and "How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II," as well as nine novels. He has taught and lectured on creative writing at several different schools and conferences throughout the U.S. and Europe.

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Review quote

"Frey 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 . . . 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."--"Library Journal"

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Back cover copy

"Damn good" fiction is dramatic fiction, whether 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. James N. Frey's How to Write a Damn Good Novel is one of the most widely used guides ever published for aspiring authors who wish to write dramatic fiction. Now, 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. Frey 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. He 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. Honest, and often painfully funny about the way writers sometimes fail their readers and themselves, How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II should be on every fiction writer's shelf.

show more