Writing Fiction for Dummies
by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy
“Our aim is to give you a solid foundation in every aspect of writing fiction.” Authors Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy succeed in this goal, and also in the “hope to surprise you with fresh insights,” for those beyond beginner stage.
This is one writing book I heartily wish had been written when I started out. Although no time spent on developing craft is ever-wasted time, the foundation advice given here enables a new writer to focus on valuable learning techniques, instead of hit or miss possibilities.
Their insights on story structure offer practical application and examples at three separate stages of development. First, to conceive a strategic vision of what your novel is about as early ideas swirl. Next to use your structure to critically edit and polish your novel to a shine. Finally, they show how to present a succinct proposal as a selling tool to agents and editors.
With clear instruction and concrete examples they de-mystify writing a storyline, preparing a three-act structure, and developing a scene list. For a synopsis they provide the “simple principles you need to get it right and do it quickly.”
A final checklist gives “Ten Reasons Publishers Reject Novels.” All reasons are craft based errors with the exception of a strong voice, which comes with experience. And all can be developed with practice. Not only does this give a good checklist before submitting a proposal, but also establishes a good outline to begin a novel on strong principles.
Ingermanson and Economy also bring clarity to scenes. “Each scene will take place at a single location and at a single point in time. It will have a few characters, and it will move the plot forward.” After an initial draft sometimes it’s difficult to remember why we wrote a particular scene. These authors detail a scene’s perspective to turn our confusion into crisp story.
And there is still much more wisdom to strengthen skills.
Submitted by a Christian Editor Network member.
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