Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review of Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson & Peter Economy

I've been a fan of Randy Ingermanson and his blog, Advanced Fiction Writing, for a long time, so when I heard about Writing Fiction for Dummies, I knew there would be lots of fabulous information in it - and I wasn't disappointed!

Ingermanson pens a succinct  yet comprehensive overview of good fiction writing. He talks about everything from setting your goals as a writer to psychoanalyzing your characters. And at the end of the book he discusses editing, proposals and reasons manuscripts are rejected.

One unique feature of the book is that the authors designed it so you don't have to read it from front to back. You can use the table of contents at the beginning (which is very detailed) to find just the sections you need help on right now. The book does a good job of making statements like, "If you need to know more about "said topic" please see our discussion on page "#." So that makes it super easy to find the topics that will be of most benefit for where you are in your writing journey right now.

Also included in the book are many diagrams and charts that illustrate the topics. As a visual learner, I always find these type of aides very helpful.

I have found the book to be both helpful for overview purposes and at times insightful as to why certain things need to be done a certain way. All in all, I highly recommend the book and think it is must read material for anyone serious about their writing career.
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  1. Bought this a couple of weeks ago and had a similar take. I own a dozen books on fiction writing and I've been to several conferences, but still found new and useful stuff in this book.

  2. I like charts too, particularly when talking structure and character arcs. Thanks, Lynnette!

  3. I'm a visual learner myself, so the charts sound interesting. And I'm always pleased when the TOC and index are thorough and well organized.

  4. Sounds like one I need to add to my To Buy list. Thanks, Lynnette!

  5. Katie said what I was going to say, so on to add this to my Amazon Wish List!

  6. Yep, don't let the "dummies" title fool you. This one is a keeper!