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This book deserved editiorial reviews!
am 29. Dezember 1999
Along with Renni Brown's Self Editing for Fiction Writers and Bird by Bird, this has become one of my favorite books on writing. I just read it yesterday and am amazed at how good it was. I expected another ho-humish how-to with the same old Writers Digest advice but got instead exciting insights, analysis of fine literature, and professional tips on how to improve my novel. I especially liked the way the author kept referring to several master works (A Christmas Carol, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Madam Bovary, Lolita, and The Godfather) to illustrate his points about how to have a premise, internal and external conflict, and a satisfying climax. I loved the tips for avoiding melodrama and producing dramatic literature instead, as well as the original suggestions for improving dialogue, tips I have not encountered in a dozen other books. I am a journalist seven-eigths done with my first novel and think this book would be great for both beginners and those who have been working on their craft for years. Frey has something unique to say and says it so well that it is a treat to read. His gift of self-expression and insights into writing make the qualities of fine fiction understandable and something one can learn to reproduce. The book has a scholarly foundation (with helpful references and research) and original premises but is very funny and entertaining, too.