How to Grow a Novel: The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome Them

Front Cover
Macmillan, Mar 20, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 256 pages
3 Reviews

Each year thousands of fiction writers, from beginners to bestselling author, benefit from Sol Stein's sold-out workshops, featured appearances at writers' conferences, software for writers, on-line columns, and his popular first book for writers, Stein on Writing. Stein practices what he teaches: He is the author of nine novels, including the million-copy bestseller The Magician, as well as editor of such major writers as James Baldwin, Jack Higgins, Elia Kazan, Budd Schulberg, W. H. Auden, and Jacques Barzun, and the teacher and editor of several current bestselling authors. What sets Stein apart is his practical approach. He provides specific techniques that speed writers to successful publication.

How to Grow a Novel is not just a book, but an invaluable workshop in print. It includes details and examples from Stein's editorial work with a #1 bestselling novelist as well as talented newcomers. Stein takes the reader backstage in the development of memorable characters and fascinating plots. The chapter on dialogue overflows with solutions for short-story writers, novelists, screenwriters, and playwrights. Stein shows what readers are looking for-- and what they avoid-- in the experience of reading fiction. The book offers guidelines-- and warnings-- of special value for nonfiction writers who want to move into fiction. Stein points to the little, often overlooked things that damage the writer's authority without the writer knowing it. And this book, like no other writing book, takes the reader behind the scenes of the publishing business as it affects writers of every level of experience, revealing the hard truths that are kept behind shut doors.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RandyMetcalfe - LibraryThing

Sol Stein is charming. He offers practical advice for would-be novelists mingled with discrete anecdotes and examples from his long career as a playwright, novelist, editor, publisher, and non-fiction ... Read full review

How to grow a novel: the most common mistakes writers make and how to overcome them

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

"Come sit. We need to talk." With this simple invitation, novelist, editor, and writing instructor Stein invites the reader to listen as he shares what he has learned from his extensive experience in ... Read full review

Contents

The Reader Is Looking for an Experience
3
Is Conflict a Necessity?
19
Capturing the Reader
29
Success Lies in Seeing the Details
54
Characters Who Are Characters
66
Where Writers Get Their Plots
77
Our Native Language Is Not Dialogue
90
Advanced Point of View
108
Some Fundamentals for Emigrants from Nonfiction
162
A Few Guidelines for Living Forever
172
The Responsibilities of the Publisher
177
The Prospect Before Us
179
Putting Out to the World
187
Midlist and Other Fictions of Publishing
193
Envoi
203
Welcome to the 21st Century
205

Do You Promise to Tell the Truth So Help You?
123
Where Writers Go Wrong
127
How to Pilot Words Precisely
139
You Have All the Time You Need
148
Revision as Opportunityand Danger
150
Practical Matters
213
The Little Things That Damage the Writers Authority
215
Where Writers Get Help
224
Glossary
237
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2002)

Sol Stein is the author of several novels, including the million-copy bestseller The Magician. As an editor, his authors included James Baldwin, Jack Higgins, and many others. Stein has lectured widely on creative writing, and was given the Distinguished Instructor Award by the University of California at Irvine in 1993. His columns appear regularly on America Online and elsewhere.

Bibliographic information