4 out of 4 stars
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CREATING LITERARY STORIES: A Fiction Writer's Guide by William H. Coles explains everything needed to write a literary fiction story, starting off with the basics (definitions and introductions) all the way to the more complicated items.
The content is delivered in a fun non-academic way. It's not easy to achieve this kind of readability when writing a guidebook made up of advice and lists of dos and don'ts. The author crafted the chapters and sections skillfully that the whole thing is perceived as a discussion or a conversation rather than a lengthy tedious lecture.
The best thing that I personally liked the most is that the author seems to truly understand the deal and what he is explaining to the readers instead of just throwing in words and instructions from a textbook. On the contrary, some parts clearly suggest that the tips come from experience. Now, when experience is paired with a good writing skill, you get a guidebook that is worthwhile.
Also, each chapter is concluded with a quick summary. The summaries are condensed but very much summing up all the points. In Book Two, there are the "Test yourself" bits that might be quite useful and invaluable to any reader who is in the process of writing something of his own or planning to.
There isn't something that I can say I "disliked" about the book, however, there are a few issues that, in my opinion, might have made it even better. Firstly, some ideas, albeit explained thoroughly and clearly, lacked examples for essential further elaboration, such as the "Types of humor in writing" section. Secondly, specific pieces of information are repeated two or more times. Important and requiring of emphasis as they are, the repetition didn't seem beneficial. Finally, it is worth to mention that the content is very rich and overwhelming, but at the same time very condensed. For fast readers, this combination is risky and might leave them feeling as if they were bombarded with ideas. That being said, I recommend that it be read with a slow pace for serious readers so that they can take time to absorb the information before proceeding.
This book is most suitable for aspiring writers and novelists. It is equally helpful to those who are starting off a career in writing and those avid readers curious to know about the craft. It is not, in any way, suitable for people who are not interested in the art and skill of writing.
I give CREATING LITERARY STORIES: A Fiction Writer's Guide a score of 4 out of 4. It was a delightful yet extremely enlightening read from beginning to end (although it did end abruptly and quite unexpectedly). The book offers some very practical tips with examples. It is very much to the point without any unnecessary rambling. Definitely a successful guidebook and overall entertaining to read.
Creating Literary Stories: A Fiction Writer's Guide
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