Monday, 30 September 2019

Writing Fiction - a user-friendly guide by James Essinger

Release Date: 1st August 2019
Publisher: The Conrad Press
Genres: Non-Fiction

 Writing Fiction – a user-friendly guide
‘Writing Fiction is a little pot of gold… Screenplay by Syd Field for film, Writing Fiction by James Essinger for fiction. It’s that simple.’

William Osborne, novelist and screenwriter
Writing Fiction – a user-friendly guide is a must-read if you want to write stories to a professional standard.
It draws on the author’s more than thirty years of experience as a professional writer, and on the work and ideas of writers including:
         Anthony Burgess
         Joseph Conrad
         George Eliot
         Ken Follett
         Frederick Forsyth
         Dan Harmon
         Ernest Hemingway
         David Lodge
         Norman Mailer
         John Milton
         Ben Parker
         J.K. Rowling
         William Shakespeare
         Martin Cruz Smith
         J.R.R. Tolkien

The twenty-four chapters cover every important matter you need to know about, including: devising a compelling story, creating and developing characters, plotting, ‘plants’, backstory, suspense, dialogue, ‘show’ and ‘tell’, and how to make your novel more real than reality.
Also featuring special guest advice from legendary screenwriter Bob Gale, who wrote the three immortal Back to the Future movies (1985, 1989 and 1990), and novelist and screenwriter William Osborne, whose many screen credits include the co-writing of the blockbuster  Twins (1988), this highly entertaining book gives you all the advice and practical guidance you need to make your dream of becoming a published fiction writer come true.

As an aspiring writing I adore these types of books. However, all too often they can be a bit dry and ramble on for far too long. Not so with this book. It has just the right amount of easily digestible information, hints and tips to keep all you writers out there on the right track with your next literary masterpiece.  I particularly liked the advice around developing characters as what I am writing at the moment is very character driven so the advice was invaluable. 

I don't think you can read too many books about writing as writers are ever evolving creatures and our skills and knowledge base changes and hopefully gets better. There is lots of encouragement within the book to keep going, don't give up with your writing and stay focused.It not a case of 'If', but a case of 'when', and this type of positivity is so encouraging.  Essinger comes across as a writer who clearly knows his stuff and knows quite a lot of writers who know their stuff too. This was evident in the references to movies and their writers.  I really enjoyed the comparisons as a teaching tool. A great book and a handy resource to have to hand. 


James Essinger has been a professional writer since 1988. His non-fiction books include Jacquard’s Web (2004), Ada’s Algorithm (2013), which is to be filmed by Monumental Pictures, and Charles and Ada: the computer’s most passionate partnership (2019). His novels include The Mating Game (2016) and The Ada Lovelace Project (2019).

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