In this supremely practical and constructive book, a master editor of some of the most successful writers of the century shares the secret techniques of his craft. As the author explains, ‘This is not a book of theory. It is a book of usable solutions – how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place.’
Amid a wealth of immediately useful guidance not available anywhere else, he explains how to sketch a character in a few deft words; how to create instant conflict; how to write dialogue that is both exciting and moves the story forward; how to use flashbacks and background material most effectively. Writers of both fiction and non-fiction, whether novices or accomplished professionals, will find a host of fresh ideas that can lift their work to exciting new levels, all conveyed in informative, entertaining prose that makes the book a delight to turn to again and again.
Best-selling novelist, playwright, poet and teacher, Sol Stein is above all an editor of genius. Over forty years he has edited writers as diverse as James Baldwin, Dylan Thomas, Jack Higgins, W. H. Auden, Budd Schulberg , David Frost and Lionel Trilling. He has lectured on creative writing at Columbia, Iowa, UCLA and the University of California at Irvine.
“Creative writing courses up and down the country are jammed. But everything you need is in this wonderful volume… Stein is a fascinating guide and teacher. This should be required reading for all Booker prize judges and about 90% of published authors.”
“Plenty of how-to books are strong on theory – they explain the theory of writing arresting openings, of creating interesting characters and so forth – but Sol Stein’s strength is that he demonstrates these things in highly practical terms.”
“The strength of Mr Stein’s book is that he looks at published examples of how writers have tackled all these problems.”