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Customer Reviews for

Techniques of the Selling Writer

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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  • Posted September 14, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must Read

    I found this book through another reviewer's recommendation. Although some of the examples are dated (the book was published in 1965), all of Swain's points are worthy of serious consideration.

    I read it in detail, marked the book up, and will go back many, many times as I progress through future drafts of my work. His advice about motivation-reaction units are particularly useful.

    Also recommend: On Writing by Stephen King and How to Write Best-Selling Fiction by Dean Koontz

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  • Posted September 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Matter-of-fact, practical, doesn't get distracted by metaphorica

    Matter-of-fact, practical, doesn't get distracted by metaphorical descriptions of what an author is trying to do. Swain describes the writing process in plain English but with many examples that let you know you're on the right track. His section on scenes is absolutely brilliant. 
    Yes, it was written in a different era, and the writing voice makes that clear. But take that into consideration and this book can be an exceptional writing aid for a beginning writer or even one with some experience. 

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  • Posted December 31, 2011

    EXCELLENT!

    Years ago a best-selling author recommended this book to me and I've used it ever since. Swain knows his stuff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2011

    THE BEST writing "how to" book I've ever read.

    Starting from the very beginning, this book gives clear, concise directions to the FICTION writer on everything...what words to use to when you write and why you should use them; the importance of a focal character and why s/he's needed; what readers are looking for when they start reading your story and how you can keep them involved to the very end; how to construct motivation-reaction units to create scenes and sequels; how to start, develop, and end a story...and most importantly WHY you would do all these things. The author has an excellent sense of humor and an easy going style of writing. I've read the book twice from cover to cover and my only regret is that it isn't available on CD or in M4A format for my IPOD.

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  • Posted August 5, 2009

    A Book That Makes You Want To Write

    I often think reading about writing is a way to avoid writing. This book puts that fear to rest. If you're having a problem trouble with a character, this book will give you the tools to solve it. The time you save will more than compensate for the time spent reading. It's also an exciting, joyful book. You'll get so many ideas you won't WANT to put the pen down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2005

    structures and scenes

    This is the clearest instruction book on how to construct a story that I have ever read, and I have read a few. There is no doubt that more than a few fiction instruction writers want this book out of print, because 'techniques of the selling writer' pretty much makes 90 percent of other instruction books unnecessary.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2003

    Top of the list of 'must-have' writing books

    This book is usually at the top of every writer's 'must-have' list, and for good reason. Packed with useful, easy to comprehend explanations on everything from writing with emotion to sustaining conflict, to preparing to sell your work -- TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER covers it all. Swain's instruction is almost conversational--perhaps a bit rambling in places--but always illuminating. A classic how-to book from an old master. Gotta get this one! (For a list of additional must-have writing books, visit the Resources page at WriteWayPro's website.)

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    Posted January 17, 2010

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    Posted March 18, 2011

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    Posted April 30, 2009

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    Posted April 16, 2010

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