Stein on Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies

Stein on Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies

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by Sol Stein
     
 

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Stein on Writing provides immediately useful advice for all writers of fiction and nonfiction, whether they are newcomers or old hands, students or instructors, amateurs or professionals. As the always clear and direct Stein explains here, "This is not a book of theory. It is a book of usable solutions--how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve

Overview


Stein on Writing provides immediately useful advice for all writers of fiction and nonfiction, whether they are newcomers or old hands, students or instructors, amateurs or professionals. As the always clear and direct Stein explains here, "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." With examples from bestsellers as well as from students' drafts, Stein offers detailed sections on characterization, dialogue, pacing, flashbacks, trimming away flabby wording, the so-called "triage" method of revision, using the techniques of fiction to enliven nonfiction, and more.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The best book on writing that I have read . . . The tips, shortcuts, and plentiful examples of good writing versus bad cannot fail to every writer, no matter at what stage he finds himself.” —Barnaby Conrad, author of Matador and Learning to Write Fiction from the Masters

“Stimulating . . . Offers a banquet of savvy advice. Unlike Anne Lamott, et al., Stein aims not to help his readers wrestle with writerly anguish; rather, he gets on the page, citing examples from writers famous and fledgling, closely analyzing first sentences, creation of character, plotting, and dialogue . . . Stein concentrates more on fiction--point of view and the creation of love scenes--but his advice on such issues as self-editing and choosing a title applies also to nonfiction. A section on nonfiction contains worthy remarks about adapting fictional techniques (suspense, visual particularity, etc.).” —Publishers Weekly

“This book can jump-start anyone's creativity. Highly recommended for all writing collections.” —Library Journal

“My publisher Sol Stein was my producer, and editor Sol Stein was my director. Stein saw what I didn't think possible.” —Elia Kazan

“[Stein] went over my manuscript with an ifallible eye for the soft spots in my prose, giving me one of the best editorial readinds I've ever had.” —Lionel Trilling

author of Matador and Learning to Write Fiction fr Barnaby Conrad
The best book on writing that I have read . . . The tips, shortcuts, and plentiful examples of good writing versus bad cannot fail to every writer, no matter at what stage he finds himself.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this stimulating guide, a veteran novelist (The Magician), editor (Stein & Day) and teacher offers a banquet of savvy advice. Unlike Anne Lamott et al., Stein aims not to help his readers wrestle with writerly anguish; rather, he gets on the page, citing examples from writers famous and fledgling, closely analyzing first sentences, creation of character, plotting and dialogue (use ``speech markers'' to differentiate among characters). Stein concentrates more on fiction-point of view and the creation of love scenes-but his advice on such issues as self-editing and choosing a title applies also to nonfiction. A section on nonfiction contains worthy remarks about adapting fictional techniques (suspense, visual particularity, etc.) but is too brief to be a full guide to journalistic writing or producing an account of a historic event. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Writing tips from novelist (e.g., Best Revenge, LJ 7/91) and editor Stein.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312254216
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
01/28/2000
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
168,242
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.92(d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Stein on Writing 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I avoided this book for some time based on several of the negative reviews. WHAT A MISTAKE. This is by far the best book I've read, and I've read most of them. The reason? Show, don't tell. Many writing books tell you what you should do or what you should avoid. They will have some examples, but the emphasis is telling. Stein shows. He has more examples per inch of text than any other, and they are good examples. Excellent examples. Yes, he does tell, but that is usually just so you better understand the examples and know the takeaway. Do yourself a favor and IGNORE those reviews that complain that he is full of himself. I suspect the authors of those are simply a bit insecure. And indeed, don't buy this book if you think that John Grisham is the epitome of literary excellence. But do buy it if you aspire to become a master author of either fiction or non-fiction. You will not regret it.
guitargirlKP More than 1 year ago
I am in the middle of writing my first novel, and I must express that this book is my number one reference. Mr. Stein has a wealth of knowledge to share with writers of every craft and ability. I look forward to using this as the textbook in a creative writing class I hope to teach in the fall and beyond because I find it that deft and comprehensive. Currently, Stein of Writing is laden with my notes and priorities, and with it, I hope that one day my novel is on this website, collecting friendly reader comments.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was really looking for help with the process of creation, not criteria for critiquing a written work. The book contains pretty shallow advice you probably already know, like the helpful tips you often find in magazine articles, but not much new information about the process of turning ideas into stories. The know-it-all tone of the book is slightly annoying, but that would not bother me if the book were more helpful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Helpful advice primarily for writers already with at least some experience but also useful for the novice or professional. Explanations are generally good, but some pointers are stated without any explanation at all. I do not like his style: he seems to think he has all the answers. Still, for anyone sincerely interested in improving their writing, this book is worth having.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want to write fiction, Sol Stein's books are the only ones you need to invest your time and hard-earned money in. Stein tells you the basics to good writing, and shows you how to do it by giving examples of good and bad writing, and explains the difference. If you want to be a writer, get this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found it helpful and fun to read. The theory was clear and the examples were well chosen. Not boring.