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

( 6 )

Overview

Your future as a writer is in your hands. Whether you are a newcomer or an accomplished professional, a novelist, story writer, or a writer of nonfiction, you will find in this book a wealth of immediately useful guidance not available anywhere else. As Sol Stein, renowned editor, author, and instructor, explains, "This is not a book of theory. It is a book of useable solutions - how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place." You will...
See more details below
Paperback (First Edition)
$14.62
BN.com price
(Save 18%)$17.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (23) from $4.30   
  • New (9) from $8.51   
  • Used (14) from $4.30   
Stein On Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

Your future as a writer is in your hands. Whether you are a newcomer or an accomplished professional, a novelist, story writer, or a writer of nonfiction, you will find in this book a wealth of immediately useful guidance not available anywhere else. As Sol Stein, renowned editor, author, and instructor, explains, "This is not a book of theory. It is a book of useable solutions - how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place." You will find one of the great unspoken secrets of craftsmanship in Chapter 5, called "Markers: The Key to Swift Characterization." In Chapter 7, Stein reveals for the first time in print the wonderful system for creating instant conflict developed in the Playwrights Group of the Actors Studio, of which he was a founder. In "Secrets of Good Dialogue," the premier teacher of dialogue gives you the instantly useable techniques that not only make verbal exchanges exciting but that move the story forward immediately. You won't have to struggle with flashbacks or background material after you've read Chapter 14, which shows you how to bring background into the foreground. Writers of both fiction and nonfiction will relish the amphetamines for speeding up pace, and the many ways to liposuction flab, as well as how to tap originality and recognize what successful titles have in common. You'll discover literary values that enhance writing, providing depth and resonance. You'll bless the day you read Chapters 32 and 33 and discover why revising by starting at page one can be a serious mistake, and how to revise without growing cold on your manuscript. In the pages of this book, nonfiction writers will find a passport to the new revolution in journalism and a guide to using the techniques of fiction to enhance nonfiction. Fresh, useful, informative, and fun to read and reread, Stein on Writing is a book you will mark up, dog-ear, and cherish.

Professional secrets from a renowned editor, prize-winning author, and award-winning instructor make this the number one practical choice for fiction and nonfiction writers of all levels of experience. "Stein is a magnetic teacher."--Barnaby Conrad, Director, Santa Barbara Writer's Conference.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

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.
From the Publisher

"[Sol Stein] went over my manuscript with an infallible eye for the soft spots in my prose, giving me one of the best editorial readings I've ever had."--Lionel Trilling

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

"Stein on Writing is the best book on writing that I have read...The tips, shortcuts, and plentiful examples of good writing versus bad cannot fail to help every writer, no matter at what stage he finds himself."--Barnaby Conrad, director of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312254216
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 308
  • Sales rank: 180,858
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

For thirty-six years, Sol Stein edited writers as diverse as James Baldwin, Dylan Thomas, Jack Higgins, W. H. Auden, Budd Schulberg, Jacques Barzun, F. Lee Bailey, David Frost, and Lionel Trilling. Stein is himself the author of nine novels, including the million-copy best-seller The Magician, making best-seller lists as far away as Moscow. He is also a prize-winning playwright produced on Broadway, an anthologized poet, and the author of nonfiction books, screenplays, and TV dramas. Stein is the creator of the award-winning computer software WritePro®, as well as FirstAid for Writers® and FictionMaster. He has lectured on creative writing at Columbia, Iowa, UCLA, and the University of California at Irvine, which presented him with the Distinguished Instructor Award in 1993.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Part I The Essentials
Chapter 1 The Writer's Job May Be Different Than You Think 3
Chapter 2 Come Right In: First Sentences, First Paragraphs 15
Chapter 3 Welcome to the Twentieth Century 42
Part II Fiction
Chapter 4 Competing with God: Making Fascinating People 49
Chapter 5 Markers: The Key to Swift Characterization 74
Chapter 6 Thwarting Desire: The Basics of Plotting 82
Chapter 7 The Actors Studio Method for Developing Drama in Plots 90
Chapter 8 The Crucible: A Key to Successful Plotting 94
Chapter 9 Suspense: Keeping the Reader Reading 97
Chapter 10 The Adrenaline Pump: Creating Tension 105
Chapter 11 The Secrets of Good Dialogue 110
Chapter 12 How to Show Instead of Tell 122
Chapter 13 Choosing a Point of View 129
Chapter 14 Flashbacks: How to Bring Background into the Foreground 143
Chapter 15 The Keys to Credibility 152
Chapter 16 The Secret Snapshot Technique: Reaching For Hidden Treasure 156
Chapter 17 How to Use All Six of Your Senses 160
Chapter 18 Love Scenes 167
Chapter 19 Creating the Envelope 186
Part III Fiction and Nonfiction
Chapter 20 Amphetamines for Speeding Up Pace 193
Chapter 21 Liposuctioning Flab 197
Chapter 22 Tapping Your Originality 209
Chapter 23 The Door to Your Book: Titles That Attract 212
Part IV Nonfiction
Chapter 24 Using the Techniques of Fiction to Enhance Nonfiction 223
Chapter 25 Conflict, Suspense, and Tension in Nonfiction 232
Chapter 26 Quoting What They Say 240
Chapter 27 Guts: The Decisive Ingredient 242
Part V Literary Values in Fiction and Nonfiction
Chapter 28 Commercial? Popular? Literary? 249
Chapter 29 Particularity 254
Chapter 30 Similes and Metaphors 264
Chapter 31 Increasing the Effect on the Reader through Resonance 268
Part VI Revision
Chapter 32 Triage: A Better Way of Revising Fiction 277
Chapter 33 Reprieve: Revising Nonfiction 290
Part VII Where to Get Help
Chapter 34 Where to Get Help 297
Chapter 35 A Final Word 302
A Glossary of Terms Used by Writers and Editors 305
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Detail and Insight into the Craft of Writing

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2007

    Not much there

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2003

    Helpful Advice

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2003

    The ONLY writing book you need

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2001

    Excellent on Writing Fiction

    I found it helpful and fun to read. The theory was clear and the examples were well chosen. Not boring.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)