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Trial and Error
     

Trial and Error

by Jack Woodford
 
Trial and Error is the most controversial and famous how-to-write book ever written. It caused a scandal at the time of its publication due to its no-holds-barred insights into the publishing industry, and has been reprinted numerous times.

Its express intent is to assist a person in writing for money successfully. While Jack Woodford focuses on the short

Overview

Trial and Error is the most controversial and famous how-to-write book ever written. It caused a scandal at the time of its publication due to its no-holds-barred insights into the publishing industry, and has been reprinted numerous times.

Its express intent is to assist a person in writing for money successfully. While Jack Woodford focuses on the short story and novel, he also provides insights into unique characteristics of writing plays and motion pictures. He provides a step by step method of writing a novel that has been used successfully by many authors.

Trial and Error has been taught in universities, recommended by best-selling authors, damned and praised for over half a century. His references may be dated, but his truths remain eternal. Over 50 authors have dedicated their first books to Jack Woodford because they thought he had taught them how to write.

“It was the first book on writing I ever read, at the age of fifteen. He said all the right things and said them clearly. I stayed afloat and got my work done because of him.” —Ray Bradbury

“I strongly suspect that I would not have attempted to write for money if I had not read Jack Woodford’s books.” —Jerry Pournelle

“I read ‘Trial and Error,’ started writing and did exactly what he said to do...and it works and I’ve sold it all.” —Robert A. Heinlein

Editorial Reviews

George Warren
What all these people are talking about is a series of informal textbooks on the writing trade which Woodford wrote. Trial and Error, the first of these, was the bestselling writer’s book of all time: 100,000 copies in various hardcover editions, over 23 years in print. It still does brisk business in the second-hand trade, 47 years after publication. Woodford’s books on writing were almost the only such texts ever written by a man making his entire living as a free-lance writer.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940014367035
Publisher:
askmar publishing
Publication date:
05/26/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,245,313
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

He was born as Josiah Pitts Woolfolk in Chicago in 1894. His father was a doctor who died at age 49, thus he was brought up by his grandmother and educated at Northwestern University and Racine College.

He started his literary career as a newspaperman working for several Chicago dailies, moving on to pulp magazines and to dozens of books. He was a skillful plotter, setting up clever situations and ingenious resolutions. In his autobiography, he states he sold over 1,000 short stories to over 60 periodicals. His book, Evangelical Cockroach provides 39 of his short stories.

His 1933 book, Trial and Error, was one of the most widely read how-to-write fiction books ever published. It caused something of a scandal at the time of publication because of its no-holds-barred insights into the publishing industry. With an introduction by Arnold Gingrich, editor of Esquire, Trial and Error was reprinted many times. He followed it with a series of books for writers, each one increasingly caustic and realistic about the writing business and its aspirants. Over 50 first time authors dedicated their first books to Jack Woodford, because, as he says in Why Write A Novel, “they thought he had taught them how to write.”

He wrote 60 novels from 1930 to 1953. From 1950 to 1954 he co-authored over thirty novels with young writers—apparently attaching his name to these unknown writer’s manuscripts. He wrote almost 20 non-fiction books primarily focused on how to write and get publish.

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