Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling

Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling

by Ray Rhamey


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"Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling" is a one-book remedy for a host of beginning novelist ailments, a tune-up for published authors, and a resource for editors. Intended for novelists and memoirists, the book's sections on Wordcraft, Technique, and Story cover aspects of storytelling that include spotting shortcomings in a narrative; characterizing through experiential description; how to create tension; when to tell and how to show; and much more.

"Mastering" adds new content to Ray Rhamey's original "Flogging the Quill, Crafting a Novel that Sells" in this new version. See reviews of "Flogging the Quill" for insights from writers. Here's what pros say:

Tess Gerritsen, bestselling author of "Die Again," says, "Whether you're writing your first novel or your twentieth, this book is a must-have for any novelist. And it's one of the most readable, entertaining books on writing out there."

Laura Abbott, co-owner & managing editor, Amber Quill Press: "I've read many manuscript submissions that were near-misses. If those writers had had the benefit of this book, they'd be published right now. This is a must-read for the burgeoning story-teller and serious novelist, and it's a necessity for editors who seek to nurture their writing clients."

Dan Conaway, literary agent, Writer's House: "Learn the critical art of ruthless and rigorous self-editing from a man who understands the art better than most. His practical, sensible advice really can help you become a better writer."

Lou Aronica, editor, publisher, president of The Fiction Studio: "Writers will learn a great deal from the pages of this book. Rhamey offers the kind of advice that could make a huge difference in a writer's prospects."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990928201
Publisher: Flogging the Quill LLC
Publication date: 11/01/2014
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.72(d)

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Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
B_Morrison More than 1 year ago
This book is a great resource for both beginning and experienced writers. While there are many books on the craft of writing, what makes Rahmey’s book stand out is his focus on making your story grip readers and compel us to read on. This new craft book is a boon to writers. It contains specific explanations and tips for writers, all delivered in an easygoing style that makes the medicine go down easily. Rhamey offers sections that range from the big picture, such as how to how to create complex characters, to the smallest, such as the section on wordcraft where he demonstrates how certain words can weaken the story. He describes techniques for storytelling, description and dialogue, providing multiple examples for illustration. I especially like his description of how to handle transitions and flashbacks. These are often stumbling blocks for even experienced writers. Best of all, there are exercises at the end where you can test your chops against some of the first pages submitted to his blog and then see what he has to say about them.
LindaLunde More than 1 year ago
I've read and enjoyed a stack of How To Write books, but still my novel sat there half-baked until I read "Mastering the Craft... and got some specific writing tools, such as to search the text for "some", "of", and a list of more words that signal spots where sentences can be strengthened. Rhamey quotes professional editors of his acquaintance who offer the short list of essentials for good wiring, and then he illustrates those suggestions with examples that his readers can learn to edit for themselves. I'd heard that Hemingway sweated over every sentence, but couldn't find anything to tussle with in my own sentences. Now I have tools to construct my story, evaluate many elements and make choices. "Mastering the Craft..." is a treasure.
KVotry More than 1 year ago
You WILL become a better writer by reading this book and implementing the suggestions made by Mr. Rhamey. And they’re not vague or theoretical suggestions, either—they are clear, definitive, concrete, and 100% useful. It’s a brilliant and entertaining resource book on the craft of writing. In my opinion, the best way to use this book is to first read it cover to cover, pretending it’s an online course or weekend workshop. Gobble it up whole, so the cells of your writer’s brain absorb and integrate the information. Then, as you write and revise, you can go back to refresh yourself on specific skills or techniques as you need them. Here are three reasons I like and recommend this book: The style and voice are friendly, engaging, encouraging, and genuine. There’s no huge ego behind the scenes, bestowing rules and regimens. Ray Rhamey is an unassuming guy who really knows his stuff, and his warm teaching style comes through the text beautifully. Examples abound! By far the best way to improve writing and revising is to see before and after samples, and Rhamey has included a truckload. At every step we’re shown ways to improve word choice, sentence structure, characterization, description, dialogue, opening pages, and more. He draws from published and unpublished novels, other books on the craft, agent blogs, and even his own fiction. The final section of the book includes the opening paragraphs of eleven stories, submitted to his online critique blog, Flogging the Quill. After reading through the book, critique these excerpts yourself, and see how your comments compare to those Rhamey made. The results are dramatic: do just a few of these and you’ll realize how much you’ve learned. Better yet, you’ll be ready to apply these critical reading skills to the revision of your own work. Rhamey suggests “there should never be a good place to put your book down.” If you want to write a book that readers can’t put down, then Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling is a resource you can’t afford to be without.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read a lot of books on the craft of writing, and I've come to judge these books based on how many passages I've highlighted or bookmarked. And man ... I marked up this book! I've been a fan of Ray Rhamey's for a long time (especially his Flogging The Quill website), and I was excited to read this book to learn more from him. What I loved: 1. This book contains SO MUCH great advice - from big ideas of storytelling down to little facets of word choice. 2. His writing style is very easy to read. 3. He's included practical tips and exercises for the reader to put into immediate practice. Not only will I recommend this book to all of my writing friends, I will also read this book again and again to master the concepts presented within its pages. [Note: I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.]