Techniques of the Selling Writer

Techniques of the Selling Writer

by Dwight V. Swain
4.5 13

Hardcover(New ed.)

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Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain

Techniques of the Selling Writer provides solid instruction for people who want to write and sell fiction, not just to talk and study about it. It gives the background, insights, and specific procedures needed by all beginning writers. Here one can learn how to group words into copy that moves, movement into scenes, and scenes into stories; how to develop characters, how to revise and polish, and finally, how to sell the product.

No one can teach talent, but the practical skills of the professional writer's craft can certainly be taught. The correct and imaginative use of these kills can shorten any beginner's apprenticeship by years.

This is the book for writers who want to turn rejection slips into cashable checks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780806111391
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date: 01/01/1981
Edition description: New ed.
Pages: 336

About the Author

Dwight V. Swain spent a lifetime writing newspaper and magazine articles, pulp fiction, and screenplays. For more than twenty years he taught in the Professional Writing Program at the University of Oklahoma. His popular books, Techniques of the Selling Writer and Creating Characters: How to Build Story People are published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

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Techniques of the Selling Writer 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Writingsmut More than 1 year ago
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
docmon More than 1 year ago
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. 
Anonymous 6 months ago
This is the book that helped to polish my technique and begin selling. "Scene and sequel" creates the perfect balance for dialog and narrative. Although first published in 1965 it is still on target.
J_Peltonen More than 1 year ago
This is, hands down, the best book on writing fiction that I've ever read, and I've been reading writing guides for thirty years. The voice reflects the time in which it was written but frankly I find it kind of charming. It took me forever to get through this book, however, because I was constantly highlighting material to return to later! Seriously, you may enjoy other writing books as well (see below), but this is the only one you really need.
funread More than 1 year ago
Years ago a best-selling author recommended this book to me and I've used it ever since. Swain knows his stuff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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RainyGirl More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.)