This is an anthology of articles culled from Writer's Digest magazine, emphasizing genre and popular fiction. Literary and small-press publishing are not treated, nor are contests, grants, etc. Featured are Orson Scott Card on characterization, Lawrence Block on plotting, Dean Koontz on agents, Tom Clancy on best sellers, and a host of less well-known regulars to the magazine commenting on the how-to, not the art, of novels. Some 37 chapters deal with copy editors, selling a manuscript, suspense, outlining, dialog, plot, and so on. Several articles are little but pep talks, but David Groff is interesting on (nonsexist!) love scenes for the contemporary reader, and Michael Seidman's distilled advice about book contracts is valuable. Much common sense here, and no despair whatever, as if writing a novel were like baking bread.-- John Mort, Kansas City P.L., Mo.
YA --A comprehensive how-to manual compiled from articles published in Writer's Digest magazine. Covering all areas of composition, such as organizing, story planning, and rewriting, the handbook also gives tips on character creation, love scenes, and the use of flashback. The book has numerous examples and illustrations, and advice from successful novelists.
In essays drawn primarily from Writer's digest magazine, noted novelists, leading editors, and teachers address the specifics of novel writing--from how to create dialogue to how to negotiate a contract with a publisher. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)