Monday, 30 September 2019

New Release Spotlight & Review: Writing Fiction - a user friendly guide by James Essinger

Writing Fiction – a user-friendly guide by James Essinger

Writing Fiction is a little pot of gold… Screenplay by Syd Field for film, Writing Fiction by James Essinger for fiction. It’s that simple.’
William Osborne, novelist and screenwriter
Writing Fiction – a user-friendly guide is a must-read if you want to write stories to a professional standard.
It draws on the author’s more than thirty years of experience as a professional writer, and on the work and ideas of writers including:
  • Anthony Burgess
  • Joseph Conrad
  • George Eliot
  • Ken Follett
  • Frederick Forsyth
  • Dan Harmon
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • David Lodge
  • Norman Mailer
  • John Milton
  • Ben Parker
  • J.K. Rowling
  • William Shakespeare
  • Martin Cruz Smith
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
The twenty-four chapters cover every important matter you need to know about, including: devising a compelling story, creating and developing characters, plotting, ‘plants’, backstory, suspense, dialogue, ‘show’ and ‘tell’, and how to make your novel more real than reality.
Also featuring special guest advice from legendary screenwriter Bob Gale, who wrote the three immortal Back to the Future movies (1985, 1989 and 1990), and novelist and screenwriter William Osborne, whose many screen credits include the co-writing of the blockbuster Twins (1988), this highly entertaining book gives you all the advice and practical guidance you need to make your dream of becoming a published fiction writer come true.

The title says it all; a user-friendly guide. It's concise yet the author conveys plenty of useful information for those with aspirations to write fiction. 

Presented in a light, fun way, this manual is far from dry and starchy. The author's advice is littered with facts and literary examples to put across his point. Additionally, he includes his own writing experiences in a well thought out way, backing up his thoughts in a clear, relatable way.

From a personal perspective and someone who writes, I don't have any trouble writing a first draft manuscript, however, I really struggle with the editing process and how to keep everything together in an orderly manner. I'm grateful, the author offers some useful advice and points out common errors to avoid. That makes this a worthwhile tool for an amateur writer like myself. 

My only criticism is the guide could be longer and more detailed in some sections to elaborate some points more for the reader. Overall, as a go-to, quick reference, this is a worthy inclusion to a writers reference library.

***review copy received courtesy of the publisher The Conrad Press via Rachel's Random Resources***

James Essinger has been a professional writer since 1988. His non-fiction books include Jacquard’s Web (2004), Ada’s Algorithm (2013), which is to be filmed by Monumental Pictures, and Charles and Ada: the computer’s most passionate partnership (2019). His novels include The Mating Game (2016) and The Ada Lovelace Project (2019).