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Immediate Fiction: A Complete Writing Course

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The Only Writing Book You'll Ever Need From the legendary creator of the Writer's Loft in Chicago, comes a writing course for those who want to see results now. Immediate Fiction covers the entire process of writing including manuscript preparation, time management, finding an idea, getting words on the page, staying unblocked, and submitting to agents and publishers. With i The Only Writing Book You'll Ever Need From the legendary creator of the Writer's Loft in Chicago, comes a writing course for those who want to see results now. Immediate Fiction covers the entire process of writing including manuscript preparation, time management, finding an idea, getting words on the page, staying unblocked, and submitting to agents and publishers. With insightful tips and advice, Jerry Cleaver helps writers manage doubts, fears, blocks, and panic all while helping to develop their writing in minutes a day. A practical and accessible resource, this book has everything the aspiring writer needs to write and sell novels, short stories, screenplays, and stage plays.


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The Only Writing Book You'll Ever Need From the legendary creator of the Writer's Loft in Chicago, comes a writing course for those who want to see results now. Immediate Fiction covers the entire process of writing including manuscript preparation, time management, finding an idea, getting words on the page, staying unblocked, and submitting to agents and publishers. With i The Only Writing Book You'll Ever Need From the legendary creator of the Writer's Loft in Chicago, comes a writing course for those who want to see results now. Immediate Fiction covers the entire process of writing including manuscript preparation, time management, finding an idea, getting words on the page, staying unblocked, and submitting to agents and publishers. With insightful tips and advice, Jerry Cleaver helps writers manage doubts, fears, blocks, and panic all while helping to develop their writing in minutes a day. A practical and accessible resource, this book has everything the aspiring writer needs to write and sell novels, short stories, screenplays, and stage plays.

30 review for Immediate Fiction: A Complete Writing Course

  1. 5 out of 5

    Laura Roberts

    Lacking any legitimate sources of editing wisdom for writers of fiction, I found this book online through Cleaver's Story Studio. I grabbed a copy from my local library to check out the supposed no-nonsense approach, and guess what? It's pretty damn no-nonsense! Whether you're a first-timer just trying to figure out how to get started, or you're an old hand who's wondering why you keep hitting the wall or painting yourself into a corner, Cleaver's book will help you get your writing house back in Lacking any legitimate sources of editing wisdom for writers of fiction, I found this book online through Cleaver's Story Studio. I grabbed a copy from my local library to check out the supposed no-nonsense approach, and guess what? It's pretty damn no-nonsense! Whether you're a first-timer just trying to figure out how to get started, or you're an old hand who's wondering why you keep hitting the wall or painting yourself into a corner, Cleaver's book will help you get your writing house back in order. One of his suggestions is to write for just 5 minutes every day, and allowing yourself a 30-day period to give this "silly" idea a try. After 30 days, you'll be hooked on the rhythm, or at the very least you'll be pleased to find you've written a decent number of pages. Cleaver reminded me that the writing class I learned the most from, in my university days, was actually a playwriting course. I'd never written a play before that class, and haven't written any since then, but the professor had provided us with the same tools that Cleaver presents: WANT, OBSTACLE, ACTION. If you've got these three things, you've got a story that's on its way. If any of those are lacking, you need to call in the doctor and get that emotional heart beating again. Sometimes the best advice is the advice you've heard a million times and just needed to be reminded about. Work that plan, write those pages, and read this book if you're ever feeling stuck and alone!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Lauren

    For me this book has some serious pros but some just a major cons. Overall, I think the content is really valuable. Cleaver has laid out some excellent tools that writers can use throughout thier writing. He gives us specific points to think about instead of just reading over something and asking, "Was that good?" It provides a concrete plan which can be used to promote some serious creativity. However, I don't think this is the end all book. Because there is a set plan, it doesn't have a lot of f For me this book has some serious pros but some just a major cons. Overall, I think the content is really valuable. Cleaver has laid out some excellent tools that writers can use throughout thier writing. He gives us specific points to think about instead of just reading over something and asking, "Was that good?" It provides a concrete plan which can be used to promote some serious creativity. However, I don't think this is the end all book. Because there is a set plan, it doesn't have a lot of flexibility. In certain parts, I just don't agree. For example - there should conflict rising, rising, rising until the end of the book, or resolution. Character should never be happy through an entire scene. While, yes, these components can make some great stories, I don't think it's a true, hard fact. I, personally, have really enjoyed some books that have scenes that are just fun and games. It's a good philosophy, but maybe a little too encompassing. There are many styles of writing out there and different circumstances can apply. I think someone can follow this book to a T and write a great book. I also think someone can break some of these rules and write a great book. I don't think a writer should throw away everything if it doesn't exactly match "the plan." Also, ironically, I loathe the writing in this book. Cleaver is all over the place with italics and bolding and a stream of thought style that drives me a little bonkers. It's easy enough to ignore when you're focusing on the goal but, man, it got overwhelming. Cleaver has a great affinity for the rhetorical question. I actually attended a couple of his Writers' Loft sessions and really enjoyed them. I think he has some valuable things to say and people can learn a lot from him. Overall, Immediate Fiction has some great, true things to say to give people a kick start and get them back on track, too.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Cleaver’s goal is to tell you how to write a publishable story and how to write it fast. I won’t say whether or not this book has good ideas, because what works for me as a writer isn’t always what works for everyone else. For example, I will outline a few scenes, very loosely, just to give myself a trajectory. Then I’ll pants it (that’s a term I learned during NaNoWriMo–it means writing by the seat of your pants–yay pants). It often doesn’t go exactly like my outline, but having the next few ste Cleaver’s goal is to tell you how to write a publishable story and how to write it fast. I won’t say whether or not this book has good ideas, because what works for me as a writer isn’t always what works for everyone else. For example, I will outline a few scenes, very loosely, just to give myself a trajectory. Then I’ll pants it (that’s a term I learned during NaNoWriMo–it means writing by the seat of your pants–yay pants). It often doesn’t go exactly like my outline, but having the next few steps written down makes it easier to start throwing more story down. Some people never outline. Some people have to outline the whole damn thing before they start writing. Whatever works. I can say I like some of his ideas and plan to try some of his methods to keep myself motivated to write every single day. Anyway, I found the book worth reading. Here are a few lines I liked: Never, never edit in your head; Go where your energy takes you, always; The less you care, the better you write; Get busy and write some shit.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Diane Holcomb

    I've always struggled with plot. Character? No problem. Strong images? Got it. Active sentences? Yep. Dialogue? Not bad. But what is this thing called Plot? I've read other books about how to plot and how to shape the story and how to blueprint the novel and how to master plot in x number of lessons and I just couldn't get it! I was writing by the seat of my pants and going by instinct. Then I picked up Immediate Fiction. Plot, says Cleaver, is simple: a character wants something; something or som I've always struggled with plot. Character? No problem. Strong images? Got it. Active sentences? Yep. Dialogue? Not bad. But what is this thing called Plot? I've read other books about how to plot and how to shape the story and how to blueprint the novel and how to master plot in x number of lessons and I just couldn't get it! I was writing by the seat of my pants and going by instinct. Then I picked up Immediate Fiction. Plot, says Cleaver, is simple: a character wants something; something or someone is in the way of that want (conflict); the character takes action to overcome the obstacle, and comes to a resolution--win, lose or draw. Plot in a nutshell. Want-Obstacle-Action-Resolution. In every scene. In every novel. He adds the importance of showing, not telling, and writing the character's inner thoughts--their worries, fears and hopes so the reader can identify. As long as those elements are in place, he doesn't see the need for outlines, or character bios, or knowing the ending before you sit down to write. You can be a pantser and do just fine as long as you follow the elements of craft. I love this book. He clarifies the rewriting process, too. Always go back to craft, he says. Look for the want on the page. Is it soon enough? Strong enough? Could it be stronger? Look for the obstacle on the page. Mark it. Look for the actions. Is the character trying hard enough? Could he try harder? And so on. Cleaver also has a plan to fit writing into a busy schedule on a consistent basis--through five minute increments a day. If you're like me, you'll show up for your five minutes and start writing, and get up an hour later, satisfied. He discusses what to do when you hit a wall, how to let your subconscious work for you...I could go on, but I won't. Get the book. Enough said.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alia Makki

    There's a part in this book that explains the importance of identification. Identifying with characters, identifying with stories, identifying with ourselves in our environment. The author related to isolation experiments, where people were sealed in sensor-sterilized chambers, and they can't hear anything or feel the tips of their fingers or even feel the weight of their own bodies under the pressure of gravity. Even the strongest individuals cracked in such conditions. Schizophrenic hallucinat There's a part in this book that explains the importance of identification. Identifying with characters, identifying with stories, identifying with ourselves in our environment. The author related to isolation experiments, where people were sealed in sensor-sterilized chambers, and they can't hear anything or feel the tips of their fingers or even feel the weight of their own bodies under the pressure of gravity. Even the strongest individuals cracked in such conditions. Schizophrenic hallucinations began. They no longer knew the lines between what was real and what wasn't, or where the world ended and they began. The isolation ate them up. I used to think that the tendency to write about my personal experiences in public as a failure to completely eradicate vanity. Isn't vanity a bad thing? Isn't talking about one's experiences borderlines the sin of pride? Then again, there seems to be a difference between bragging and telling stories. One of them might stem from the basic need of communicating, socializing and identification. Telling stories, self-expression, the ability to interact with the world, can be the very things that defines the lines between creative and crazy. I picked up that book because I needed someone to talk to me in my head. I needed someone to tell me that writing - fiction or none - is okay, even if it seems like bragging. Even if it never turns into a book, or a shiny dime. I needed to have someone justify my awful writings for me. Little did I know that it has been my sanity I've been trying to preserve in/from writing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    As far as writing books go, this one isn't all that fun to read (unlike Orson Scott Card's books on writing, which were entertaining as well as inspiring). The method detailed in this book seems really solid. He lays out the basic tools of writing, offers many writing exercises, and has a good attitude about writing with your own inspiration and using the tools only as a way to get "unstuck" or a way to edit effectively. Unlike many other books on writing, though, this one seems more intimidating. As far as writing books go, this one isn't all that fun to read (unlike Orson Scott Card's books on writing, which were entertaining as well as inspiring). The method detailed in this book seems really solid. He lays out the basic tools of writing, offers many writing exercises, and has a good attitude about writing with your own inspiration and using the tools only as a way to get "unstuck" or a way to edit effectively. Unlike many other books on writing, though, this one seems more intimidating. I'm going to set it aside for a bit and pick it up after I have some more substantial work to edit.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cyne

    This and The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within are the two best books on writing I have ever read. Cleaver addresses the very basics: why scenes work and why they don't. With his simple formula you now know where you're going wrong and how to fix it. If you're stuck with a writing puzzle, he offers the missing piece. I look forward to reading it again, because I'm pretty sure it's one of those books that you find something new in whenever you read it. This and The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within are the two best books on writing I have ever read. Cleaver addresses the very basics: why scenes work and why they don't. With his simple formula you now know where you're going wrong and how to fix it. If you're stuck with a writing puzzle, he offers the missing piece. I look forward to reading it again, because I'm pretty sure it's one of those books that you find something new in whenever you read it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ken Lozito

    I've taken creative writing courses both as workshops and in college, but none of them resonated with me as much as this book has. This book proved to be an invaluable resource and improved my writing significantly. I do make it a point to go back and reread it every few years. If I ever meet Mr Cleaver I would shake his hand and say thank you for writing this book. I've taken creative writing courses both as workshops and in college, but none of them resonated with me as much as this book has. This book proved to be an invaluable resource and improved my writing significantly. I do make it a point to go back and reread it every few years. If I ever meet Mr Cleaver I would shake his hand and say thank you for writing this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    The intro sparked my interest then I went straight to Chapter 15: Hitting the Wall. Loved Chapter 15, it had some great insights but the book fell flat for me after that I found myself just skimming most of it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Weathervane

    I found this to be a very helpful book, particularly the emphasis on conflict revealing character and the chapter on time management. Both have helped tremendously.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    The first part of this book lays out the basics of crafting a story - want, obstacle, action, emotion, showing not telling. All those basic things I was missing when I wrote stories in school, all the things my teachers were looking for, but expected me to have picked up by osmosis. I never had someone sit down and say "look at the page -what does the character want? how does the author show that? what's stopping them from getting it? what are they doing?" So although the first part of this book The first part of this book lays out the basics of crafting a story - want, obstacle, action, emotion, showing not telling. All those basic things I was missing when I wrote stories in school, all the things my teachers were looking for, but expected me to have picked up by osmosis. I never had someone sit down and say "look at the page -what does the character want? how does the author show that? what's stopping them from getting it? what are they doing?" So although the first part of this book was a bit dull to read, as the mantra of want, obstacle, action, was repeated many, many times, it's the only thing there really is to storytelling, so I didn't mind. I know every book on writing has these basics, but Jerry writes very directly and gets right to the point. His concept of himself as a coach was spot on. What didn't happen at the beginning of the book was, I didn't feel compelled to get up and start writing. I've been putting off reading this book for years (maybe a decade?!) because I didn't feel like I had time to add another big project to my life. I'm not a fiction writer (that's what I tell myself) but I thought this book might make me want to start right away. But it actually crept up on me. I read all the scenarios and prompts as I went along and found them kind of intriguing, but nothing made me want to start. But then I got to the 5 minutes a day part, chapter 12, The Ticking Clock - fitting it in. And that's when I started to see myself doing something. Jerry laid out a plan that I really could fit into my life, if I choose to. 5 minutes a day to start, every day, daydreaming, and then adding more blocks of time in to do the writing. But the important part was the commitment to sitting down with your writing work every day (though not forcing yourself to do anything more than nothing) and then letting your mind stew over it the rest of the time. (His suggestion to carry a pocket tape recorder for ideas that come up was delightfully 2002). The way he described it was that we had to get practice in for when that mythical time when the stars align and we're "ready" and "have time" to write our novel. He said on more than one occasion that you work to get in the mood, not get in the mood to work. And you have to practice. Quantity as a way of getting to quality. From there on the book picked up for me. It was nice to be reminded of all the terrible books that have been published. I work in a library. I know how much awful writing gets published. I don't quite know how it gets published, but deciding you're not good enough before you've even gotten anything on the page makes absolutely no sense. Jerry is all about what's on the page and he has concrete suggestions on how to work through the writing (once it's on the page) and make sure the elements are there. I feel like he's saying that we do already know how to tell stories - it's our human nature - but we just needed a coach to remind us of the fundamentals that lie underneath that process. And most of all we need to get out of our own way. There's a lot of advice on writer's block. It sounds like good stuff. So I'm glad I have this in paperback, which I mark up and return to over and over, and I'm going to see where it takes me. An aside: the website for this book (which I was hoping might have a printable list of the prompts or something) is actually just an ad for private coaching, and although it claims to be copyright 2015, it looks like the web design was done in 2002! Jerry does come across as an old guy, and I did get pretty annoyed at his sexism. Not that he implied women couldn't write or anything, but the book felt very much like it was an old guy talking to other guys. Using "your wife" instead of spouse or partner or just something more generically family rubbed me the wrong way. I might start by editing the sexism out of this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Danny Knestaut

    I found the advice in this book to tend towards the shallow side. If Cleaver taught at a medical school, I imagine his advice to students would be something akin to, "Forget all that stuff people told you about curing diseases and treating injuries. All you need to know to be a doctor is that you keep the heart beating, and the lungs breathing." And while such basic advice certainly has some value, it's not exactly the philosophy is like to see my doctor practice. In all seriousness, I suppose th I found the advice in this book to tend towards the shallow side. If Cleaver taught at a medical school, I imagine his advice to students would be something akin to, "Forget all that stuff people told you about curing diseases and treating injuries. All you need to know to be a doctor is that you keep the heart beating, and the lungs breathing." And while such basic advice certainly has some value, it's not exactly the philosophy is like to see my doctor practice. In all seriousness, I suppose this book would fit the bill for the hobbyist who wants to dip one's toes in the water and write the crime thrillers high on violence and low on character that Cleaver draws his examples from. Writing such material is not a bad thing, if that's what one wants to do. If you want someone to tell you, "Look, don't worry about it. Just put the words on the page and everything will take care of itself," then this is the book for you. If you're the kind of person looking for for a craft book that offers some depth as well as a way to advance your skills and understanding, then I'd recommend looking elsewhere.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Teri-K

    This may actually be a three star book, but I gave it four because it gets to the point well, is clearly laid out, and the author doesn't try to tell you that the only way to write is his way. Basically Cleaver cuts through the fog about "trusting your characters" and "letting your writing tell you what it wants" and sets out a few basic principles that make a good story. Will you be surprised to learn they're Conflict, Action and Resolution? Hopefully not. However, this book does more than tell This may actually be a three star book, but I gave it four because it gets to the point well, is clearly laid out, and the author doesn't try to tell you that the only way to write is his way. Basically Cleaver cuts through the fog about "trusting your characters" and "letting your writing tell you what it wants" and sets out a few basic principles that make a good story. Will you be surprised to learn they're Conflict, Action and Resolution? Hopefully not. However, this book does more than tell you that you need these elements, it shows you how to recognize if you don't have them and how to come up with them if you need more. He also talks you through the process of taking a short story idea to a novel idea, how to deal with "writer's block" and how to write if you only have a few minutes a day to devote to writing. I may not agree with everything he says, but this book is a solid summary of a lot of useful information that may show or remind you of things that can help you write a solid story. And it's remarkably free of the useless mumbo-jumbo some writing books love.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Randall Dunn

    Really enjoyed this book! Provided a lot of simple breakdowns for how to write, instead of focusing on things that have little to do with the actual craft of telling a story. Some of the same basics I use to help people in my beginners class to get started writing and keep at it. What I appreciated most were the bold phrases, which made it easy to skim through quickly and get the main points, for those of us who have been writing (and reading writing books) for a while. Overall, I found Jerry Cle Really enjoyed this book! Provided a lot of simple breakdowns for how to write, instead of focusing on things that have little to do with the actual craft of telling a story. Some of the same basics I use to help people in my beginners class to get started writing and keep at it. What I appreciated most were the bold phrases, which made it easy to skim through quickly and get the main points, for those of us who have been writing (and reading writing books) for a while. Overall, I found Jerry Cleaver's straightforward guide to be extremely helpful and I recommend its tips for both beginning and advanced writers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    A great jump-start when you don't know how to start (or get back into) writing stories. A great jump-start when you don't know how to start (or get back into) writing stories.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    Jerry is master writing teacher, and makes it easy for everyone to understand, and tells you what you need to start writing now.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Adam AdamBoBattam

    Beacon of light in a foggy topic.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Suki Michelle

    Simple concepts and exercises to create engagement and instill forward momentum in every scene. If you read just one book on improving your writing skills, this is it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Harriet

    Some techniques I may use, but overall kind of boring.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Clogston

    I wasn't able to get more than about 40% through this book. Cleaverseems highly cynical of my time and his own ability to keep me interested. He uses the "Wow, this example is so much more interesting than that last example, right??? Well it's because we used [current pet technique] :DDD" format that so many craft books seem to love, and he constantly uses sex and infidelity in examples and exercises when he wants to make fully sure he will have the reader's attention. The core of the whole book I wasn't able to get more than about 40% through this book. Cleaverseems highly cynical of my time and his own ability to keep me interested. He uses the "Wow, this example is so much more interesting than that last example, right??? Well it's because we used [current pet technique] :DDD" format that so many craft books seem to love, and he constantly uses sex and infidelity in examples and exercises when he wants to make fully sure he will have the reader's attention. The core of the whole book is "conflict + action + resolution = story." That is: Synthesize an active character who wants something with a situation preventing fulfillment of that desire, and you will get a proper ending and, with it, a good story. It's a good, fundamental concept, but unfortunately Cleaver just beats us over the head with it instead of building upon it. Cleaver also has some fundamental perspective on craft that doesn't ring true, such as the idea that every scene must cause a worse status quo for the characters. I sympathize, but feel like focusing on action/reaction and valence shifting is a far more elegant way to achieve "something happening" from page to page. And for "show, don't tell," Cleaver completely loses me. In his mind, SDT means never using narrative summary... and instead having characters summarize narrative in dialogue? I feel like I must miss his point entirely, but Cleaver seems to believe characters expositing through speech is inherently more interesting than expositing through narration. And, well, the person who introduced me to this book opened his own work with a cafe scene, claiming it followed this book's advice, so I don't think I'm the only one to interpret Cleaver's advice in such a way. Maybe the later writing on editing and publishing in this book is amazing. I'll never know, and I'll suggest if you want writing advice for beginners who need to be told to SDT, you should check out Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew and Creating Short Fiction: The Classic Guide to Writing Short Fiction instead. Bonus points for Le Guin and Knight being both humbler and better writers of fiction than Cleaver.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I think it’s a bit simplistic in terms of writing not being a skill but a craft. According to Cleaver you have to have skill to be a musician or a painter, but not to be a writer – with writing it’s a matter of knowing the basic problems that all writers deal with in storytelling and dealing with them. He’s right in some respects, though he never gets onto whether you can actually put the words down on paper in the first place. I think he’s assuming that the people who read his book will have wr I think it’s a bit simplistic in terms of writing not being a skill but a craft. According to Cleaver you have to have skill to be a musician or a painter, but not to be a writer – with writing it’s a matter of knowing the basic problems that all writers deal with in storytelling and dealing with them. He’s right in some respects, though he never gets onto whether you can actually put the words down on paper in the first place. I think he’s assuming that the people who read his book will have writing skills anyway. There are a number of basic, good principles in it, but I think he’d be hard pressed to find that all successful writers have followed his approach. Amongst some of the better things Jerry Cleaver recommends is the idea of writing for at least five minutes a day, come what may. He spends a lot of time on this idea – and even more on writer’s block, in a later chapter. There are some very good things in the book, and some bad stuff as well. The idea that you don’t have to have any talent to be a writer; the idea that you can send a novel that’s not really into its final draft to a publisher; the more than ridiculous idea that novels have more characters than short stories, and that each character, in an ideal world, would have a scene with each other character. This is just rubbish. He hammers home his points about Want, Obstacle and Action, in most chapters, along with Emotion and Character – and Resolution. It’s as if you could write a book in which each chapter consisted of this trio and the book would write itself. And then you go and look at a real book and find that novelists do a lot more interesting things that just have conflict scenes. They spend time with their characters – Mr Cleaver isn’t really interested in that, he just wants them to conflict with each other.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Belinda A. Allen

    “Get busy and write some shit.” Pg. 225. Jerry Cleavor’s writing course in Immediate Fiction fulfills its title’s promise with practical advice and assurance. My favorites are the quote above and the assurance that writer’s block is part of the writing process. He provides instruction on how to tame your subconscious into generating productive creativity. Immediate Fiction has become a companion to my copy of “On Writing “ by Stephen King.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Fisher

    Read this book nearly two decades ago and revisiting it again reminded me how good its advice still is. Parts a bit dated, but the core ideas are sound. I didn't start really writing fiction until nearly 15 years after I read this, but its principles informed my writing, and rereading confirmed how I am on the right track. Want+ Obstacle + Action + Emotion + Showing ... that's it. Follow this in every scene you write and you won't go wrong. Read this book nearly two decades ago and revisiting it again reminded me how good its advice still is. Parts a bit dated, but the core ideas are sound. I didn't start really writing fiction until nearly 15 years after I read this, but its principles informed my writing, and rereading confirmed how I am on the right track. Want+ Obstacle + Action + Emotion + Showing ... that's it. Follow this in every scene you write and you won't go wrong.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Becca Wierwille

    I really enjoyed this writing book. I appreciated the author's constant reminders about the essentials of any story, and also his reminders that different writers have different methods. There are definitely some great ideas here that I will be coming back to as I dive into my writing! I really enjoyed this writing book. I appreciated the author's constant reminders about the essentials of any story, and also his reminders that different writers have different methods. There are definitely some great ideas here that I will be coming back to as I dive into my writing!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nataliya Korn

    This was a really good read on the art of making novels. Cleaver describes the elements of a good story as want, obstacle, resolution, emotion and showing. This is a very good way of analyzing a story or a novel. I will use this book in my pursuit of writing my first novel.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Live

    Made every piece of abstract advice I've heard over the years make sense; in a clear and concise way! Made every piece of abstract advice I've heard over the years make sense; in a clear and concise way!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elyse

    I highly recommend this book to all writers regardless of genre. Lots of craft and technique advice and a useful guide to blocks!

  28. 5 out of 5

    M.G. Herron

    Maybe the most practical and useful single book on the craft of writing fiction.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jazzlin Escovar

    Entertaining.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Owl Tronne

    Highly recommended. Read several books on this topic. This was the only useful one. Do the exercises!

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