inknotblood's review against another edition

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5.0

I'm so glad I picked up this book on a whim. It has totally changed the way I think about writing stories, and I can't wait to read it over and over and over again. I foresee this book being a can't-do-without companion from here on out.

trogdor19's review against another edition

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5.0

This is one of the most helpful writing craft books I ever read, and great for marrying pantsing to plotting. It's also great for people who think plot and characters are two separate things, because they're not at all. This starts with a character, and uses their internal struggle to reverse engineer what kind of plot you need, which is the best way I've found for designing a book so that every piece supports every other piece and nothing seems extraneous or even parallel: it's all perfectly interconnected. I recommend it to my freelance editing clients on nearly a daily basis.

homosexual's review against another edition

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4.0

My Booktube

I feel like this is very insightful but I feel like certain aspects held it back from being more?

It is something really minor that really just picked a nerve and its just instead of saying "they", its random on whether or not she/he gets used in reference to characters and it just got annoying. Just say they pls.

And while the excerpts felt like it made the book feel super long and certain parts just didn't need to be there. It's weird to explain but I def think this helped my writing for the future

detailsandtales's review against another edition

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4.0

This book had some useful ideas in it that might help me build stories in the future. I don't like being told, "this is the one way to properly write a story," which this book does, and I won't be following this method step by step, but the book gave me new ways to think about how to use character to develop plot.

thomasdsmalls's review against another edition

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This book’s take on characters was really helpful but the way the author deconstructs plot just didn’t work for me. If you’re an author who needs structured beats like Save the Cat, this craft book will not be for you.

redwavereads's review against another edition

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4.0

I really enjoyed the focus on character instead of plot in this one. I agree, that that makes a better book and not just another paint by the numbers book.

This book ignores worldbuilding, so it’s at times not as actionable as the author intends for SFF (and I guess for other books with significant research like Historical Fiction etc). Can I please get a book like this on worldbuilding too?

One of the most helpful writing books I’ve come across, which actually made me write while going along. In combination with something like Save the Cat very actionable.

reading_on_mars's review against another edition

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4.0

In all honesty, I read the first 100 pages pretty closely and then skimmed the rest.

This book is a great example what frustrates me about instructional non-fiction - there's SO MUCH FILLER. However, the book gets four stars for some pretty solid advice and guidance about writing character-driven fiction, which is basically what the book posits as its unique "brain science" (AKA character-driven) perspective.

You don't need a lecture on mirror neurons to write great fiction, but actual brain science is not present here. Instead, it felt like the author wanted to dress up character development as something buzzier when really the book is pretty much about not pantsing or plotting but writing from a strong character blueprint.

Like I said - good advice, annoying and misleading emphasis on neuroscience.

Also, the "brain science" is pretty

olivianoack's review against another edition

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Well, I had heard raving things about how this book revolutionized people's approach to writing and it really didn't for me.
For one, it's so incredibly boring and repetitive & half the book is some random writer doing the exercises which wasn't helpful for me so I skipped those sections. The author hammers in her points as if you've been half asleep while reading, just over and over reminding you that the book depends on the character's journey through the inner struggle.
Yes, this book does have helpful things to day, but I felt like I had to wade through so much repetition and overexplanation to find it.
Really the point of the book is to understand why everything happens and that the external conflict must always be connected to the inner struggle. So if you'd rather skip this book, that's all you need to know.

pumpkinspies's review against another edition

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3.0

Okay, I mostly skimmed. I read the intro, and then perused the chapters while deciding if I should recommend it for my library's writing reference collection.

Honestly, any book that boasts about being revolutionary and unlike any other writing book you've ever read gets my red flags ready. Honestly, if you crossed out all the times Cron talks about the mistakes of other books and focus on the thesis--that good story telling draws on the emotions of an experience in order to connect and educate the listener about another's experiences--it's a very good resource. It's true that, as the book says, it focuses more on the substance of the story than the brick-building of story telling. This is not the book to pick up if you struggle with the mechanics of story telling. This is a book is best for those who know how to build the house, but don't know how to fill it and make it a home. This book makes you ask WHY you're making the decisions you make while you write, and makes you consider the emotional value of every scene.

aliciabooks's review against another edition

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3.0

KINDA RELIEVED THERE WASN’T MORE BRAIN SCIENCE BUT ALSO WONDERING WHY PUT IT IN THE TITLE THEN