How to Grow a Novel
The most Common Mistakes Writers Make
and How to Overcome Them
Martin's Griffin Recommended
Sol Stein presents a good handbook
for the beginning and/or more experienced writer. "How
to Grow a Novel The most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How
to Overcome Them" is divided into two major sections: The
Responsibilities of the Writer 15 chapters and The Responsibilities
of the Publisher 3 chapters. Included under Responsibilities
for Writers are Chapter 2: Is Conflict a Necessity? Chapter
7: Our Native Language is not Dialogue and Chapter 13: Revision
as Opportunity and Danger. The three chapters under Responsibilities
of the Publisher are Chapter 16: The Prospect Before Us, Chapter
17: Putting Out to the World, and Chapter 18: Midlist, and Other
Fictions of Publishing.
Author Stein has a nice readable
writing style. "How to Grow a Novel" offers good well
thought tips for his peers. I especially enjoyed Chapter 10
Where Writers Go Wrong: Stein says, 'All of the most successful
novels I have edited over the years have had stories that could
be synopsized in a single paragraph.' He continues in the same
vein by pointing out that 'The process of finding out whose (story)
it is can become an important learning adventure for the writer.'
And, Stein explains 'beats'. Writer Stein says 'A beat is usually
a minor action that breaks up dialogue when a pause is needed
to keep the scene visual.' All of this is good sound information
for all writers to keep in mind as they prepare their first,
or that next novel.
I enjoyed reading "How to
Grow a Novel" and believe there is much here for all writers
who desire to improve their craft.