Molly's Reviews

How to grow a novelHow to Grow a Novel
The most Common Mistakes Writers Make
and How to Overcome Them
St Martin's Griffin


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.





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2005 by Molly Martin