Friday, February 10, 2012

Review: Techniques of the Selling Writer

Techniques of the Selling Writer was recommended to me as “the best guide to writing fiction ever written” by the prominent author and writing coach Randy Ingermannson. I’ve found Randy’s (free) e-zine at Advanced Fiction Writing to be invaluable in my writing journey.

Anyway, he recommended the book Techniques of the SellingWriter—which, coincidentally, has been sitting on my shelf unread for about a year. So I dusted it off, dutifully poised my pencil to take notes, and began to read.

From the back cover:

This book provides solid instruction for persons who want to write and sell fiction, not just to talk and study about it. It gives the background, insights, and specific procedures needed by all beginning writers.

The lessons taught here are plain, practical good sense. The book gives you concrete tools for how to construct your book, but encourages you to follow your own feelings—the perfect balance of freedom and instruction.

Swaine is not didactic, but his approach to writing is strongly motivated by years of teaching and publishing his own writing. In the book, he covers the following lessons:

~ a basic understanding of words and how (not) to phrase them

~ how to group individual words into “motivation-reaction units,” where some cause inspires some effect on the one or two-sentence level

            ~ how to group motivation-reaction units into scenes and sequels

            ~ how to group scenes and sequels into story pattern

            ~ how to create the kind of characters that give a story life

            ~ and assorted tips for writing and publishing excellently

Each chapter is full of entirely practical steps, and I cannot emphasize enough how they have transformed my writing. In particular, his recommendations for building conflict have been absolutely invaluable to revitalizing my limp, dragging, actionless stories.

This book is not specifically for fantasy writers—because it is so inclusive that it spans genres. If you’re at all interested in seriously writing a story that others would want to read, then learn from this book! Read it and apply what you learn to your writing. If you’re anything like me, you won’t regret it.

Be sure to get it here! (P.S. I am not endorsed to write any of this. If I start doing Google Ads or Amazon affiliates, I'll be sure to duly warn you and loudly protest/proclaim my reasons.) God bless!


  1. Thanks for the recommendation. I look forward to looking over the book when it comes in from the library.

    1. Thank you, londongirl! I hope you enjoy the book :)

  2. ...will hop over and check it out. Thanks ;)



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