A cosmopolitan curmudgeon the Los Angeles Times called “the Andy Rooney of academia”—known for both nonfiction and novels that have become blockbuster New York Times bestsellers—Umberto Eco takes readers on “a delightful romp through the absurdities of modern life” (Publishers Weekly) as he journeys around the world and into his own wildly adventurous mind.
From the mundane details of getting around on Amtrak or in the back of a cab, to reflections on computer jargon and soccer fans, to more important issues like the effects of mass media and consumer civilization—not to mention the challenges of trying to refrigerate an expensive piece of fish at an English hotel—this renowned writer, semiotician, and philosopher provides “an uncanny combination of the profound and the profane” (San Francisco Chronicle).
“Eco entertains with his clever reflections and with his unique persona.” —Kirkus Reviews
Translated from the Italian by William Weaver
“Vintage Eco . . . the book is a triumph.” – New York Review of Books
Nineteenth-century Europe—from Turin to Prague to Paris—abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses at night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. Conspiracies rule history. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies, both real and imagined, lay one lone man?
“[Eco] demonstrates once again that his is a voice that compels our attention” – San Francisco Chronicle
“Choreographed by a truth that is itself so strange a novelist need hardly expand on it to produce a wondrous tale . . . Eco is to be applauded for bringing this stranger-than-fiction truth vividly to life.” – New York Times
“Classic Eco, with a difference.” – Los Angeles Times
This e-book includes a sample chapter of NAME OF THE ROSE.
In a careful unraveling of the fabulous and the false, Eco shows us how serendipities—unanticipated truths—often spring from mistaken ideas. From Leibniz's belief that the I Ching illustrated the principles of calculus to Marco Polo's mistaking a rhinoceros for a unicorn, Eco tours the labyrinth of intellectual history, illuminating the ways in which we project the familiar onto the strange.
Eco uncovers a rich history of linguistic endeavor—much of it ill-conceived—that sought to "heal the wound of Babel." Through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Greek, Hebrew, Chinese, and Egyptian were alternately proclaimed as the first language that God gave to Adam, while—in keeping with the colonial climate of the time—the complex language of the Amerindians in Mexico was viewed as crude and diabolical. In closing, Eco considers the erroneous notion of linguistic perfection and shrewdly observes that the dangers we face lie not in the rules we use to interpret other cultures but in our insistence on making these rules absolute.
With the startling combination of erudition and wit, bewildering anecdotes and scholarly rigor that are Eco's hallmarks, Serendipities is sure to entertain and enlighten any reader with a passion for the curious history of languages and ideas.
In Kant and the Platypus, the renowned semiotician, philosopher, and bestselling author of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum explores the question of how much of our perception of things is based on cognitive ability, and how much on linguistic resources.
In six remarkable essays, Umberto Eco explores in depth questions of reality, perception, and experience. Basing his ideas on common sense, Eco shares a vast wealth of literary and historical knowledge, touching on issues that affect us every day. At once philosophical and amusing, Kant and the Platypus is a tour of the world of our senses, told by a master of knowing what is real and what is not.
“An erudite, detailed inquirity into the philosophy of mind . . . Here, Eco is continental philosopher, semiotician, and cognitive scientist rolled all into one.” —Library Journal (starred review)
"... draws on philosophy, linguistics, sociology, anthropology and aesthetics and refers to a wide range of scholarship... raises many fascinating questions." —Language in Society
"... a major contribution to the field of semiotic studies." —Robert Scholes, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
"... the most significant text on the subject published in the English language that I know of." —Arthur Asa Berger, Journal of Communication
Eco’s treatment demonstrates his mastery of the field of semiotics. It focuses on the twin problems of the doctrine of signs—communication and signification—and offers a highly original theory of sign production, including a carefully wrought typology of signs and modes of production.
The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”
“Like the labyrinthine library at its heart, this brilliant novel has many cunning passages and secret chambers . . . Fascinating . . . ingenious . . . dazzling.” – Newsweek
Orchestrating these and other diverse characters into his multilayered semiotic adventure, Eco has created a superb cerebral entertainment.
Inventing the Enemy covers a wide range of topics on which Eco has written and lectured over the past ten years: from a disquisition on the theme that runs through his recent novel The Prague Cemetery — every country needs an enemy, and if it doesn’t have one, must invent it — to a discussion of ideas that have inspired his earlier novels (and in the process he takes us on an exploration of lost islands, mythical realms, and the medieval world); from indignant reviews of James Joyce’s Ulysses by fascist journalists of the 1920s and 1930s, to an examination of Saint Thomas Aquinas’s notions about the soul of an unborn child, to censorship and violence and WikiLeaks.
These are essays full of passion, curiosity, and obsession by one of the world’s most esteemed scholars and critically acclaimed, best-selling novelists.
“True wit and wisdom coexist with fierce scholarship inside Umberto Eco, a writer who actually knows a thing or two about being truly human.” — Buffalo News
"Thought provoking . . . nuanced . . . the collection amply shows off Eco's sophisticated, agile mind." — Publishers Weekly
Born a simple peasant in northern Italy, Baudolino has two major gifts-a talent for learning languages and a skill in telling lies. When still a boy he meets a foreign commander in the woods, charming him with his quick wit and lively mind. The commander-who proves to be Emperor Frederick Barbarossa-adopts Baudolino and sends him to the university in Paris, where he makes a number of fearless, adventurous friends.
Spurred on by myths and their own reveries, this merry band sets out in search of Prester John, a legendary priest-king said to rule over a vast kingdom in the East-a phantasmagorical land of strange creatures with eyes on their shoulders and mouths on their stomachs, of eunuchs, unicorns, and lovely maidens.
With dazzling digressions, outrageous tricks, extraordinary feeling, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age, this is Eco the storyteller at his brilliant best.
Remarkably accessible and unfailingly stimulating, this collection exhibits the diversity of interests and the depth of knowledge that have made Eco one of the world's leading writers.
Collected here are some of Umberto Eco’s finest popular essays, recording the incisive and surprisingly entertaining observations of his restless intellectual mind. As the author puts it in the preface to the second edition: “In these pages, I try to interpret and to help others interpret some ‘signs.’ These signs are not only words, or images; they can also be forms of social behavior, political acts, artificial landscapes.”
From Disneyland to holography and wax museums, Eco explores America’s obsession with artificial reality, suggesting that the craft of forgery has in certain cases exceeded reality itself. He examines Western culture’s enduring fascination with the middle ages, proposing that our most pressing modern concerns began in that time. He delves into an array of topics, from sports to media to what he calls the crisis of reason.
Throughout these travels—both physical and mental—Eco displays the same wit, learning, and lively intelligence that delighted readers of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum.
Translated by William Weaver
As Roberto explores the different cabinets in the hold, he remembers chapters from his youth: Ferrante, his imaginary evil brother; the siege of Casale, that meaningless chess move in the Thirty Years' War in which he lost his father and his illusions; and the lessons given him on Reasons of State, fencing, the writing of love letters, and blasphemy.
In this fascinating, lyrical tale, Umberto Eco tells of a young dreamer searching for love and meaning; and of a most amazing old Jesuit who, with his clocks and maps, has plumbed the secrets of longitudes, the four moons of Jupiter, and the Flood.
In the most personal of the essays, Eco recalls experiencing liberation from fascism in Italy as a boy, and examines the various historical forms of fascism, always with an eye toward such ugly manifestations today. And finally, in an intensely personal open letter to an Italian cardinal, Eco reflects on a question underlying all the reflections in the book--what does it mean to be moral or ethical when one doesn't believe in God?
“Witty and wry . . . It’s hard not to be charmed.” — New York Times Book Review
“One of the most influential thinkers of our time.” — Los Angeles Times
1945, Lake Como. Mussolini and his mistress are captured and shot by local partisans. The precise circumstances of Il Duce’s death remain controversial.
1992, Milan. Colonna, a depressed hack writer, is offered a fee he can’t resist to ghostwrite a book. His subject: a fledgling newspaper, which happens to be financed by a powerful media magnate. As Colonna gets to know the team, he learns of the editor’s paranoid theory that Mussolini’s corpse was a body double and part of a wider Fascist plot. It’s the scoop the newspaper desperately needs. The evidence? He’s working on it.
It’s all there: media hoaxes, Mafiosi, the CIA, the Pentagon, blackmail, love, gossip, and murder. A clash of forces that have shaped Italy since World War II — from Mussolini to Berlusconi. “Farcical, serious, satiric, and tragic” (Le Point, France), Numero Zero is the work of a master storyteller.
UMBERTO ECO (1932–2016) was the author of numerous essay collections and seven novels, including The Name of the Rose,The Prague Cemetery, and Inventing the Enemy. He received Italy’s highest literary award, the Premio Strega, was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government, and was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
Overall, Eco identifies the different types of interpretive acts that count as translation. An enticing new typology emerges, based on his insistence on a common-sense approach and the necessity of taking a critical stance.
'Translation is always a shift, not between two languages but between two cultures. A translator must take into account rules that are not strictly linguistic but, broadly speaking, cultural.'
Umberto Eco is of the world's most brilliant and entertaining writers on literature and language. In this accessible and dazzling study, he turns his eye on the subject of translations and the problems the differences between cultures can cause. The book is full of little gems about mistranslations and misunderstandings.For example when you put 'Studies in the logic of Charles Sanders Peirce' through an internet translation machine, it becomes 'Studies in the logic of the Charles of sandpaper grinding machines Peirce'. In Italian 'ratto' has no connotation of 'contemptible person' but denotes speed ('you dirty rat' could take on a whole new meaning!)
What could be a weighty subject is never dull, fired by Eco's immense wit and erudition, providing an entertaining read that illuminates the process of negotiation that all translators must make.
Ten years ago, Roy Peter Clark, America's most influential writing teacher, whittled down almost thirty years of experience in journalism, writing, and teaching into a series of fifty short essays on different aspects of writing. In the past decade, Writing Tools has become a classic guidebook for novices and experts alike and remains one of the best loved books on writing available.
Organized into four sections, "Nuts and Bolts," "Special Effects," "Blueprints for Stories," and "Useful Habits," Writing Tools is infused with more than 200 examples from journalism and literature. This new edition includes five brand new, never-before-shared tools.
Accessible, entertaining, inspiring, and above all, useful for every type of writer, from high school student to novelist, Writing Tools is essential reading.
naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative
endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or
painting a masterpiece?
The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face,
outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just
how to achieve the greatest success.
The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and
overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to
reach the highest level of creative discipline.
Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself.
follow-up to his bestseller The War of Art, Turning Pro navigates the
passage from the amateur life to a professional practice.
"You don't need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind."
TURNING PRO IS FREE, BUT IT'S NOT EASY.
we turn pro, we give up a life that we may have become extremely
comfortable with. We give up a self that we have come to identify with
and to call our own.
TURNING PRO IS FREE, BUT IT DEMANDS SACRIFICE.
passage from amateur to professional is often achieved via an interior
odyssey whose trials are survived only at great cost, emotionally,
psychologically and spiritually. We pass through a membrane when we turn
pro. It's messy and it's scary. We tread in blood when we turn pro.
WHAT WE GET WHEN WE TURN PRO.
we get when we turn pro is we find our power. We find our will and our
voice and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but
had, until then, been afraid to embrace and live out.
Do you always use the right word? Can you pronounce it—and spell it—correctly? Do you know how to avoid illiterate expressions? Do you speak grammatically, without embarrassing mistakes? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you need Word Power Made Easy. Written in a lively, accessible, and timeless style, and loaded with helpful reviews, progress checks, and quizzes to reinforce the material, this classic resource has helped millions learn to speak and write with confidence.
Writing Better Lyrics has been a staple for songwriters for nearly two decades. Now this revised and updated 2nd Edition provides effective tools for everything from generating ideas, to understanding the form and function of a song, to fine-tuning lyrics.
Perfect for new and experienced songwriters alike, this time-tested classic covers the basics in addition to more advanced techniques.Songwriters will discover:How to use sense-bound imagery to enhance a song's emotional impact on listenersTechniques for avoiding clichés and creating imaginative metaphors and similesWays to use repetition as an assetHow to successfully manipulate meterInstruction for matching lyrics with musicWays to build on ideas and generate effective titlesAdvice for working with a co-writerAnd much more
Featuring updated and expanded chapters, 50 fun songwriting exercises, and examples from more than 20 chart-toppings songs, Writing Better Lyrics gives you all of the professional and creative insight you need to write powerful lyrics and put your songs in the spotlight where they belong.
The country’s most prominent journalists and nonfiction authors gather each year at Harvard’s Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism. Telling True Stories presents their best advice—covering everything from finding a good topic, to structuring narrative stories, to writing and selling your first book. More than fifty well-known writers offer their most powerful tips, including:
• Tom Wolfe on the emotional core of the story
• Gay Talese on writing about private lives
• Malcolm Gladwell on the limits of profiles
• Nora Ephron on narrative writing and screenwriters
• Alma Guillermoprieto on telling the story and telling the truth
• Dozens of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists from the Atlantic Monthly, New Yorker, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and more . . .
The essays contain important counsel for new and career journalists, as well as for freelance writers, radio producers, and memoirists. Packed with refreshingly candid and insightful recommendations, Telling True Stories will show anyone fascinated by the art of writing nonfiction how to bring people, scenes, and ideas to life on the page.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Learn from examples of successful novels and movies as you transform your work from ho-hum to high-tension.Pack the beginning, middle, and end of your book with the right amount of conflict.Tap into the suspenseful power of each character's inner conflict.Build conflict into your story's point of view.Balance subplots, flashbacks, and backstory to keep your story moving forward.Maximize the tension in your characters' dialogue.Amp up the suspense when you revise.Conflict & Suspense offers proven techniques that help you craft fiction your readers won't be able to put down.
This book is a set of tools: literary crowbars, chisels, mallets, pliers and tongs. Use them to pry, chip, yank and sift good characters out of the place where they live in your imagination.
Award-winning author Orson Scott Card explains in depth the techniques of inventing, developing and presenting characters, plus handling viewpoint in novels and short stories. With specific examples, he spells out your narrative options—the choices you'll make in creating fictional people so "real" that readers will feel they know them like members of their own families.
You'll learn how to:Draw characters from a variety of sourcesMake characters show who they are by the things they do and say, and by their individual "style"Develop characters readers will love—or love to hateDistinguish among major characters, minor characters and walk-ons, and develop each appropriatelyChoose the most effective viewpoint to reveal the characters and move the storytellingDecide how deeply you should explore your characters' thoughts, emotions, and attitudes
"Darn," the editor hectored, in turn. "I can not publish your novel! It is full of what we in the business call 'really awful writing.'"
"But how shall I absolve this dilemma? I have already read every tome available on how to write well and get published!" The writer tossed his head about, wildly.
"It might help," opined the blonde editor, helpfully, "to ponder how NOT to write a novel, so you might avoid the very thing!"
Many writing books offer sound advice on how to write well. This is not one of those books. On the contrary, this is a collection of terrible, awkward, and laughably unreadable excerpts that will teach you what to avoid—at all costs—if you ever want your novel published.
In How Not to Write a Novel, authors Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman distill their 30 years combined experience in teaching, editing, writing, and reviewing fiction to bring you real advice from the other side of the query letter. Rather than telling you how or what to write, they identify the 200 most common mistakes unconsciously made by writers and teach you to recognize, avoid, and amend them. With hilarious "mis-examples" to demonstrate each manuscript-mangling error, they'll help you troubleshoot your beginnings and endings, bad guys, love interests, style, jokes, perspective, voice, and more. As funny as it is useful, this essential how-NOT-to guide will help you get your manuscript out of the slush pile and into the bookstore.
Imagine knowing what the brain craves from every tale it encounters, what fuels the success of any great story, and what keeps readers transfixed. Wired for Story reveals these cognitive secrets—and it’s a game-changer for anyone who has ever set pen to paper.
The vast majority of writing advice focuses on “writing well” as if it were the same as telling a great story. This is exactly where many aspiring writers fail—they strive for beautiful metaphors, authentic dialogue, and interesting characters, losing sight of the one thing that every engaging story must do: ignite the brain’s hardwired desire to learn what happens next. When writers tap into the evolutionary purpose of story and electrify our curiosity, it triggers a delicious dopamine rush that tells us to pay attention. Without it, even the most perfect prose won’t hold anyone’s interest.
Backed by recent breakthroughs in neuroscience as well as examples from novels, screenplays, and short stories, Wired for Story offers a revolutionary look at story as the brain experiences it. Each chapter zeroes in on an aspect of the brain, its corresponding revelation about story, and the way to apply it to your storytelling right now.
From the best-selling author of Devotion and Slow Motion comes a witty, heartfelt, and practical look at the exhilarating and challenging process of storytelling. At once a memoir, meditation on the artistic process, and advice on craft, Still Writing is an intimate and eloquent companion to living a creative life.
Through a blend of deeply personal stories about what formed her as a writer, tales from other authors, and a searching look at her own creative process, Shapiro offers her gift to writers everywhere: an elegant guide of hard-won wisdom and advice for staying the course. “The writer’s life requires courage, patience, empathy, openness. It requires the ability to be alone with oneself. Gentle with oneself. To be disciplined, and at the same time, take risks.” Writers—and anyone with an artistic temperament—will find inspiration and comfort in these pages. Offering lessons learned over twenty years of teaching and writing, Shapiro brings her own revealing insights to weave an indispensable almanac for modern writers.
Like Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary, and Stephen King’s On Writing, Dani Shapiro’s Still Writing is a lodestar for aspiring scribes and an eloquent memoir of the writing life.
“‘The cat sat on the mat’ is not the beginning of a story, but ‘the cat sat on the dog’s mat’ is.” —John Le Carré
Nothing is more inspiring for a beginning writer than listening to masters of the craft talk about the writing life. But if you can’t get Vladimir Nabokov, Virginia Woolf, and Gabriel García Márquez together at the Algonquin, The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop gives you the next best thing. Stephen Koch, former chair of Columbia University’s graduate creative writing program, presents a unique guide to the craft of fiction. Along with his own lucid observations and commonsense techniques, he weaves together wisdom, advice, and inspiring commentary from some of our greatest writers. Taking you from the moment of inspiration (keep a notebook with you at all times), to writing a first draft (do it quickly! you can always revise later), to figuring out a plot (plot always serves the story, not vice versa), Koch is a benevolent mentor, glad to dispense sound advice when you need it most. The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop belongs on every writer’s shelf, to be picked up and pored over for those moments when the muse needs a little help finding her way.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
No one can teach talent, but the practical skills of the professional writer's craft can certainly be taught. The correct and imaginative use of these kills can shorten any beginner's apprenticeship by years.
This is the book for writers who want to turn rejection slips into cashable checks.
Readers will find everything they need to know about managing time, finding an idea, getting the first word down on the page, staying unblocked, shaping ideas into compelling stories, and submitting their work to agents and publishers.
Immediate Fiction goes beyond the old "Write what you know" to "Write what you can imagine." Filled with insightful tips on how to manage doubts, fears, blocks, and panic, Immediate Fiction will help writers develop their skills in as little minutes a day, if necessary.
Believing that all writing is rewriting, Cleaver says, "You can't control what you put on the page. You can only control what you leave on the page." With this book Cleaver shows how to get that control and produce results.
Great writing isn’t born, it’s built—sentence by sentence. But too many writers—and writing guides—overlook this most important unit. The result? Manuscripts that will never be published and writing careers that will never begin.
With chapters on “Conjunctions That Kill” and “Words Gone Wild,” this lighthearted guide is perfect for anyone who’s dead serious about writing, from aspiring novelists to nonfiction writers, conscientious students to cheeky literati. So roll up your sleeves and prepare to craft one bold, effective sentence after another. Your readers will thank you.
The 2014 Writer's Market details thousands of publishing opportunities for writers, including listings for book publishers, consumer and trade magazines, contests and awards, and literary agents. These listings include contact and submission information to help writers get their work published.
Look inside and you'll find page after page of all-new editorial material devoted to the business of writing. You'll find advice on pitching agents and editors, setting up a freelance business, and promoting your writing. Plus, you'll learn how to earn a full-time income from blogging, write the six-figure nonfiction book proposal, and re-slant your writing to get more out of your freelancing efforts. This edition also includes the ever popular pay rate chart.
You also gain access to: Lists of professional writing organizations. Sample query letters.
Here you'll find: - The fundamental elements of fiction craft-character, plot, point of view, etc.-explained clearly and completely - Key concepts illustrated with passages from great works of fiction - The complete text of "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver-a masterpiece of contemporary short fiction that is analyzed throughout the book - Exercises that let you immediately apply what you learn to your own writing
Written by Gotham Writers' Workshop expert instructors and edited by Dean of Faculty Alexander Steele, Writing Fiction offers the same methods and exercises that have earned the school international acclaim.
Once you've read-and written-your way through this book, you'll have a command of craft that will enable you to turn your ideas into effective short stories and novels.
You will be a writer.
Stephen Fry believes that if one can speak and read English, one can write poetry. In The Ode Less Travelled, he invites readers to discover the delights of writing poetry for pleasure and provides the tools and confidence to get started. Through enjoyable exercises, witty insights, and simple step-by-step advice, Fry introduces the concepts of Metre, Rhyme, Form, Diction, and Poetics.
Most of us have never been taught to read or write poetry, and so it can seem mysterious and intimidating. But Fry, a wonderfully competent, engaging teacher and a writer of poetry himself, sets out to correct this problem by explaining the various elements of poetry in simple terms, without condescension. Fry?s method works, and his enthusiasm is contagious as he explores different forms of poetry: the haiku, the ballad, the villanelle, and the sonnet, among many others. Along the way, he introduces us to poets we?ve heard of but never read. The Ode Less Travelled is not just the survey course you never took in college, it?s a lively celebration of poetry that makes even the most reluctant reader want to pick up a pencil and give it a try.
"One of the best in her craft." -- Toronto Star
"Goal, Motivation & Conflict is one of my all time favorites." -- Jane Porter (Flirting With Forty), award winning and bestselling author with 10 million books in print, in twenty languages and 25 countries
Goal, motivation, and conflict are the foundation of everything that happens in the story world. Using charts, examples, and movies, the author breaks these key elements down into understandable components and walks the reader through the process of laying this foundation in his or her own work.
Learn what causes sagging middles and how to fix them, which goals are important, which aren't and why, how to get your characters to do what they need for your plot in a believable manner, and how to use conflict to create a good story. GMC can be used not only in plotting, but in character development, sharpening scenes, pitching ideas to an editor, and evaluating whether an idea will work.
Be confident your ideas will work before you write 200 pages.
Plan a road map to keep your story on track.
Discover why your scenes aren't working and what to do about it.
Create characters that editors and readers will care about.
No one knows more about screenwriting than Syd Field—and now the ultimate Hollywood insider shares his secrets and expertise, completely updating his bestselling workbook for a new generation of screenwriters. Filled with new material—including fresh insights and anecdotes from the author and analyses of films from Pulp Fiction to Brokeback Mountain—The Screenwriter’s Workbook is your very own hands-on workshop, the book that allows you to participate in the processes that have made Syd Field’s workshops invaluable to beginners and working professionals alike. Follow this workbook through
to the finish, and you’ll end up with a complete and salable script!
Learn how to:
• Define the idea on which your script will be built
• Create the model—the paradigm—that professionals use
• Bring your characters to life
• Write dialogue like a pro
• Structure your screenplay for success from the crucial first pages to the final act
Here are systematic instructions, easy-to-follow exercises, a clear explanation of screenwriting basics, and expert advice at every turn—all the moment-to-moment, line-by-line help you need to transform your initial idea into a professional screenplay that’s earmarked for success.
The Perfect Companion Volume to Syd Field’s Revised and Updated Edition of Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting
From the Trade Paperback edition.
With wit and honesty, Berg provides numerous exercises that will unleash individual creativity and utilize all five senses. Most important, she tells how to fire passion—emotion—into writing itself; to break through personal barriers and reach one's own outer limits and beyond.
Originally published in 1918, this authoritative and engagingly written manual retains its immediacy and relevance. Strunk begins with the basic rules of usage, offering accessible explanations of correct punctuation and grammar. His advice on the principles of composition cites concrete examples of how to maintain clarity by eliminating redundancy and unnecessary embellishment. In addition, Strunk provides valuable pointers on avoiding common errors in the usage of words and expressions, and in spelling. The greatest book of its kind, this volume is a must for any student or writer.
But we must try to find our True Conscience, our True Self, the very Center, for this is the only first-rate choice-making center. Here lies all originality, talent, honor, truthfulness, courage and cheerfulness. Here lies the ability to choose the good and the grand, the true and the beautiful.
In her ninety-three remarkable years, Brenda Ueland published six million words. She said she had two rules she followed absolutely: to tell the truth, and not to do anything she didn't want to do. Her integrity shines throughout If You Want to Write, her bestselling classic on the process of writing that has already inspired thousands to find their own creative center. Carl Sandburg called this book "the best book ever written about how to write." Yet Ueland reminds us that "whenever I say ‘writing' in this book, I also mean anything that you love and want to do or make."
Several Short Sentences About Writing is a book of first steps and experiments. They will revolutionize the way you think and perceive, and they will change forever the sense of your own authority as a writer. This is a book full of learning, but it’s also a book full of unlearning—a way to recover the vivid, rhythmic, poetic sense of language you once possessed.
An indispensable and unique book that will give you a clear understanding of how to think about what you do when you write and how to improve the quality of your writing.
This short, focused guide presents a dozen such principles based on what readers need in order to understand complex information, including concrete subjects, strong verbs, consistent terms, and organized paragraphs. The author, a biologist and an experienced teacher of scientific writing, illustrates each principle with real-life examples of both good and bad writing and shows how to revise bad writing to make it clearer and more concise. She ends each chapter with practice exercises so that readers can come away with new writing skills after just one sitting.
Writing Science in Plain English can help writers at all levels of their academic and professional careers—undergraduate students working on research reports, established scientists writing articles and grant proposals, or agency employees working to follow the Plain Writing Act. This essential resource is the perfect companion for all who seek to write science effectively.
- Stand-out style techniques, from accessing an authentic voice to applying techniques of "wordsmithing" that transform prose
- How to rewrite characterization for dimensionality, a universal need, and theme
- Adjustment suggestions to match the prose style and structure of specific genres
- Correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style
- Strategies to strengthen story beginnings and endings
- Methods for increasing plot stakes, creating movement, and adjusting pace for maximum suspense
The best way to answer these questions is to ditch your uncertainty and transform yourself into a KICK-ASS writer. Chuck Wendig will show you how with an explosive broadside of gritty advice that will destroy your fears, clear the path, and help you find your voice, your story, and your audience.
You'll explore the fundamentals of writing, learn how to obtain publication, and master the skills you need to build an army of dedicated fans. No task is too large or small for the kick-ass writer. With his trademark acerbic wit and gut-punch humor, Wendig will explain: How to build suspense, craft characters, and defeat writer's block. How to write a scene, an ending--even a sentence. Blogging techniques, social media skills, and crowdfunding. How to write a query letter, talk to agents, and deal with failure--and success! Whether you're just starting out or you need one more push to get you over the top, two things are certain--a kick-ass writer never quits, and Chuck Wendig won't let you down in this high-octane guide to becoming the writer you were born to be!
DeSalvo describes the work habits of successful writers (among them, Nobel Prize laureates) so that readers can use the information provided to develop their identity as writers and transform their writing lives. It includes anecdotes from classic American and international writers such as John Steinbeck, Henry Miller, Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence as well as contemporary authors such as Michael Chabon, Junot Diaz, Jeffrey Eugenides, Ian McEwan, and Salman Rushdie. DeSalvo skillfully and gently guides writers to not only start their work, but immerse themselves fully in the process and create texts they will treasure.
The creative process can be treacherous, even for the most experienced writer. Facing the blank page, staying inspired, sustaining momentum, managing competing priorities and coping with rejection are just a few of the challenges writers face regularly.
The Productive Writer is your guide to learning the systems, strategies and psychology that can help you transform possibilities into probabilities in your writing life. You'll sharpen your productivity pencil by learning how to:Set clear goals—and achieve them Create a writing schedule that really works Discover what keeps you writing, revising, and submitting Carve out writing time amidst the demands of work and family Weed out habits and attitudes that are not serving you Organize your thinking, workspace, papers and files Increase your odds of publication and prosperity Use social media to build an author platform Get comfortable going public and promoting your writing Create a sustainable writing rhythm and lifestyle Accomplish what matters most to you
Create the writing life you most desire. The Productive Writer will help take you there.
How to Write a Book Proposal is THE resource for getting your work published. This newly revised edition of the Writer's Digest Books classic outlines how to create an effective, nonfiction book proposal in a clear, step-by-step manner. You'll learn the keys to a successful book proposal and how to: Test-market the potential of a book idea and effectively communicate that potential in a proposal Choose the best agents and editors for a particular proposal Create a professional-looking proposal package Predispose publishers to make their best offer Notes agent and author Michael Larsen also provides insider insights into the publishing industry as well as a plethora of newly updated information including: Recent changes in the publishing industry Updated trend information New sample proposals Expanded instructions for creating outlines You'll also find complete guidelines to becoming an effective self-promoter. How to Write a Book Proposal is a must-have for every writer!
You will find one of the great unspoken secrets of craftsmanship in Chapter 5, called "Markers: The Key to Swift Characterization." In Chapter 7, Stein reveals for he first time in print the wonderful system for creating instant conflict developed in the Playwrights Group of the Actors Studio, of which he was a founder. In "Secrets of Good Dialogue," the premier teacher of dialogue gives you the instantly useable techniques that not only make verbal exchanges exciting but that move the story forward immediately. You won't need to struggle with flashbacks or background material after you've read Chapter 14, which shows you how to bring background into the foreground.
Writers of both fiction and nonfiction will relish the amphetamines for speeding up pace, and the many ways to liposuction flab, as well as how to tap originality and recognize what successful titles have in common. You'll discover literary values that enhance writing, providing depth and resonance. You'll bless the day you read Chapters 32 and 33 and discover why revising by starting at page one can be a serious mistake, and how to revise without growing cold on your manuscript.
In the pages of this book, nonfiction writers will find a passport to the new revolution in journalism and a guide to using the techniques of fiction to enhance nonfiction. Fresh, useful, informative, and fun to read and reread, Stein on Writing is a book you will mark up, dog-ear, and cherish.
If you're serious about making your fiction vibrant, engaging, and marketable, you've found the right book. The Breakout Novelist gives you the craft and business know-how you need to make your book stand out.
Inside, veteran agent Donald Maass brings together the most innovative and practical information from his workshops and previous books to lead you through every aspect of setting your novel apart from the rest. Maass shares examples from contemporary writers across all genres to equip you with the strategies great writers use to craft great fiction - from core fiction-writing elements like character, setting, description, and plot, to more advanced techniques including point of view, voice, and suspense. Plus, you'll find over 70 practical exercises to help you move your writing from blah to breakout.
You'll also learn from Maass' experiences over more than three decades in the publishing industry. Get straight talk from an insider about agents, contracts, how the industry is changing, and how to be the kind of author who builds a successful career book after book.
Get the best of Maass' expertise and instruction in one easy-to-use reference.
To write memoir, we must first know how to remember. Through timed, associative, and meditative exercises, Old Friend from Far Away guides you to the attentive state of thought in which you discover and open forgotten doors of memory. At once a beautifully written celebration of the memoir form, an innovative course full of practical teachings, and a deeply affecting meditation on consciousness, love, life, and death, Old Friend welcomes aspiring writers of all levels and encourages them to find their unique voice to tell their stories.
Goldberg's enormously popular workshops have given countless students the ability to heed the call to write. Old Friend from Far Away recreates her trademark workshop style with its terse, demanding writing "sprints" that train the hand and mind to quicken their pace and give up conscious control. These exercises divert the eye from the obvious and redirect it to the tactile details we miss, the embarrassments we pass over, and the complications we overlook in the blur of everyday living. Goldberg writes, "No one says it, but writing induces the state of love." Old Friend from Far Away guides us into that state of love, where heightened attention and a rhythm of focus allow the patterns and details of the past to emerge on the page.
Millions of Americans want to write about their lives. With Old Friend as the road map for getting started and following through, writers and readers will gain a deeper understanding of their own minds, learn to connect with their senses in order to find the detail and truth that give their written words power and authenticity, and unfold the natural structure of the stories they carry within. An absolute joy to read, it is a profound affirmation of the capacity of the written word to remember the past, free us from it, and forever transform the way we think about ourselves and our lives. Like Writing Down the Bones, it will become an old friend to which readers return again and again.
Want to get published and paid for your writing? Let Writer's Market 2016 guide you through the process with thousands of publishing opportunities for writers, including listings for book publishers, consumer and trade magazines, contests and awards, and literary agents. These listings include contact and submission information to help writers get their work published.
Beyond the listings, you'll find all-new material devoted to the business and promotion of writing. Discover the secrets of six-figure freelancers, how to create a productive home office, and apps that make freelancing easier. Plus, you'll learn how to build relationships in the publishing business, use video to promote your work, and remove obstacles from your path to freelance writing success. This edition includes the ever-popular pay-rate chart and the return of the much-requested book publisher subject index!
You also gain access to:Lists of professional writing organizationsSample query lettersA free digital download of Writer's Yearbook featuring the 100 Best Markets: WritersDigest.com/WritersDigest-Yearbook-15
+ Includes exclusive access to the webinar "How to Build an Audience and Business With Your Writing" from Robert Lee Brewer, editor of Writer's Market
"As a young writer, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the newest Writer's Market. No other annual has provided such a shot-in-the-arm to my dreams--nor such priceless guidance in making them come true. To read Writer's Market is to surround yourself with friends, teammates, teachers, experts, coaches, and cheerleaders--all of whom return season after season with entirely new voices but the same mission: to help you get from writer to published writer." --Tim Johnston, New York Times best-selling author of Descent