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.
Thousands of Stories Are Just Waiting to be Told—By You
If you have the passion and energy to write fiction, but have trouble finding an idea and getting started, this is the perfect book for you. Lou Willett Stanek has helped scores of new authors in her acclaimed writing workshops—and now she shows you how to look and listen, how to find stories and begin shaping them like a writer.
Here's how to find inspiration from neighbors and strangers, reshape classic tales, cull current events and use other tricks of the writing trade so effectively you'll soon find yourself brimming with ideas, your imagination revved to its full potential. Begin with a snippet of overheard conversation, an unexpected event, a simple character trait, a place, a problem—Ms. Stanek teaches you to get past "what really happened" and reinvent reality in ways that will astound and delight you, and hold a reader's attention.
Here too are hundreds of "what-ifs," simple situations you can guide to endlessly different conclusions—and use to learn new ways to fashion plot, describe character, develop conflict, paint with language, create a setting, employ flashbacks, build suspense, and much, much more. For every writer who could use a jump-start, from novice to pro, here is a book that will help you keep the faith and. . .