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Paperback Plot (Elements of Fiction Writing) Book

ISBN: 0898799465

ISBN13: 9780898799460

Plot (Elements of Fiction Writing)

(Part of the Elements of Fiction Writing Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

"There are ways to create, fix, steer and discover plots--ways which, over a writing life, you'd eventually puzzle out for yourself," writes Ansen Dibell. "They aren't laws. They're an array of choices, things to try, once you've put a name to the particular problem you're facing now."

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Very Helpful & Breezy

Dibell's style is easy to read and the topic is broken down in ways that are easy to understand. Each tip and trick is strengthened with examples. 163 quick pages, packed with information and never boring. I never knew reading about writing would be FUN, but learning about the actual techniques that I didn't even know I was using has been extremely helpful and I'm very excited to put a lot of Dibell's advice and guidance to hard work! The best part about this series so far (I've only read 2 of the Elements of Fiction Writing) is they plainly state that these books are not how-to-guides or set in stone rules, but rather, tools for authors; like maps to help along the process- the education to be able to investigate your work with a more understanding eye and make the best informed choices!! Highly recommended for every writer's bookshelf- regardless of goals, or experience.

The best practical advice on writing anywhere!

This book offers the best practical advice for writing I've ever found -- testing story ideas, selecting viewpoint characters, handling exposition and flashbacks and creating satisfying endings. This book is a real benefit to anyone seriously working on writing fiction. The clear and understandable specifics make it completely different from typical writing books filled with inspiring essays and hints on finding time to write. If you're already inspired and looking for a real advice for writing successful stories, definitely get this one!

What a Pro!

Not only does this book contain an obvious wealth of experience and solid practical advice, it is also extremely well written (which I guess shouldn't be too surprising) and even funny in many spots (" reading by strobelight," "...exciting as watching a puddle," etc.). This lady is really, really good. Techniques like The Rule of Three and Mirroring never occurred to me before when reading fiction (maybe because I never had formal training, which is why I buy these books!); these are the types of things Dibell (who is she really?!) describes well. She has good examples for the things she discusses. It is obvious she has spent many, many years studying and teaching (she was the president of a university, as well as a published author!) the art of fiction. I'm going to begin reading the book again tonight!

Highest Recommendation

The simple one word title of this book - "Plot" - and its slim 170 pages do not adequately hint at the wealth of guidance that is packed into every one of its pages. This is the best book on the subject of writing that I've yet purchased.If you're like me - a hopeful author-to-be, then you're probably, also like me, casting around for some desperately needed advice and guidance on how to turn the winning story that you know you have into a published and popular novel. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be a magic formula that can be revealed, and the challenges in trying to define what is as much a creative art as a pseudo-science means that many "how to write a book" texts promise a very great deal more than they deliver.By happy contrast, Ansen Dibell's book delivers a very great deal more than it promises. It not only gives extremely easy to follow, hard-hitting advice on plot construction and development, but it offers extra "bonus" material on just about every other aspect of authorship. Unlike some books which end up in a morass of generalities, she talks in easily understood specifics, and also uses some excellent examples of published material, while avoiding the temptation that other authors have suffered from of padding the book with many pages of unnecessary example.To summarise, this is an excellent book that discusses most aspects of writing a novel, with Plot as its central unifying subject. It has my highest recommendation and I urge you to add it to your own collection accordingly.

A Must For All Fiction Writers

I've read a lot of books on writing and this book ranks with the best. She presents a straightforward and easy to understand approach to plotting anything from a short story to a novel. This book is an invaluable tool for planning a story from the grand opening scene to the blockbuster ending. Her explanations and instruction on set-pieces and harnessing melodrama are the best I've seen from any book on writing. If you are serious about writing then this must be on your bookshelf.


This is one of the best books on plotting out there... Ansen Dibell's approach is very helpful in trying to discover the real story one is trying to tell. Her use of relevant examples (both what to do and what not to do) drive her point home especially. I also appreciated the fact that she delved into subjects that not all plotting books cover--in particular, her discussion of symbolism and patterns helped me tremendously.I've bought/read just about all the fiction technique books out there, and this is one of my all-time favorites!
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