Highly recommend this book to writers who want to create fully dimensional characters that have the potential to transform the readers. From everything to how to choose a character’s name, to what kind of story you are telling (character story, with grand settings, mystery style, or dealing with disorders) Orson concisely and brilliantly tells you how to deal with it in your writing. He says that knowing what kind of story you are telling, will show you how to open it and end it. He tells you how to choose and portray major and minor characters. He explains how to make the writing and characters emotionally powerful. His book is one of the best on how to make your characters work in the story, to make a serious character credible and interesting, or how to make a comic character funny. His section on how to choose and use point of view is the best I’ve read yet on this subject, even outdoing an entire book on the subject I have called Mastering Point of View. I love his section on using third person point of view and on different penetrations inside that point of view. As a writer, I find point of view a confusing subject and Orson really clarifies how to use point of view in a novel in a manner that will make your story work as you intend. For my novel Silver Skies, I use third person limited, but my levels of penetration inside that point of view change and Orson discusses how to manage this. He really helps you to choose the best point of view for your novel and is far less confusing than another book I have on this subject Mastering Point of View.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Characters & Viewpoint Date written: 10/23/2018 5.0 / 5 stars
Found this book really helpful to me on my current writing project Silver Skies 1996 Version, a novel in progress. This book is designed specifically for novelists and found the sections on outlining and the execution of the outline to the creation of the story excellent. He emphasizes that if your story does not have a workable plot, it’s like trying to build a house without its beams and foundation. His chapter on increasing intensity is brilliant, where he explains how the conflict for the main character needs to increase in intensity or your novel is a flop. The section on pacing, where he explains that increasing intensity needs occasional breaks to maintain interest, that too much intensity without a break actually becomes boring. He also explains how and when to characterize, or how to manage your characterization (how to show who your characters are) in the story. His explanation on beginnings, middles and ends is real nuts and bolts. The chapter on parallel plots and subplots are more nuts and bolts, with real practical ideas that work on real stores. His insights into when to introduce subplots and parallel plots and how to do them is very practical and workable and he really goes into nuts and bolts here and if you read him carefully, it gives you a real grasp on how to do subplots and parallel plots. He offers keen insights on how to portray characters, that seem very workable to me. I highly recommend this book to anybody who wants to write a great novel.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Novelist’s Essential Guide to Creating Plot Date written: 10/23/2018 5.0 / 5 stars
A book for beginners, but excellent. Even more advanced writers can sometimes forget the essentials that made them great. I agree with her position that you should never break point of view in a scene. Point of view is basically how you write the scene, through whose eyes you write the scene. Those who write omniscient or God’s eye point of view will understand this to mean you maintain your strong omniscient voice in the scene. But she doesn’t cover much about voice. So if you like to write in God’s eye point of view, she doesn’t give you nuts and bolts about how to maintain a consistent omniscient voice in a scene. I expect to find that in one of my other writing instruction books, to help me with sections of my novel where I may venture into God’s eye point of view. This book should be read alongside Orson Scott Card’s Characters & Viewpoint to get maximum benefit. But she gives real nuts and bolts advice about how to handle that pesky exposition, a real problem for me as a fantasy writer. Exposition in writing is telling rather than showing usually and it can get boring fast. She shows you how to work around this. Her emphasis on making sure your subplots are tied to your main plot is excellent and so important. How to manage melodrama is also much needed advice for any fiction writer. Her nuts and bolts about building for the big scenes, the explosions in your story and how to deliver, really works. Love the section on using symbols, mirrors, images to enhance the emotional impact of any story. She covers pacing, transition, flashbacks and the frame story, and recommends simplicity and elegance over complexity in plot. Then she covers types of stories not written with a traditional plot and why they work, despite not having the cause and effect of a traditional plot. As a writer who has trouble with endings, I found her section on endings very insightful. Circular stories have more thoughtful endings and linear stories end with a bang. This book is an absolute must for any serious fiction writer.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Plot Date written: 10/23/2018 5.0 / 5 stars
K. M. Weiland is a real nuts and bolts writing teacher. She really clarifies many aspects of the writing process and this book goes through the three basic character arcs (the change arc, the flat arc and the negative arc) and how to execute these in your writing. It seems to me that the most effective stories, the ones that move you and make you want to reread the book to experience it over and over are those authors who have mastered these arcs in the creation of their characters. The only problem I have with her approach is that while you are creating your character arcs you might want to read Orson Scott Card’s book on Characters & Viewpoint first to create your character, so that you can be sure your character will not be a cardboard cut out. Once you have the heart and soul of your character inside your heart and soul as you write, THEN read K. M. Weiland’s book to outline your character’s events in the plot. If you use her method first without thoroughly thinking through who your character is, you run the risk of creating a flat and boring character, even if that character successfully navigates through all the points in K. M. Weiland’s arcs. So read Orson Scott Card’s book first and THEN read K. M. Weiland’s Character Arcs, and your story will move and interest your readers. Unfortunately, I have found that the process of finding your characters can take time, so if you can’t beat them out according to their arcs right away, I’d just go ahead and write and plot the story just to get to know your characters on the page, and perhaps when you are halfway or a quarter of the way through your book, stop, and create your character arcs. You will have to go back and rewrite some sections, but your book will be richer, more believable and filled with fascinating character complexities that will be missing if you try to force your character into K. M. Weiland’s arcs at the very beginning of your manuscript before you really know who your character is.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure (Helping Writers Become Authors) Date written: 10/23/2018 4.0 / 5 stars
Orson Scott Card addresses with brilliance the special needs that writers of science fiction and fantasy have. First off, he helps you decide if what you are writing is science fiction or fantasy. I’ve concluded my Silver Skies novels are epic fantasy and Christian fantasy. Science fiction and fantasy writers have special problems over how to handle exposition and Card advises them to drop it in and wed it to the plot and characters, not to dump it all at once in a huge expository dump, saying we writers need to give our readers credit for having brains. We don’t have to tell them everything. They can infer many things. We only need to say enough to eliminate confusion. He explains why the use of metaphor, which can be brilliant in most novels, is discouraged for writers of speculative fiction, because it could confuse the readers. Though he says to go to town with simile. He gives pointers on how to create your story’s world, which is handled differently by science fiction/fantasy writers. Orson Scott Card is a great writing teacher. Recommend this book to anybody who writes science fiction or fantasy. Card gives advice on how to write a moving story in these genres, and how science fiction and fantasy readers approach the stories they read in these genres.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy Date written: 11/05/2018 5.0 / 5 stars
Point of view is the area where I usually mess up. This book goes really deep into the various points of view and you need to read it carefully to benefit from its instructions, including reading all the recommended exercises. A careful read will help you decide on point of view or a combination of points of view. She has a reading list of books in all the major writing genres at the end to help you understand better how point of view is used in all the major genres of books out there. You really cannot benefit from this book, without doing some outside reading to see how various authors in different genres handle point of view. If you read her book carelessly, it could do you more harm than good and you may not fully grasp how to use point of view or even which point of view you are writing in, which could really mess up your book. But if you read her book carefully, it can be very helpful in deciding on a point of view for your book and how to implement it.
I think beginning writers may want to skip this book, at least until they have mastered first person and third person limited point of view. Once you master first person and third person limited, then pick this book up and read it. It will make more sense. Until you master first person and third person limited, this book may just confuse the daylights out of you, because it is very deep into all the various points of view and could be bewildering to a beginning writer. But, because it opens your eyes to other possibilities with point of view, it is highly recommended for intermediate to advanced writers, who want to expand their vistas!
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Mastering Point of View Date written: 11/05/2018 5.0 / 5 stars
Clear cut, easy to understand instruction on how to do a broad outline of your book or story, with specific help for beginnings, middles and ends and where you can go wrong in the beginning, the middle or the end. I found especially helpful her section on middles, where she advises you how to structure your book into various formal structural designs (straight chronological structure, regularly recurring viewpoints, multiviewpoint chronological section, or parallel running scenes) to keep your reader on track as they read your book. She gives concrete nuts and bolts instruction on how to get out of any rut you might have in the beginning, middle or end and how to tell if you are having problems with your beginning, middle or end. In her instruction to beginners, I found her advice about how to honor the implicit promise you made to your readers, to be something every writer should understand! Whatever story you promise in the beginning, needs to be the story that you end and she discusses how writers can lose their focus and write a confusing story that readers will toss into the garbage bin, if this is not honored.
This book is geared more to beginning writers. But intermediate and advanced writers would do well to not forget some of the basics, and this would be a good refresher course. If you don’t master what she says here, you aren’t ready for advanced work. Though it is for beginners, she does such a good job of explaining the basics, reading this book would help writers to remember to stay on track with their stories and to be sure they have a strong beginning, middle and end, which is the foundation of any good story, except for the more experimental works. But then experimental works should only be attempted by those who have already mastered what is in this book and who have a good gut instinct about what works in writing, or their experiment will turn into a disaster.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Beginnings, Middles & Ends Date written: 11/05/2018 5.0 / 5 stars
At first as I read this, I thought Sol Stein is awful opinionated and some of his advice seemed very inflexible. But as I mulled over his advice, it seems to me he has a good gut instinct about how to write stories that move the reader and make a difference. I have found from personal experience, that just about everything he advises is correct. Building upon his years of experience as an editor, writer and publisher, he advises writers on how to write stories that will move and interest the readers and Sol Stein seems to have a deep understanding about the human psyche and which stories really work. He’s a real straight shooter and if you have a thin skin or are in the writing business to make a name for yourself only or for riches, you may find his approach offensive. But for serious writers, who really want to hone their craft, this book is a godsend! Like his advice to not make your main character a goody goody is RIGHT ON. Or his advice to have dialogue be oblique and to always be moving forward the plot or illuminating character is RIGHT ON. This book is full of writerly (a term he invented) nuggets and each page is a goldmine to writers who are serious about their craft. He does recommend you read his other work, Stein on Writing, (which I have) and does refer you a lot to his software programs (which I used to have). I think if you read this book and his other book, Stein on Writing, carefully, you will have quite a bit to work with. His chapter fourteen on how non-fiction writers mess up when they try fiction, is a goldmine of invaluable advice. In fact, this chapter is so important to any fiction writer, they should practically memorize it.
I highly recommend this book to any writer who wants to write something that will be around for the next one hundred years. Though some of his advice is outdated, due to the information he had in 1999, most of what’s in here would be useful for many years to come. It’s just solid advice about what makes a story that resonates with the readers and will live on. And isn’t that what all true writers want? If you only care about fame and money, skip this book, it will bore you and your writing will probably stink, too. Stein seems to know the writing craft in and out in all of its aspects.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) How to Grow a Novel Date written: 11/05/2018 5.0 / 5 stars
I think Mr. Obstfeld got tired writing this book, because the first half is pretty good. But the last half gets confusing. His advice about describing what a scene is, how to start scenes, determining scene length, deciding on point of view, how to use setting, and ending a scene, is good. His chapter on whether to focus a scene on character, plot or theme is insightful. Making pay off scenes work is described with helpful insight.
When he starts advising for specific types of scenes: action and suspense, comedy, and romantic and sex scenes – he uses examples mainly from the action and suspense genre, so if you write in other genres, you’re out of luck. At best, some of the advice he gives for these specific genres would not work for epic fantasy, what I write.
The book overall is helpful for those who write action and suspense. If you write in other genres, discard much of the advice you get in parts of this book, because what will work for action and suspense, may not work for epic fantasy or romance.
The end of the book is a complete dud for anybody who does not write action and suspense. He critiques the movie Entrapment scene by scene, with NO advice for how this critique would apply to different genres. Most of the advice in this book is geared towards action and suspense improvement. But not all scenes in a romance or epic fantasy book are action and suspense! A more appropriate title for the book would be Crafting Scenes for Action and Suspense.
When the main focus of your work is romance, my focus, he totally neglects the importance of voice and style. He just doles out rules and regulations for how to improve action and suspense. The one chapter where he addresses how to write effective love scenes, had some of the most boring love and sex scenes I’d ever read!
Alas, if you’re a fan of action and suspense, this book may be useful. But if your taste veers in other directions, you won’t miss much by skipping this book altogether.
For writers out there, I’d read this book for advice on how to spice up your action and suspense scenes and how to create original and effective openings. He’s good at brainstorming to enhance creativity and originality.
So read the book piecemeal, using those parts that apply your particular work, realizing you must ignore some incorrect advice that does not apply to your genre. Also, I tend to overthink my writings and for those with this weakness, the advice he gives to rewrite and rewrite and think and think could be disastrous.
He underplays the importance of honing into your intuition and inner voice, discarding that as automatic rubbish. He just flat out says that all first drafts stink insinuating that listening to your inner voice almost always results in a disaster unless it has been rewritten and rethought over and over. For overthinkers like me, that is a disaster.
I would say that this book would work for writers who write like Mr. Obstfeld, but not for those who have a different approach or write for a different genre. He seems to prefer pessimistic, cynical writing – definitely not my taste. I admit that I am often guilty of purple prose and he will help me be more aware of this tendency. But his weaknesses lie in the opposite direction. I will refer to this book to help with scene openings and originality, but must view many sections with caution as not pertinent to my style or genre.
It’s basically a book that critiques book or story scenes, showing you where the authors went wrong mostly and then a bit about what they did right. But the critiques are ninety percent about improvement of action and suspense, even in love scenes! The critiques would work on action and suspense, but not necessarily other genres or styles. He seems to favor cynical action and suspense. I am not even sure I agree with his assessment of these scenes, either.
Onto a positive note: If you write action or suspense, especially if you are an atheist, I think this book would be a GOLDMINE. I’m not trying to make fun of atheists when I say this, either. I think atheists are entitled to their literature. I believe in freedom of speech and of what you can read. Just be aware if your view of life is a little more rosy, you may want to skip this book.
On the other hand, I love Wuthering Heights, and that’s not exactly a rosy book. So perhaps I just feel that he seems to prefer works that have a cynical, depressing ending, as somehow being more literary. But Wuthering Heights seems to have an affirmation ending about the power of love, so it’s not that cynical. Cynics will love this book. It will teach you how to write works that appeal to cynics and we seem to have a lot of them these days.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Novelist’s Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes Date written: 11/12/2018 2.0 / 5 stars
This book is a very detailed presentation about how and when to use conflict, action and suspense in your work. Basically, the author states that without conflict or suspense emanating from every page, the book will be a bore.
I feel writers need to keep in mind that in some genres like romance, there will be scenes that may not work out best using the techniques mentioned. But even romances have conflict and suspense.
This is a real nuts and bolts book with practical advice about how to escalate the conflict throughout your work, but also covers pacing and balance to ensure nothing becomes ho hum and repetitive.
He covers how to use grammar, point of view, tone, mood and just about everything in relation to conflict and suspense. Even timing, pacing and style are discussed. Techniques like rapid scene shifts, POV changes, transitions are discussed and how to do this effectively to enhance conflict, suspense.
The chapter on openings is very insightful, how to make it interesting and like something is happening, using various approaches (mystery, danger, bizarre circumstance, etc.). . . . The author really poo poos over explaining, preferring to let our readers use their imaginations. He says to leave em’ hanging.
Chapter on dialogue is also excellent, explaining very well the technique of using oblique responses and variety of intensity to enhance reader interest.
Couldn’t agree with him more about the importance of memorable characters and how to do this, by presenting a memorable characteristic or making the character outstanding in some way or having to make a difficult choice. How to drop hints and clues to increase suspense is covered. Using foreshadowing and breaking the rules to create characters that jump off the page is covered.
Effective use of setting and using time limits to enhance conflict is covered. This book covers all aspects of conflict, action and suspense from the minutest details, like word choice, to the grand scheme like plotting and characterization.
The chapter on pacing is brilliant. I have often seen a movie that got boring because it was intense conflict front to back without a break, so that the conflict became a bore.
The chapter on endings is also brilliant, and I especially like his discussion of the differences between a linear ending (which must stop very soon after the climax) and a circular ending. “If suspense is our game, circular’s the only name. If actions where we turn, linear’s what we learn.”
This book is rich with brilliant advice. It is so rich, that it will need to be reread in detail as the writer works on their project, but it will be well worth the effort. It will help ensure your book will be a page turner.
My only caveat is that if romance is your game, you may want to focus more on the suspense parts and less on the action parts. And the suspense would probably be more in the area of sexual tension for romance writers, unless you are writing mainstream romance.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Conflict, Action & Suspense Date written: 11/20/2018 5.0 / 5 stars
Wow! This book is a MUST READ for all novelists! Jack Bickham shows that setting is not a static element in fiction writing. It is dynamic and influences every aspect (plotting, characterization, style, description, theme, conflict, etc.) of writing a novel.
My only criticism is that his advice on how to research is outdated because this book was written in the early 1990s before the advent of the Internet. But his advice on how to get the most from your research by knowing in advance which questions you need answered is invaluable.
He has a lot of exercises to do and to really get the maximum benefit from this book, it needs to be read slowly and digested bit by bit. I would recommend every fiction writer read this book, and digest it. Then when you get to work on your project, reread the chapters pertinent to what you’re doing and apply what he recommends.
Jack Bickham is one of the best writing teachers out there. He is a real nuts and bolts writing teacher and shows you exactly how to do it!
One thing I found especially helpful was how to use omniscient viewpoint effectively, which he seems to explain better than just about anyone. He recommends you use it only when you have to, and only after a scene break or when you haven’t yet established POV for the scene, and then to get into POV as soon as possible.
It seems the whole book explains how best to describe a scene, using specific, telling detail that portrays with specificity and emotion the character’s emotional state or plot goals, and then he tells you HOW TO DO IT, so that it works. I find that most writers who fail, fail because they don’t know how to handle setting. I am guilty. I know that this book will always make me aware of my tendency towards purple prose. Thanks to this book, I plan to write my Silver Skies novels with lean, tense prose from beginning to end, using description only as needed and with specificity and telling detail to evoke the character’s mood and keep the tale running. Actually, this is how my 1996 Silver Skies draft went and why I should have LEFT IT ALONE. I am now rewriting the novel using the 1996 draft that I butchered in the 21st century. I just need to write the ending like I did the beginning and the middle (1994 – 1996). Bickham is reminding me how I did it.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Setting Date written: 11/20/2018 5.0 / 5 stars
First, a warning. If you are a beginning fiction writer, skip this book until you are intermediate to advanced, or it will just confuse the daylights out of you. Also, if you tend toward genre writing and don’t really care for a more literary style, then this book isn’t for you.
Now, if you’ve written a book or two and already have some experience creating dialogue, this is a great book to tune up your skills. Beginning writers would do well to read the books in the Writer’s Digest Fiction Writing Series to get a basic gist on dialogue and THEN to read this book.
I like how he shows that good dialogue has a direction, and it should be from character to character and not from writer to reader. In other words, using dialogue as exposition (to help readers understand the story) is usually a no no. He states that good dialogue makes use of techniques like interruption, silences, echoing, reversals, shifts in tone and pace, idiom and detail.
He shows how to use idiom and dialect effectively so that it particularizes the character, but does not distract.
Chapter four on compression was one of my favorites. As all fiction writers know, dialogue in a story is not an exact representation of real life conversation, but is a selected compression of real life conversation just for the story. His strategy for bloated dialogue is brilliant. Know what your characters want and need. Write your dialogue. Be explicit. Then cut it to the bare bones, without losing meaning and without violating the spirit of the exchange. Read it aloud. Figure out the rhythms. Then release the dialogue using things like repetition, interruption, echoing, changing the subject.
Remember in dialogue that the reader is not your primary audience, the relationship between the characters is. Characters speak to each other, not the reader.
The chapter on choosing silence over words was also good. It went into how to use gestures and how to quiet the narrator or one of the characters.
He also recommends novelists and short story writers study screenwriting to learn how to write dialogue, analyzing screenwriting’s shortcomings, like the tendency of screenplays to use dialogue that is expository to meet a time deadline, but also admiring screenwriting’s ability to compress dialogue effectively.
His chapter on how to punctuate dialogue is very good. He shows you how to write it so it has a rhythm and verisimilitude (seems real) to the reader.
The writer just has to remember that he does focus on dialogue and he does not go deep into other aspects of writing, like plot, characters, etc. So you definitely need to read this book along with other writing instruction books to use it effectively. Dialogue is deeply tied into description, setting, characterization, plotting; so you really need to understand these as well to write dialogue effectively. This book should be viewed as a supplement and not a cure-all book for dialogue. But it is the best book on dialogue I’ve read thus far. It’s just not easy to write good dialogue. It takes practice and Mr. Chiarella does an admirable job here trying to teach it.
He has lots of exercises and this is not a book that, if followed, could be done in a day, or even a month. It would take years to master the craft of writing good dialogue. But if you want your work to matter, you should try.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Writing Dialogue Date written: 11/24/2018 5.0 / 5 stars
A very well organized presentation about how to use description in your fiction. She has a Wrap Up section at the end of most chapters that give an excellent summary of each chapter to help you when you refer back to the book while working on your project. This is a book you will definitely be referring to, because it is rich with very helpful advice. In fact, ignoring this advice would be to the peril of your novel. Description is so important in a book, and if not handled right labels you as amateur.
She discusses how to present detail in your story, emphasizing the telling detail, so you don’t over describe with vague generalities. She covers how to “tell”, how to “show” and when to use each. She then covers how to use description that does not slow your story down. How to use dialogue and description is a chapter that will help make your dialogue come alive.
She seems to have a keen instinct about where writers go wrong in description and this book is a must read for all novelists.
My favorite chapter was the one on point of view and description. Physical descriptions of your characters should not violate point of view. These details must emerge as a natural part of the story and not simply as information for the reader’s benefit. Writers must separate themselves from their narrators, whether or not they are in first person. The “I” or “Eye” telling the story is not really you, it’s a character you create. Even omniscient POV must have a distinct voice and it needs to be consistent. She explains how to use description in various points of view and helps clarify how to honor POV (first, second and third person limited and omniscient) in description. The chapter on point of view and description is one I will be re-reading a lot.
This book is rich and it evolves like layers. What you learn in one chapter builds and helps you understand future chapters. At the beginning, it seems too elementary, but later chapters deal with more sophisticated subjects and you get a comprehensive picture on how to use description in writing. This book is a good companion to Jack Bickham’s Setting and reading both would help any fiction writer or novelist to create settings and descriptions that make your fiction come alive!
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Description Date written: 11/28/2018 5.0 / 5 stars
WARNING: You will need a dictionary by your side as you read this, because Johnny Payne loves to use big words that you’re not familiar with. I found that he has chosen to use these words because they are the most apt descriptions for what he wants to say.
Don’t even bother to read this book until you have mastered the basics: characterization, plot, description, etc. or this book will just confuse the daylights out of you.
But once you’ve mastered the basics, read the book as inspiration for how you could create a voice for your novel. Do not expect practical nuts and bolts instructions about how to build voice, because you won’t get that. Instead, Payne’s approach seems to be analyzing specific passages that show different ways of approaching voice, dividing the analysis into examples of narrative, dramatic and authorial voice and then using metaphors to describe how the voice works in that passage.
The wrap up chapter at the book’s end is just more samples from authors who do well at combining the voice techniques (narrative, dramatic and authorial).
Each page is rich with examples and keen insight into how each author made his passage work. Payne definitely seems to prefer literary works, so if you tend to be more of a genre writer, don’t read this book.
As to how to translate this to your own work, you won’t get any advice here. You can only read how Payne describes how a particular author made his/her voice work in a particular passage. I guess you learn by imitation. Payne seems to review each passage using metaphors that describe how the passage works, which might help out those who are visual learners. If not, you’re out of luck with this book.
What you can do, is go through the book and if you see any passages that are similar to what you might use in your novel, it might be useful to study that section and try to imitate the author who writes like you do. But if none of the authors write like you do, you’re out of luck. But Payne does offer quite a breadth of different voices to study and a couple of the study passages might apply to your work.
You just have to pick and choose. Not all the book will work for you.
The exercises at the end of each chapter do a good job of summarizing what each chapter covers, so you can skim these (when you’re done reading the book) and refer to them later as you work on voice in your project. If you can learn by studying examples, then this book is for you.
If you need some nuts and bolts about how to do what the author did to make the voice work, this book is not for you. I tend to be a global learner, which means I can learn by seeing the big picture, even without the details. But if you need the details, skip this book.
I think the problem is, I don’t know if voice can be taught, and Payne seems to choose a method of teaching voice that he thinks might cause some writers to be able to use osmosis to learn, by tapping into their subconscious to somehow to pick up how an author “did it” in the examples given. If you’re really tuned into yourself and others’ subconscious minds and souls, this might work. If not, you’re out of luck.
I’d give this book a three star, except I think that voice possibly can best be learned by tuning into our subconscious and Payne’s metaphorical descriptions about how certain authors make their voices heard may be the best way to learn voice. I do think we just need to sit still and listen to our inner voice and Payne’s metaphors describing how certain passages work are like a portal in that direction. If your subconscious is not that tuned in, don’t bother with this book, it won’t help you that much. But then, I think the best writers know how to tune into that inner voice.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Description Date written: 12/07/2018 4.0 / 5 stars
This book has the opposite problem of Johnny Payne’s Voice & Style. It’s too specific and each author has a different approach to voice.
There are lots of nuts and bolts advice about how each author approaches voice and a lot of this is very useful. I would just read through it first and then go back and apply whatever you feel you need to work on. I like how they divide up voice into emerging, core and signature voices.
I also believe that how they came to find their own voices is very similar to how most authors find their voices. They insist that you need readers to critique your work for weaknesses to help you find your voice and, for me, that doesn’t work because few have my voice and, therefore, most readers would not understand how to critique my work in a manner that would nourish my voice.
My best bet is to finish my novel and let it sit for a month or years and then look at it with fresh eyes. I am my own best editor. For this reason, I mull over my creations and take years to finish.
I don’t think all their exercises are for everyone. But then, I don’t think voice can be taught. It’s more mastering characterization, point of view, dialogue, and description.
Any course in voice should teach how to put it all together and they do an admirable job of that. I would read this in combination with Johnny Payne’s Voice & Style. They seem to discount the importance of tuning into your subconscious. Other than that, the book is excellent.
My voice is so unique that most readers would probably discourage me from engaging my signature voice (the voice that makes my work memorable). Nobody writes like I do. At least nobody modern. So for somebody like me, the best approach is piecemeal. I would just read and apply those chapters that apply to me and ignore the rest.
I think I am at the stage of the signature voice and my signature voice is still evolving. My signature voice is deep, philosophical and passionate, with courageous, idealistic hearts bursting forth with transparency and longing. Characters transform each other as they move and talk, then leap into more depths, while their truth and love changes the world (causing epic changes in the fantasy world of the tale). I find deep, passionate characters like those in the Lord of the Rings exciting. Shallow characters bore me.
I’ll thank the authors for showing this to me. Because of this, my novels do well with a blend between omniscient and third-person limited. I need the omniscient for the depths and philosophy, which are truly compelling in my novels, but I need the third person limited to savor the experience.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Finding Your Writer’s Voice Date written: 12/07/2018 4.0 / 5 stars
This is a book that is a compendium of various authors’ articles all into one book. Writer’s Digest chose the articles and it offers a comprehensive view of voice and how to utilize it in your work. It covers non-fiction as well as fiction and the whole gamut of voice in all types of writing. It makes you aware of the different, but effective, approaches available to hone and bring out your voice and some of the chapters will resonate more with some writers than other chapters, depending on a writer’s approach to their work. There is something in here for everyone who writes.
TABLE OF CONTENTS PART I: WHAT IS VOICE? CHAPTER 1: WRITING FOR READERS (reminds you to remember your reader as you write) CHAPTER 2: TAPPING YOUR UNIQUE VOICE CHAPTER 3: AWAKEN YOUR AUTHENTICITY (look to your obsessions and desires, what haunts you and keeps you up at night, explore your vulnerabilities, etc.) CHAPTER 4: A SINGULAR VOICE (what creates the narrator’s unique voice is not his grammar or outlook, but the details he chooses to convey) CHAPTER 5: ALL ABOUT THAT VOICE
PART II: CREATING A VOICE CHAPTER 6: FINDING YOUR VOICE (less is more) CHAPTER 7: CREATING YOUR OWN VOICE (studies the various styles of famous writers, also explores creating your own voice in a very detailed presentation worth exploring as you create the voice for your work) CHAPTER 8: A VOICE OF YOUR OWN (writer, know thyself; what do you really want to say–and how would you like to convey that message? what is your truth? your voice with confidence, conviction, and creativity; chart on finding your voice is a godsend) CHAPTER 9: SELF-EXPRESSION: YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
PART III: THE MECHANICS OF VOICE CHAPTER 10: THE QUALITIES OF WORDS (formal/informal; formality, tone, and voice) CHAPTER 11: PREFER THE ACTIVE VOICE (but use the passive voice to emphasize the receiver of the action rather than the performer of the action; use passive to avoid identifying the actor or performer of the action and assigning blame; use passive to facilitate coherence by linking the thought of one sentence to the next; sentences are either active, passive, intransitive or passive) CHAPTER 12: VOICE AND STYLE (writing the same scene from first to third-person is to help with attitude and keeping voice consistent, a much more intimate third-person narration; read poetry and listen to the music; write long, run-on sentence in draft; similes, metaphors, and surprises) CHAPTER 13: TAKING CHANCES WITH STYLE (more for non-fiction) CHAPTER 14: MAKE YOUR TONE PITCH PERFECT (keep tone consistent from start to finish, pour in the conflict, convey tone thru details and description) CHAPTER 15 WATCH YOUR TONE! (each genre expects a certain tone, if you vary from it you alienate your reader; when you do vary, your tone moves only so far; a scene too far outside that range will feel jarring to the reader)
PART IV: FICTION-SPECIFIC VOICE CHAPTER 16: FROM POV TO VOICE (discusses how and when to use the various POVs with an excellent chart about this; unreliable narrator must be revelatory; for omniscient POV, each scene should have a particular character and question as its focal point and consider how the personality that comes thru the third-person omniscient narrative voice helps unify the disparate action; POV is about narrator’s relationship to what’s being said, voice is narrator’s attitude toward the narrated, how it’s said) CHAPTER 17: THE DIFFICULTY OF FIRST-PERSON POV (ways to work around deficiencies of first-person; introduce a time delay between scenes, use imagination, dreams, secondhand reports) CHAPTER 18: THE VOICE OF GENRE (explored through first and third-person POVs; don’t have to switch voice when you switch POV, but doing so can make book memorable; the invisible narrator) CHAPTER 19: MATCHING VOICE AND DIALOGUE TO YOUR STORY (covers the voice expected of some subcategories: magical and romance; cryptic or literary and religious; descriptive or literary, mainstream and historical; shadowy or horror or mystery; breathless or suspense; provocative or mainstream and literary; uncensored or young adult; and combining them) CHAPTER 20: THE INNER VOICE (shade your character’s self-talk in your chosen direction while still allowing for complexity of reactions and moods that make us human; express character thoughts for a particular person, with a particular view of the world; if a change in internal dialogue seems a natural outcome of plot incidents, the story will work) CHAPTER 21: CREATING A NARRATORIAL VOICE (multiple levels of voice; the opinionated narrator like Austen or Dickens; the invisible narrator) CHAPTER 22: BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL (pros and cons of speaking directly to your audience) CHAPTER 23: THE VOICE OF YOUNG ADULTS (don’t sound groovy; don’t dumb down; don’t write from hindsight, be young again; sounding like a teen is not your age, but a state of mind, your young readers will thank you for being real) CHAPTER 24: TOO MANY VOICES (central conflict of the story needs to be key, must focus on the character who carries this)
PART V: NONFICTION-SPECIFIC VOICE CHAPTER 25: GIVE NONFICTION AN AUDIBLE VOICE CHAPTER 26: FIRST-PERSON FINESSE CHAPTER 27: HEARING VOICES (figuring out a publication’s voice for writing) CHAPTER 28: FIND AN ANGLE TO BRING YOUR SUBJECT TO LIFE (start opposite from where you will end, make unlikely comparisons, bring in opposing viewpoints for conflict, stay on topic) CHAPTER 29: THE VOICE OF YOUR MEMOIR CHAPTER 30: A PERSONAL PRESENCE (honest, but clear; you are universal)
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Writing Voice Date written: 12/14/2018 5.0 / 5 stars
This book is a MUST READ, if you are the Intuitive type. Though I am not INFJ, I am INFP, which makes me very similar. Though the book is primarily designed for INFJs, she discusses the other Intuitive types (Myers-Briggs personality types). https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
I can totally relate to ALL she says about Intuitive types, especially the INFP. I now consider this the most important writing instruction book in my library. I believe if I follow her principles, I can write the masterpiece I want to write.
She gets me totally and how I approach my life and work. She recommends that I make a music playlist for my book’s characters, which I did yesterday and today. I will send it to my close friends for inspiration, many of whom are Intuitive types like myself.
Reading other writing instruction books are helpful, too. But it’s like this book shows you how to put it all together. Intuitive types have a unique approach to their life and work misunderstood by other types. Therefore, the methods recommended by the other types don’t apply to us. We need to modify the recommendations given to creative writers and adopt it to our unique approach to writing.
Tolkien was an INFP, so that’s consolation for me since I’d like to write something equivalent to The Lord of the Rings. All I can say is, if you want to finish your book and write the best you are capable of, using your own unique strengths, this book is a MUST. Intuitive types often become writers, and they are not the most common type, so they need to approach their life and work in a manner that suits them best. Intuitive types out there, if you are a writer and you don’t read this book, you are cheating yourself. This book shows you how to tap your mind and emotions to draw out of you that great story that is lingering in your heart, but you don’t seem to know how to chisel it out. As an Intuitive type, you cannot afford to NOT read this book!
We have a unique set of weaknesses that can overcome us, if we are not aware of them and how to overcome them and use our unique strengths to be all we can be, as a writer and as a person.
This is not only a book about writing. It is a book about life.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) The INFJ Writer Date written: 3/2/2019 5.0 / 5 stars
If you are an intuitive writer, you must read this book! Vogler teaches you how as a writer to use images to your mind that represent the various stages of a character’s journey in a story. Intuitive writers always see images when they write, so this book is right down their alley. In fact, reading this book gave me the ending to Silver Skies 1996 Version in great detail! Now I read my Silver Skies and cry cuz it touches my very core.
Others have taught on this subject, but none with Vogler’s eloquence. He has a way with words to make you FEEL each stage of the journey described, by using brilliant examples that you can see and feel in your mind. It’s not like reading a dry textbook. You feel what he is teaching you and so it makes more sense. For an intuitive writer, this is a great way to learn, because we absorb feelings like a sponge.
He explains each part of the character’s journey and how it affects us to the deepest core of our being and is able to dissect what makes a story meaningful to the audience/reader. Though other teachers tackle this topic, Vogler is a philosophical, thoughtful teacher that really appeals to my intuitive/deep side. I find it easy to grasp his concepts because he is a big-picture teacher and I need to see the big-picture.
The stages of the hero’s journey: Ordinary World (where the character starts off); Call to Adventure (this is where the conflict starts); Refusal of the Call (the character’s scared, reluctant to deal with his problem); Meeting with the Mentor (a teacher comes into the character’s life who transforms them); Crossing the First Threshold (the character’s first major victory towards meeting his goal); Tests, Allies, Enemies (the people he meets along the way); Approach to the Inmost Cave (character now deep in enemy country); Ordeal (second most important climax in the story, a battle or conflict occurs here); Reward (MAJOR victory and lessons learned); The Road Back (now the character has to return to where he started and return bringing with him lessons learned from the journey); Resurrection (usually during The Road Back, the character has slipped up and now emerges even stronger than before); Return with the Elixir (the wrap up, where the character brings what’s he’s learned to the where he started and makes the world a better place by sharing what he’s learned).
I was at first afraid that reading this would encourage formulaic writing. But Vogler explains that each story is different and you can mix up the orders somewhat and even skip some steps or have creative substitutions and the story can still be an emotional powerhouse.
“In the presence of work that is beautiful and true, honest and real, something smashes you like a hammer striking glass . . .the story touches you at the deepest level, giving us a view of the world or a new reason to live. . .allows you to suddenly put your own experience into a proper new perspective. . .”
If you want to write to change lives. this book is a MUST READ. Vogler describes the characters, plots, themes and story images and characters that make stories come alive in our hearts and transform us. Though I am a novelist, I have found that studying what makes movies work greatly helps me to write novels that have emotional power. I tend to see my novels as pictures and images in my mind, so screenwriting advice can be helpful to me.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) The Writer’s Journey Date written: 3/9/2019 5.0 / 5 stars
Great book if you are NOT an intuitive writer! This is why I’ve given it a four star instead of a five star. An an INFP writer, I can see that the very logical approach this author takes towards the writing craft just won’t work for me.
He approaches writing like a scientist – analyzing it, dissecting it, fine-tuning it. This isn’t how my intuitive mind works.
I also disagreed with his categorizing of the different theme categories as Orthodox (belief in a Supreme Being who guides mortals below), Naturalism (no Supreme Being, everything is by chance) and Psychological (characters finding themselves and becoming psychologically balanced). He put Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces under the psychological theme category. Sorry, but I disagree. Chris Vogel’s A Writer’s Journey (based on Joseph Campbell’s work) gave me the ending to my Silver Skies, which, according to Obstfeld would be an Orthodox story since Jesus Christ is a character in the book as divinity. Too much categorizing here.
But if your approach to writing is more logical than intuitive, this is the book for you! He focuses in on plot, character, theme and style and then goes into editing your work and he seems a little too focused on honoring the rules.
I’m a “big-picture” writer. I have to see the big picture, or I can’t see the woods for the trees. Those who like to write in steps, being organized, logical and go from beginning to end, will love this book. My outlines change about 100 times before I go final as my characters take over the book and they tell me where to go.
For you intuitive writers, you can read the book to learn some good writing principles, then write your sloppy first draft. Then outline. Then edit. You will need this book the most during the editing phase, if you need it at all.
I tend to do a broad outline, then do detailed scene outlines, one scene at a time. Part of my detailed outline includes dialogue and narrative, so I can get a “feel” for the scene. Then I edit the scene about twenty times and move on. This book might be useful for editing the scene phase, like if I get stumped and know something’s not right. I can check the Table of Contents and go fix what I think is wrong. But better yet, I should probably just listen to my guts – that’s what intuitive writers do best.
Too many categories. The book’s a bit too rigid for me. Too many rules. Too much dissecting. This book is perfect if you’re NOT an intuitive writer! He was knocking Joseph Campbell’s myth format for writers, saying it produces formulaic writing. I totally disagree. I see Chris Vogler’s A Writer’s Journey, as a starting off point and he leaves so much room for the imagination!
Also Obstfeld’s naturalism colors his perceptions and because my writing is written to make the Bible come alive and to be sort of autobiographical, I will devote more of my writing energy to books like Chris Vogler’s A Writer’s Journey, which I feel will help me create a catharsis in the climax that will be deep and real to the reader. Also, just cuz your book is deeply psychological, does not mean it can’t have Biblical themes. In my deeply psychological novel, my main character lives during the tribulation (as depicted in Revelation) in the last part of the book.
Honestly, if I wasn’t an intuitive writer, I’d give it five stars. Lots of helpful information if your writing approach tends to be logical and organized. Not me!
You might say, only writers who approach their writing step by step in a logical manner can write a masterpiece. Oh really? I’ll prove you wrong! Don’t underestimate the power of an intuitive mind.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Fiction First Aid Date written: 3/19/2019 4.0 / 5 stars
Wow! So many insights into how to create memorable, and unforgettable characters. This was a book I had in the 1990s when I worked on Silver Skies and I love how my characters are portrayed in my 1990s draft.
I give this book six stars! My absolute FAVORITE book on characterization. I saw images and felt the characters she described on every page. My intuitive mind took leaps in understanding how to make my characters real and deep for my readers.
This is THE BEST BOOK in my writing instruction book arsenal for characterization. I think I find screenwriter books helpful, because they tend towards audio-visual storytelling and I write my novels like a movie in my mind.
She has interviewed many screenwriters, who’ve written some of my favorite movies and the insights from these interviews really help me as a writer. She says that it’s important to do a lot of research for your characters, especially if they are different from you. This is so true for me. I find that research opens my mind up to new vistas and my imagination soars and I’m able to make connections between myself and the character as a result of research.
What I found most helpful was her advice on how to tie in writing technique for developing characters with parts of who we are on the inside, to make the characters real, believable and compelling. She says that all writers when they create characters are putting parts of themselves on the page. That is so true.
She gets pretty deep, psychological and philosophical in describing the various characterization techniques and why they work, which really clicks with my deep, intuitive mind.
This is a book for thinkers, for writers who like to create works that make themselves and their audiences think. Like she’ll discuss how knowing the character’s backstory will influence how you portray the character and how they speak, that most of the work you do is like the iceberg and the reader just sees the tip of the iceberg.
This writer has a deep intuitive knowledge of human nature and psychology, something that we intuitives find fascinating. I am certain that the knowledge I gained from this book helped me write the first two-thirds masterpiece that is my Silver Skies.
If you like to write meaningful stories with characters an audience can relate to, that make you ponder over life and for the character to live in the reader’s heart long after the book is closed, this is the book for you.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Creating Unforgettable Characters Date written: 3/19/2019 6.0 / 5 stars
MUST READ if your core story is the developing relationship between a man and a woman! This book made me realize that I AM writing a romance, which explains why I got writer’s block when I felt I needed to keep the lovers apart in the last third of the book.
“A romance novel is the story of a man and a woman who, while they’re solving a problem that threatens to keep them apart, discover that the love they feel for each other is the sort that comes along only once in a lifetime; this discovery leads to a permanent commitment and a happy ending.” There are exceptions, but that’s the basic romance novel formula.
She discusses the different romance categories and the requirements of writing for each throughout the book. It’s important to have an idea which category your work falls under, so you can see if how you are developing the story will work for your particular category. In my particular romance, my novel seems to be a blend of time travel, inspirational, futuristic and single title. So I paid particular attention to the requirements for these categories as she discussed them.
If you want to write for posterity, THIS IS THE BOOK YOU NEED TO READ. This is the comprehensive GO TO book for ANY romance writer.
She states that when researching, don’t be so specific that rapid change will make your story obsolete. Time travel has to be logical and consistent to convince readers. Rules need to be consistent and believable, something that Orson Scott Card also emphasizes in his book about how to write science fiction/fantasy.
External conflict in romance is what keeps them together throughout the story. Internal conflict are their deeper difficulties that threaten their happiness together. The romance must explore what makes them so perfect for each other (even though it doesn’t seem that way at first) that their love story will remain in our minds forever. A satisfying ending comes about because of the actions of the lovers themselves, not through the interference of others.
Chapter Four on the Hero and the Heroine may be the most important in the book, where she discusses how to create heroes and heroines that work for a love story, including their occupations, temperaments and outlook and approach towards love and sex. Heroines need to have self-respect, and be independent. Heroes need to be manly, yet sensitive and can be alpha or beta, but must have heroic qualities. She has a thorough questionnaire, using questions to help you create lovers that will resonate with your readers.
With conflict, only when the problem involves both of them and creates tension between them do you have effective conflict in a love story. Lovers need to be active versus passive as they try to solve their problems. Conflict has two aspects: short term or a situation that keeps them together thru the book, and long term or a character flaw or experience that threatens their happiness. When the immediate difficulty (external conflict) is complicated by the kind of people they are (internal conflict), you have the potential for a deeply emotional story reader can’t forget. If the conflict is very intense and personal, the force keeping them together needs to be just as strong to keep them together.
Romance writers need to put the lovers in a situation they can’t escape, requiring them to deal with each other, no matter how much they’d like to walk away. Learning this, I made major plot changes to the last third of my book.
She discusses how to write a romance and recommends very much the approach I learned from reading Bickham’s Scene & Structure, where you have cause and effect. Everything that happens must be a reaction to something that happened before. Cause and effect. She offers very helpful info about when to use exposition and summary and how to effective show and not tell your story.
She basically covers all the basics of fiction writing: plotting, point of view, dialogue, setting, etc. from the perspective of a romance writer and you come away with a definite idea on how to handle all of these in your particular romance. A romance novel is a different animal than the other genres and if you are writing a romance and have not read this book, you are probably making some mistakes and don’t know it. I would make this book REQUIRED READING for all romance novelists! This is like a novel writing workshop for romance writers, covering EVERY ASPECT of writing a romance novel, from story creation, to the actual writing (like handling point of view, dialogue, narrative setting, etc.), to the marketing and publishing.
She takes all the principles of good fiction writing and fine tunes it for romance novelists, so that you come away with a very clear picture of what you need to do to make your love story work brilliantly.
She helped me fine tune my ending, plot and characters, so that the love story will be more meaningful and deep to the readers. This is a real nuts and bolts book, giving you lots of effective tools to chisel that love story into a romantic masterpiece.
This is a book I will be referring to over and over as I work on my romance novels, which is why I give it a six-star review. I am certain it will be among the top five writing instruction books I have in terms of its usefulness to me as I chisel my love story into that deep and meaningful story I want it to be.
Even though I will self-publish, I read the marketing and publishing section, because here she details why publishers reject books, which helps you know if what you’ve written works. I found EVERY chapter useful, with something in each chapter I could specifically apply to my work in progress. It was like God sent the book down from heaven JUST FOR MY ROMANCE NOVEL.
My biggest problem was that I did NOT realize what I was writing is a romance. Once I realized this, the biggest plot problems were solved. Ms. Michaels helped me to see that my novel is first and foremost a romance and, knowing that, was the biggest hurdle I had to climb in writing my book. You see, my book kind of defies all genres, so I have been confused what kind of book it is. It is a ROMANCE first and foremost and I’ve discovered by reading this book, that I am a romance writer, who likes to sprinkle in time travel, science fiction/fantasy and Bible into my stories. But I am a ROMANCE writer and knowing that, is the first step to solving my story problems. Ms. Michaels helped me to see that.
Once I figured out it’s a romance, that ending and the last two-thirds of my novel, which stumped me for almost two decades, is coming into my vision with clarity and precision.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) On Writing Romance Date written: 4/12/2019 6.0 / 5 stars
This is the definitive book on plotting your novel. In fact, I think it’s so important that I created an entire page to explain how I use the principles in this book. My only criticism is that its plot formulas are a bit too simplistic for more complex novels, like literary novels. But I deal with this in the page I created (see link above).
But if you’re suffering from writer’s block in your plot, you need to read this book! It is probably the best book out there to help you figure out what’s missing or what needs to be added to your plot. And though I agree that all books fall into the categories mentioned, I also feel that some books are a blend of several categories, with probably one category the most prominent. Therefore, it is helpful to be familiar with all the categories she presents.
Here are the categories:
Whydunit (1) a detective, (2) a secret, (3) a dark turn;
Rites of Passage (1) a life problem, (2) a wrong way to attack the problem, (3) a solution to the problem that involves acceptance of the hard truth the hero has been avoiding;
Institutionalized (1) a group, (2) a choice, (3) a sacrifice;
Superhero (1) a hero with a special power, (2) a nemesis who stands opposed to our hero, (3) a curse that our hero must suffer as the price for their greatness;
Dude with a Problem (1) an innocent hero, (2) a sudden event, (3) a life-or-death battle;
Fool Triumphant (1) a fool, someone overlooked by society and often naive to their own potential, (2) an establishment that the fool is in some way pitted against, (3) a transmutation in which the hero becomes someone else, adopts a new name, or gets a new mission;
Buddy Love (1) an incomplete hero, (2) a counterpart, (3) a complication;
Out of the Bottle (1) a hero deserving of magic, (2) a spell (or touch of magic), (3) a lesson.
Golden Fleece (1) a road, (2) a team, (3) a prize;
Monster in the House (1) a monster, (2) a house, (3) a sin.
She thoroughly explores all these categories of stories and how to make them work in a meaningful and complete way. My only criticism is to not get so bogged down into the formulas, that you forget to engage your subconscious mind and transcend formulas if need be. You can always fix things up in the rewrites, if need be. I say use the formulas, but keep an open mind as you write. I cover this all in the page I made about this (see above).
But her analysis of the different types of stories is sheer genius. A must read for every novelist.
Written by: Gail Chord Schuler (Gabrielle Chana pen name) Save the Cat! Writes A Novel Date written: 5/13/2020 6.0 / 5 stars