‘Writing Fiction is a little pot of gold… Screenplay by Syd Field for film, Writing Fiction by James Essinger for fiction. It’s that simple.’
William Osborne, novelist and screenwriter
Writing Fiction – a user-friendly guide is a must-read if you want to write stories to a professional standard.
It draws on the author’s more than thirty years of experience as a professional writer, and on the work and ideas of writers including:
- Anthony Burgess
- Joseph Conrad
- George Eliot
- Ken Follett
- Frederick Forsyth
- Dan Harmon
- Ernest Hemingway
- David Lodge
- Norman Mailer
- John Milton
- Ben Parker
- J.K. Rowling
- William Shakespeare
- Martin Cruz Smith
- J.R.R. Tolkien
The twenty-four chapters cover every important matter you need to know about, including devising a compelling story, creating and developing characters, plotting, ‘plants’, backstory, suspense, dialogue, ‘show’ and ‘tell’, and how to make your novel more real than reality.
Also featuring special guest advice from legendary screenwriter Bob Gale, who wrote the three immortal Back to the Future movies (1985, 1989 and 1990), and novelist and screenwriter William Osborne, whose many screen credits include the co-writing of the blockbuster Twins (1988), this highly entertaining book gives you all the advice and practical guidance you need to make your dream of becoming a published fiction writer come true.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
What I like about this non-fiction guide, to writing fiction is that is presented in a logical easy to use way. Beginning, with what the author considers fiction to be. Moving through a chapter by chapter guide to the fundamentals of fiction writing, with examples of why they are important, with input from industry professionals.
It covers a wide spectrum of fiction, and includes interesting analogies with screenwriting. This isn’t a workbook. There are examples, but no specific exercises for new writers to judge their content by. However, as an overall guide, and a useful reference book, for fiction writers, learning, or perfecting their craft it works.
The tone of the book is motivational, and the author’s experience and knowledge of the publishing industry are evident.
James Essinger has been a professional writer since 1988. His non-fiction books include Jacquard’s Web (2004), Ada’s Algorithm (2013), which is to be filmed by Monumental Pictures, and Charles and Ada: the computer’s most passionate partnership (2019). His novels include The Mating Game (2016) and The Ada Lovelace Project (2019).