Friday, December 20, 2013

Book Review Friday: The Art of War for Writers


The Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises by James Scott Bell is a small, to the point guide for novelists.  Bell is an accomplished author of several novels as well as writer how-to books.  In this book he uses short chapters to highlight various points he considers necessary for writers to improve their craft.  He quotes liberally from Sun Tzu's classic strategy book The Art of War (in the library catalog the author attribution is "sunzi, active 5th century B. C.), applying those principles to the art of putting words on paper.  He also quotes liberally from Stephen King's On Writing

Bell's book is pocket sized, the chapters are short and each contains a pithy nugget of wisdom that writers can use to their benefit.  There are exercises for practicing the craft, strategies for overcoming writer's block, and tips and tricks that only a veteran writer can share with the novice.  An excellent guide book.  A perfect gift for the writer in your life.

Need more help getting that novel started or finished?  Try these:

On Writing by Stephen King
A Writer's Guide to Characterization: Archetypes, Heroic Journeys, and Other Elements of Dynamic Character Development by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
Story Engineering: Mastering the Six Core Competencies of Successful Writing by Larry Brooks
Beginnings, Middles, & Ends by Nancy Kress
Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing by Elmore Leonard
Writer's Workshop in a Book: The Squaw Valley Community of Writers on the Art of Fiction

More books by James Scott Bell:

Revision and Self-Editing for Publication: Techniques for Transforming Your First Draft into a Novel
Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot that Grips Readers from Start to Finish

Blind Justice: A Novel
City of Angels
Angels Flight
Angel of Mercy
A Greater Glory
A Higher Justice
Presumed Guilty
The Whole Truth
Don't Leave Me

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