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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Question for you writing book lovers...

   
Author Topic: Question for you writing book lovers...
mrmeadors
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(Assuming some of you have read both series) If you had to suggest to some one a writing series, and had to choose between WD's "Write Great Fiction" series or their older "Elements of Fiction Writing" series (of which OSC's book Characters and Viewpoint is a part of), which would you pick? Which one do you think is "better"?
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genevive42
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I can't say I've read both, but you can't miss with OSC's Characters and Viewpoint. It lays the information out so clearly and you can still find useful things on subsequent reads.
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axeminister
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Older - Elements of fiction writing. Doesn't sound promising. How much older?

I'd say go for something timeless like Write Great Fiction, or OSC's books. I read them again around a year ago and didn't find anything outdated in them.

Axe

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LeetahWest
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I only have OSC Characters and Viewpoint book at the moment and I love it. It has helped tremendously and there is so much information in there to absorb I have yet to find that I need any other book yet. The time will come though, when plot and whatnot becomes the focus of my study. One thing at a time for me though. It's all I can handle.
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KayTi
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Most of the titles I've read in the Elements of Fiction Writing series have been excellent. Can't speak to the other titles.

My all-time favorite writing book, though, is a screenwriting book called STORY by McKee. Because it helps me with the thing I have the hardest time with, story arc. Characters and Viewpoints is a classic, too. I have recommended it so many times I've lost count.

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TaleSpinner
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Mine are either from the Elements series, or from before they thought of making series. The most influential were two by OSC (Character and Viewpoint, and How to Write SF and Fantasy) and "Writing SF that Sells" by Ben Bova. I selected them because I recognized and love the authors, and barely noticed the publisher.

The new series, which I haven't read, seems to mix together SF, fantasy and horror, not appealing to me because I only do SF. I imagine they might be more attuned to modern markets, although with the almost-mandatory requirement for every first novel to be book one of an infinitely tedious series, I'm not sure I'd want that.

For character and viewpoint it might be a question of with whom do you best identify - OSC or Nancy Kress.

All that said, the most influential writing book for me was "Zen in the Art of Writing" by Ray Bradbury.

Writing is a very personal thing. I think it's important to identify with the writer of the "how to".

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TaleSpinner
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Oh, and KayTi's post reminds me of a wonderful book I found recently. It's really about Hollywood screenplays but I think the ideas translate into novels: "The Writer's Journey; Mythic Structure for Writers" by Christopher Vogler.

It's a modern take on an earlier work called "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell.

It's an analysis of common story structures and elements, a kind of story-writing toolbox.

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