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Writing Fiction for All You're Worth: Strategies and Techniques for Taking Your Fiction to the Next Level

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Get your fiction to that next level, where agents and editors sit up and take notice––and where readers keep coming back for more. #1 bestselling writing teacher James Scott Bell will show you, with nuts and bolts and proven techniques, how you can write fiction that sells. WRITING FICTION FOR ALL YOUR WORTH contains the best of James Scott Bell's articles and blog posts on Get your fiction to that next level, where agents and editors sit up and take notice––and where readers keep coming back for more. #1 bestselling writing teacher James Scott Bell will show you, with nuts and bolts and proven techniques, how you can write fiction that sells. WRITING FICTION FOR ALL YOUR WORTH contains the best of James Scott Bell's articles and blog posts on writing, easily searchable under these headings: The Writing World, The Writing Life, and The Writing Craft. You'll learn about the 6 critical success factors for bestselling fiction, how to write un-put-downable action scenes, and how to capture the interest of an agent. The keys to a dynamic opening page are revealed, and just as important, what NOT to do in the opening. There's plenty of inside information on what agents and editors say they're looking for and detailed instructions on how to write a stress free query. You'll learn what to put on your LAST page, when to use italics, how to write with courage. And a whole lot more. And you'll get never before published material, including an first-ever look into Jim's secret writing notebook, the manual he put together over the years for his own use in writing numerous bestsellers. For the first time he's sharing a glimpse into the notes he compiled on his way to publishing success. Plus, a special module on getting into e-publishing, which you must read if you want to have a career selling e-books successfully. ADDED BONUS: Interviews with some of the top writers working today: Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, Brad Thor, David Baldacci, Carla Neggers, David Morrell, Alex Kava, Michael Palmer, Eric Van Lustbader, Steve Martinia, plus debut authors Sarah Pekkanen and Boyd Morrison. You will be inspired and instructed by these consummate pros as they share their writing secrets with you. What they're saying about James Scott Bell: "I needed advice before I tried to write a novel. The usual axiom — write what you know — wasn't helpful. So I turned to James Scott Bell. He taught me how to structure a great entrance — the equivalent of gliding down a spiral staircase in a wedding gown — and how to keep the next 400 pages from becoming as hopelessly tangled as the crumpled papers and wads of gum in my old desk. My novel sold." – Sarah Pekkanan, author of The Opposite of Me "I read PLOT & STRUCTURE in a single sitting, gasping and trying not to scream, while trapped in a flooded hospital all alone with a serial killer. Okay, not really, but after reading James Scott Bell's book, I can't help thinking that a good blurb should grab the reader with an interesting character and a compelling situation. I am inspired by Bell's enthusiastic approach, and am impressed with his numerous, helpful insights into the craft of storytelling. I recommend his book highly — especially the ending, where it turns out I WAS the serial killer." - Bill Marsilii, screenwriter, Déjà vu "If Jim Bell is teaching and I'm within a hundred miles, you can bet I'll be there! His commitment to the craft of writing is surpassed only by his enthusiasm for passionate storytelling." – Angela E. Hunt, bestselling novelist


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Get your fiction to that next level, where agents and editors sit up and take notice––and where readers keep coming back for more. #1 bestselling writing teacher James Scott Bell will show you, with nuts and bolts and proven techniques, how you can write fiction that sells. WRITING FICTION FOR ALL YOUR WORTH contains the best of James Scott Bell's articles and blog posts on Get your fiction to that next level, where agents and editors sit up and take notice––and where readers keep coming back for more. #1 bestselling writing teacher James Scott Bell will show you, with nuts and bolts and proven techniques, how you can write fiction that sells. WRITING FICTION FOR ALL YOUR WORTH contains the best of James Scott Bell's articles and blog posts on writing, easily searchable under these headings: The Writing World, The Writing Life, and The Writing Craft. You'll learn about the 6 critical success factors for bestselling fiction, how to write un-put-downable action scenes, and how to capture the interest of an agent. The keys to a dynamic opening page are revealed, and just as important, what NOT to do in the opening. There's plenty of inside information on what agents and editors say they're looking for and detailed instructions on how to write a stress free query. You'll learn what to put on your LAST page, when to use italics, how to write with courage. And a whole lot more. And you'll get never before published material, including an first-ever look into Jim's secret writing notebook, the manual he put together over the years for his own use in writing numerous bestsellers. For the first time he's sharing a glimpse into the notes he compiled on his way to publishing success. Plus, a special module on getting into e-publishing, which you must read if you want to have a career selling e-books successfully. ADDED BONUS: Interviews with some of the top writers working today: Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, Brad Thor, David Baldacci, Carla Neggers, David Morrell, Alex Kava, Michael Palmer, Eric Van Lustbader, Steve Martinia, plus debut authors Sarah Pekkanen and Boyd Morrison. You will be inspired and instructed by these consummate pros as they share their writing secrets with you. What they're saying about James Scott Bell: "I needed advice before I tried to write a novel. The usual axiom — write what you know — wasn't helpful. So I turned to James Scott Bell. He taught me how to structure a great entrance — the equivalent of gliding down a spiral staircase in a wedding gown — and how to keep the next 400 pages from becoming as hopelessly tangled as the crumpled papers and wads of gum in my old desk. My novel sold." – Sarah Pekkanan, author of The Opposite of Me "I read PLOT & STRUCTURE in a single sitting, gasping and trying not to scream, while trapped in a flooded hospital all alone with a serial killer. Okay, not really, but after reading James Scott Bell's book, I can't help thinking that a good blurb should grab the reader with an interesting character and a compelling situation. I am inspired by Bell's enthusiastic approach, and am impressed with his numerous, helpful insights into the craft of storytelling. I recommend his book highly — especially the ending, where it turns out I WAS the serial killer." - Bill Marsilii, screenwriter, Déjà vu "If Jim Bell is teaching and I'm within a hundred miles, you can bet I'll be there! His commitment to the craft of writing is surpassed only by his enthusiasm for passionate storytelling." – Angela E. Hunt, bestselling novelist

30 review for Writing Fiction for All You're Worth: Strategies and Techniques for Taking Your Fiction to the Next Level

  1. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    James Scott Bell has put together another good how-to book for every writer's "never ending writing improvement program". I was hooked the moment he included, "in defense of how-to books" in the introduction. (So many things to say about that, but I won't digress except to say that I think how-to books, especially the good ones, like Mr. Bell's, are invaluable resources!) The book has numerous previously posted blog articles, tips, and interviews done in a philosophical and practical but convers James Scott Bell has put together another good how-to book for every writer's "never ending writing improvement program". I was hooked the moment he included, "in defense of how-to books" in the introduction. (So many things to say about that, but I won't digress except to say that I think how-to books, especially the good ones, like Mr. Bell's, are invaluable resources!) The book has numerous previously posted blog articles, tips, and interviews done in a philosophical and practical but conversational tone. He interjects his writing habits and experiences with some humor, supportive quotes, and anecdotes. Of course, I love the recent changes in publishing and how we can all sit down and bleed at our typewriters/keyboards and produce the next best thing ready to be self-published post-haste, but Mr. Bell reminds us, succinctly, of the dangers of rushing into self-publishing before we're ready (dangers that could damage some of our embryonic careers, sigh). He also reminds us that professionalism is a state of mind that takes action every day. Another wonderful reminder, don't chase the market, "concentrate on writing books readers can't put down". If you're doing what you're supposed to be doing as a writer, learning the business side as well as the professional side of writing, then it's hard not to notice the kind of fiction that is driving the market (and to maybe talk yourself into trying it). I love two of his story-generating ideas and will incorporate them into my writers' group meetings: the first line game and the ten ideas from a news article. I loved that he mentioned David Morrell's book "Lessons From a Lifetime of Writing" (am currently reading), and that his interview is included in this book. The list of do's and don'ts for opening scenes made it into my notebook, heavily highlighted. Finally, I love that he endorses NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) because that's what finally got me started writing (if you omit my teenaged excursions). I joined a writers' group not knowing a thing about writing, hoping to learn something, anything, so I tried NaNoWriMo with one of the other group members and wrote 60,000 words in six weeks (alas, not four). Finishing that novel proved three important things to me: 1) I could translate a story from my brain to some pulp, 2) I didn't have to listen to the ugly voice that kept saying, "this is sh#t, that is sh#t", and 3) deadlines produce results! I recommend this book and this author!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gyula

    First I found a little uncomfortable that the book is a series of earlier blog posts. (They may have been edited, may not, I didn’t check it out.) But later I forgot about it because of the great content. Usually I find a writing book worth the money if I learn something valuable from it. Well, I learned a lot of good stuff from Mr Bell. A few examples: - I started to plan my writing time, and to stick to a weekly quota. I do it for a few weeks only, but in this way I managed to finish two short s First I found a little uncomfortable that the book is a series of earlier blog posts. (They may have been edited, may not, I didn’t check it out.) But later I forgot about it because of the great content. Usually I find a writing book worth the money if I learn something valuable from it. Well, I learned a lot of good stuff from Mr Bell. A few examples: - I started to plan my writing time, and to stick to a weekly quota. I do it for a few weeks only, but in this way I managed to finish two short story drafts. - I discovered that the first page of my first novel (still in the making) is not that bad. - I will use the Bridge story structure in my second novel (once the first one will be finished). - I could continue the list, but I let you to discover the book. I really enjoyed the advices about the craft, and I liked the way James Scott Bell encouraged me to use them, build them into my writing practice, and benefit from them. Being a writer is a life of continuous learning, and the book pokes you to make efforts to grow and develop. Actually I made notes for myself in my notebook, so I have the essence of it always with me. (You know the drill: you should carry a notebook all the time with you to jot down new ideas.) Here and there I found Mr Bell ranting about baseball, that I did not understand. (Sorry, my bad, I’m not really into it.) The author used these to lead up to the point about writing, so at the end of the day these real life examples were useful (if you play / follow baseball, I mean). I really suggest it if you want to improve your writing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nessa

    I thought it'd be about, you know Craft and how to improve writing considering the title, but it felt very...vague and not as helpful as one might think. Plus there were the whole agents, query, stuff that has nothing to do with the writing and fiction writing, but with making it as an author/getting published. I'm disappointed but heh, it could have been worse I suppose, but there's better books out there actually about the writing, and improving writing. I'm currently also reading Wild Mind: Li I thought it'd be about, you know Craft and how to improve writing considering the title, but it felt very...vague and not as helpful as one might think. Plus there were the whole agents, query, stuff that has nothing to do with the writing and fiction writing, but with making it as an author/getting published. I'm disappointed but heh, it could have been worse I suppose, but there's better books out there actually about the writing, and improving writing. I'm currently also reading Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life which is actually being very helpful with craft. Both brought up Freewriting, but I felt Wild Mind is giving me ways to actually do it, instead of "go write for 10 minutes without stopping", and gives prompts to get you going, which really helps! How to Be a Writer: Building Your Creative Skills Through Practice and Play also brought up Freewriting (I'm not very far into both books because I was reading this one and also they seem longer than this one heh), but didn't go into as much detail or as helpful as Wild Mind. My conclusion is: not worth it for improving your actual writing, the advice is vague and there's better books out there giving more insightful advice.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eric Wright

    Bell's suggestions and interviews with other writers are extremely helpful to me, as a writer. As I read I found myself returning to my work in progress to make corrections or changes. The only problem with the book was that I had it on Kindle and could not, as is my habit underline, for later review and use. I know some people make notes in Kindle, but I find a tablet very awkward to use as compared to a print book. I'll need to go and buy a copy. In the interview section he listed many authors Bell's suggestions and interviews with other writers are extremely helpful to me, as a writer. As I read I found myself returning to my work in progress to make corrections or changes. The only problem with the book was that I had it on Kindle and could not, as is my habit underline, for later review and use. I know some people make notes in Kindle, but I find a tablet very awkward to use as compared to a print book. I'll need to go and buy a copy. In the interview section he listed many authors with whom he had discussions about writing. Since I was frustrating in my own reading, dumping many of the books I started, this list has given me a new lease on interesting books.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Juneta Key

    James Scott Bell is one of my favorite writers in books about the craft of writing. I buy everything he writes. This book was full of great advice and written in his easy to read style and voice. It shows you the bells and whistle of how to plan your writing time and speaks plainly about it. It is from a series of blog post but I still enjoyed and learned from the book. Highly recommend.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brett Minor

    This one does not have the tight theme that most of his other books have. It is a collection of various things he has written. It's all about being a successful writer and he just pulled the best stuff from everywhere. A lot of great stuff in one place. This one does not have the tight theme that most of his other books have. It is a collection of various things he has written. It's all about being a successful writer and he just pulled the best stuff from everywhere. A lot of great stuff in one place.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    This was helpful but there was a lot of repeated information since it was a collection of a lot of his blog posts.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I love all of JSB's craft books, but this one was meh. I love all of JSB's craft books, but this one was meh.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Norma Huss

    This is for my writing buddies. This book is a large group of James Scott Bell's very interesting and helpful blog posts as well as several interviews with best-selling authors on writing. Highly recommended for continuing study of the writing craft. Bell is one of my favorite authors of writing books. He also practices what he preaches-namely, study craft. For me, this was a "must have." This is for my writing buddies. This book is a large group of James Scott Bell's very interesting and helpful blog posts as well as several interviews with best-selling authors on writing. Highly recommended for continuing study of the writing craft. Bell is one of my favorite authors of writing books. He also practices what he preaches-namely, study craft. For me, this was a "must have."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pam Asberry

    James Scott Bell has done it again. A must-read for anyone who aspires to write quality fiction, this book contains information on the craft of writing, a glimpse into Bell's creative process and interviews with other successful authors. It is chock full of inspiring quotes, and even contains a section on National Novel Writing Month. Highly recommended! James Scott Bell has done it again. A must-read for anyone who aspires to write quality fiction, this book contains information on the craft of writing, a glimpse into Bell's creative process and interviews with other successful authors. It is chock full of inspiring quotes, and even contains a section on National Novel Writing Month. Highly recommended!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Aidan

    I found Bell's ideas an encouragement, but the scatter-shot nature of the contents betrayed the book's origins as material from a blog or column. Love to see him re-write this as a real book...but then maybe he has, because this is the only one I've read. Still...thanks for the tips, Mr. Bell. I'll use them! I found Bell's ideas an encouragement, but the scatter-shot nature of the contents betrayed the book's origins as material from a blog or column. Love to see him re-write this as a real book...but then maybe he has, because this is the only one I've read. Still...thanks for the tips, Mr. Bell. I'll use them!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Francene Carroll

    Excellent practical advice and sprinkles of inspiration for aspiring and established writers and some great exercises to get the creative juices flowing. This author has clearly done his homework on how to write well. I was very pleased to discover that Mr Bell has written many more books on the craft of writing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mart Ramirez

    As always, another excellent writing book by JSB! Lots of great tips. I enjoyed reading. I'm eagerly awaiting his latest writing book in the mail: Elements of Fiction Writing - Conflict and Suspense. If you haven't already read any of Jim's books--they are all a must have! As always, another excellent writing book by JSB! Lots of great tips. I enjoyed reading. I'm eagerly awaiting his latest writing book in the mail: Elements of Fiction Writing - Conflict and Suspense. If you haven't already read any of Jim's books--they are all a must have!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Judy B. Burford

    James Scott Bell is clear and concise in this "how to" book on writing. If you read it and do the exercises provided, you can't help but come out the other side a better writer. So what are you waiting for? James Scott Bell is clear and concise in this "how to" book on writing. If you read it and do the exercises provided, you can't help but come out the other side a better writer. So what are you waiting for?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jery Schober

    Liked it even better the second time. Entertaining, helpful little bits of writerly wisdom, ideal for a quick inbetween-read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    LJ

    Great little book, but could've been more organized. Great little book, but could've been more organized.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    great for budding writers!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christa Allan

    The chapter on his writer's notebook is invaluable. Practical, concise, and strategic questions and guidelines for developing the heart and soul of the novel. The chapter on his writer's notebook is invaluable. Practical, concise, and strategic questions and guidelines for developing the heart and soul of the novel.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jackee

    Some information is the same as his other books, but it was still a very motivating book. When Bell talks writing, I love to listen.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Anderson

    good read

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sammi

  22. 5 out of 5

    Adam Bowling

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brian Cox

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lily Hamrick

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gallimaufry

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm01

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Doppler

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jim Crocker

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aleksandr Voinov

    A collection of blog posts from The Kill Zone.

  30. 5 out of 5

    David DeValera

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