Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday Review—Writing Fiction for All You’re Worth

Writing Fiction for all You're Worth: 
Strategies and Techniques for Taking Your Fiction to the Next Level
James Scott Bell

A Review by Lynn Huggins Blackburn

I read a lot of books on writing. I have to. I blog about them once a month, right here at The Write Conversation. And so far, I’ve learned something valuable from each book I’ve read.

However, I can’t say they’ve all been page-turners. Useful? Absolutely. Pleasurable reading? Not always. Let’s face it. Some books on the craft of writing read more like a textbook than a novel.

But not all of them. James Scott Bell has written some of the classic writing texts of our time—Plot & Structure, Revision & Self-Editing, and The Art of War for Writers. All of which should be on your shelf if they aren’t already. And all of them downright enjoyable reading.

I follow Bell on Twitter (@JamesScottBell) and I make it a point to stop by the blog, The Kill Zone, every Sunday to read his posts.

So when I heard he had an eBook out that was a compilation of many of his previous posts on The Kill Zone as well as some new material, I was intrigued.

When I found it was available for $2.99 as a Nook or Kindle download, I was sold. Sure, I could go the The Kill Zone and spend hours hunting through months of posts. But I have a life.

Besides, there are more than blog posts included in Writing Fiction For All Your Worth. We get a peak inside Bell’s writing notebook, interviews with successful authors, and “Consider Your Worth” questions to make you think deeper about where you are as a writer.

And this book is funny. I wondered if I found some sections funny because I read them at 3AM while feeding a newborn. And just about anything can be amusing at 3AM. But a quick re-read at a more respectable hour confirmed it. This book is a fun read that’s also packed full of writing wisdom.

After a brief introduction, the book is divided into three main sections. The Writing World delves into the digital revolution and the rise of self-publishing. The Writing Life covers everything from Bell’s personal writing routine to practical and sometimes unusual methods writers use to keep their heads in the game and their fingers flying. The Writing Craft hits on first lines, last pages and everything in between.

While the bite-sized sections in this book make it easy to read in increments, you’ll find yourself wanting to read just one more, and then another. And when you’ve finished, you’ll be itching to sit down at the keyboard and write for all you’re worth.

Note: You don’t have to own a Nook or Kindle to enjoy this or any other e-book. Both Nook & Kindle are available as free downloads to your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. On her blog Out of the Boat she writes about faith and family while her blog Perpetual Motion documents the joys and challenges of loving and rearing a child with special needs. A graduate of Clemson University, Lynn lives in South Carolina where she writes, reads, knits, takes care of three amazing children, one fabulous man and one spoiled rotten Boston Terrier.
Follow Lynn on Twitter @lynnhblackburn


  1. Great review, as always, Lynn. Thanks for sharing your opinions with us. I value them!

  2. This sounds great! Is it just an e book or is there a printed book too?

  3. Vonda, you are so right - so many people look forward to Lynn's reviews!
    Ashley, it's just available as an eBook. But I've found that it's nice to have writing reference books like this on my computer. With the free Nook and Kindle software downloads it works well.
    Thanks so much for stopping by!
    Blessings All - E

  4. Thanks Vonda, Ashley & Edie! And Ashley, I have to agree with Edie on this...I've really enjoyed having this book as a ready reference on my computer and iPod.

  5. If James Scott Bell writes it, I'm going to read it! And yes, I follow him on Twitter too!