File Size: 3236 KB
Print Length: 242 pages
Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (October 17, 2017)
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Like so many others, I became aware of Chuck Wendig through the insightful, often breezy and hilarious postings on his blog, terribleminds, which has become a regular on-line destination for many writers today. I selected up Wendig’s book immediately after finishing two other exceptional volumes on writing; John McPhee’s superb Draft Nr. 4, which handles the craft and manner of ‘creative nonfiction’, and Dernier-né Percy’s Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction, a brilliant, paradigm-shifting discussion of spectacular fiction that cannot be recommended highly enough. Insights gained from McPhee and Percy dovetailed beautifully with the ideas and ideas in Wendig’s book and reinforced them at a deep level. As a author and traditionally-published author of short fiction, I came across me personally referencing my own work-in-progress to discussions and good examples in Damn Fine Tale and this was greatly helpful! Following Wendig’s lead, I went back and chopped out a great deal of inessential material inside my current novel, while trying to tighten up the threads that bind the story together. This, for me, was worth the price of the book, along with Wendig’s 50 Storytelling Suggestions at the back, a concise summation of his many invaluable lessons.
We’ve all heard that old chestnut, “write what you know. ” But honestly, that is really a rather nebulous and silly, if not completely meaningless, piece of advice. Instead, Wendig exhorts us to “write what you understand… Write who you are… We are at our best as storytellers when who we are…helps to tell the reports we write. ”
And what goes into writing or telling a great story? Wendig lays out there six concise rules—more like guidelines—to help us be familiar with process. Stories start with change, for “storytelling is definitely an act of interrupting the status quo…a push between order and chaos, a battle between oxygen and the fire that utilizes it. ” The best stories aren't about activities, but about characters: “Between the character’s problem and the character’s solution to that problem lies the story” and it is “the small story [that] always matters more than big story. ”
How do we raise the levels in a story? How do we create conflict and create tension to compel and thrill an audience? Inquire questions! “Conflict is, in itself, a form of question. Implicit in every conflict, in every breach of the status quo, are a bundle of uncertainties…” And questions keep an audience hungry—“always hungry but never starved. ” Wendig gives us no less than thirty-three foundations of narrative tension in a chapter that’s nothing quick of a didactic visit de force! Along the way, he often shows his points with reference to several of the best-known examples of great cinematic storytelling; the first Die Hard film, Celebrity Wars (the original three set in particular), The Princess Bride, and The Craving for food Games. While Wendig’s constant reliance on the same material becomes a tad monotonous in spots, it is invariably to a valuable conclusion. It’s when he goes off in a more obscure direction that things are not quite so clear—honestly! Just how many people even remember the rather ponderous motion picture adaptation of The Previous Airbender? (That movie certainly failed to cause me to feel feel anything. )
Of particular interest to me as a writer of sexual fiction were Wendig’s many practical insights into the narrative potential of sex—which ought to be analyzed and taken to center by every aspiring writer of literary fiction approaching up today! “A landscape of sex or physical violence, ” Wendig tells all of us, “doesn’t stop a character from being who they are, it reveals it… The great thing about sexual intercourse as a driver of tension is that so many outcomes are possible…” Sex “is in the end about characters, and about the tension of what are the results when you smush [characters] together…”
Sex, physical violence, taboo and transgression are all deeply rooted in character and all highly effective catalysts for conflict, tension and story. “Every interaction between two characters…works in similar ways… The fight scene and a love scene are a kind of conversation, and they follow similar rules. ”
That’s music to my ears! And these are only a few of the great insights to be found in Really Fine Story. Chuck Wendig has obviously thought deeply about the elements of his craft, and that works out wonderfully for us, too!
Enthusiastically suggested., As a writing create book junkie, I cannot walk past any book that purposes to discuss the dirty little habit of writing. Chuck Wendig is well-known for his pithy way of conveying things, but despite the in-your-face rawness of his delivery, he does know how to tell a great story, and he does it with outrageous hilarity.
This book takes the writer beyond the necessities of writing craft (grammar, sentence structure, etc. ) and into the deeper elements of storytelling, tempo, cadence, and breaking the regulations adored by the more fascist writing-group gurus. He will this to encourage one to develop your own storytelling style.
I highly recommend it. You’ll get your money back in the wildly sarcastic humor of the footnotes alone., I actually loved this book. Actually, it's worth it for the last story by yourself. I'm still laughing.
So. On the writer's entier, I've written a novel and am querying. I've written short stories which have been published and paid me. I'd like to write more novels and more paying things, and this book reinforced lessons I realized and opened my brain to new ones. Almost all while making me chuckle, smile, or nod sagely. I learned. I was inspired. I want to write even better than before!
It had been never dry. The pacing was greased lightning (what does that even suggest, really? ), and I actually feel more confident as a writer now. When I turned the last page, I immediately passed the book to another person because they should read it.
Hence, the five stars. (also, his blog is wonderful and you should get his emails), Storytelling, as only Chuck Wendig could tell the story. Of storytelling. Chuck takes you right behind the scenes into the woods of Where Tales Come From, where the shadows gather, where the darting things you normally only glimpse in the part of your eye flit between hiding places, to show you where to find the story hearts and drag them to the sunlight. Chuck puts on his high boots and leads the way. Please keep all of your braches inside the carriage at all times, and remain seated with your seatbelt securely attached until we come to a complete stop., This is one of the better books I have read at explaining the broad principles of writing. It’s not really a nuts-and-bolts kind of book, but it can a great job explaining difficult ideas like theme, storytelling, personality and conflict. I recommend it highly to both newbies looking for understanding and experienced novelists buying new perspective on create. Plus, it’s a terrible of a lot of fun., I bought the paperback and made an embarrassing amount of notes and Post-Its as I went. Great conversational tone. Chuckle out loud funny in parts, and, in general, just a super-helpful book on the art of storytelling. Get it. Add it to your shelf on craft. (And actually check out this one)., Storytelling is an art, not a science. But some things do hold true for all those good stories.
In this book, Chuck takes stories from popular culture -- stories we all know and love -- and shows you were that common truth is.
This isn't an e book about grammar or punctuation. Right now there aren't a zillion new rules to learn. It's a book that stops working how all good reports fundamentally work, so you can then use that understanding to create your own.
Highly recommended., When you like the way Chuck writes, and I do, this treatment of storytelling will delight.
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