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Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Writers’ Toolkit, by Penny Grubb and Danuta Reah, Reviewed.

Interested in the inner workings of commercial fiction? Then this book is for you. The authors, both good commercial writers with that extra talent that separates them from the rest of the field, have produced a book that gets straight to the heart of what makes fiction commercial but also eminently readable.

Their advice is illustrated with samples, given in a clear and easily followed form so that writers can apply their methods to their own writing. Split into seven sections, the book deals with everything from overall structure, through opening sequences and tension building and releasing scenes, to bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion. The path is easy to follow and the information given in easily digested bites. Plenty of room for manoeuvre is allowed: this is not a dictatorial piece, but a guide to best practice for the general writer of good commercial fiction.

For readers, it will give insight to the way in which novels are constructed and what goes on in the mind of the writer during the building of the story. For writers, it provides detailed and sensible guidance in the most effective way of constructing a story and delivering it to your readers.

A small but comprehensive and practical ‘how-to’ book that should be on the shelves of all serious writers who want their books read by more than the minority. I shall use it in my future writing and thoroughly recommend it.

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