Top positive review
Well worth the upgrade
Reviewed in the United States on July 19, 2018
Not just a few pages. This thing has been revised and re-thought.
Now - let me give a review worthy of both - and if you find an old copy but don't have the new one - worth getting it.
This is a book for writers and creative people. Lots of "How to write..." out there but...
Let's take a step back.
Way, Waaaayyyy back there was this wonderful essay by Poul Anderson - "On Thud and Blunder" complaining about a lot of hack work being irresponsibly published during a brief but legendary "Sword and Sorcery" boom. Now, the article is side-splittingly funny and oh, so true. I loved it, though I obviously read it much later than originally published - quick google search you'll find it online.
But - I should hate it. Coz I was interested in writing stories since day one. And I did look up educational material on it. Now, you want to do electronics you can find books on how to solder, use meters, how to read resistor codes, etc. Writing - well it was like EVERY single book on it was just Mr. Anderson's essay ballooned to a book to take your $ with maybe stuff added how to suck up to the Editor, etc.
Mr. Anderson did have a good point - even in a fantastic otherworld things need to 'work' - that's the essence. Certainly mediocre writing will doom even faster to obscurity uncreative bland hack-work.
BUT - writing is about "The Story".
In the hands of a good writer ol Gnorts the Barbarian can fight off 500 of the King's pike-men with a 50lb Wet NOODLE and there will be comics, movies, video games made of him in later decades. It's good to keep the magic, cities, names, technology, events consistant - yes - but they are paints, pencils...
What ARE you drawing? What are you painting? What do you say with your painting? How does it strike or lure the reader? Are there layers of meaning...?
For instance - art - you can paint a pretty picture, but what does it say. Anyone can spatter paint, but there's a big difference between Van Gogh and paint spattered on the canvas. And then look at stuff like "Isle of the Dead"... A lot more than just the image painted implied.
Well - this is the book for people who want to write stories, but know the basics but want to transcend them. It's hard to put this book into a small essay here - but its about the only book I've found that wasn't the "Mind your Elves and Orcs" stuff. I don't necessarily think it'll get you published - not in the current market of tons of mediocre, PC junk and everyone wanting to be the next King, Rowling, Tolkien, Martin - and hacking out stuff imitative of them... But if you want to write YOUR stories - and it'd be nice if you made money doing it - but you are putting out your stories and want to tell them in all sorts of good ways, to discover angles you didn't think of - but after all the work and experimentation improve yourself - well I don't think there's a better book out there. Nothing is certain in life but if any book helps you unleash the talent in you so your stories are remembered after all the "i wanna be the..." are forgotten and the Martins and Rowlings fade to "Penny Dreadful" status, G-d willing.
I've now bought this book THRICE.
Once - got stolen...won't go into it.
Again - loved it - my precious - risked getting in trouble at work to read it.
And - this new one - "Shut up and take my money!" - pre-ordered it - am glad I did!