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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes. Lawrence Block has updated his book on writing fiction and thus provides the reader with the perfect balance of advice that has stood the test of time (since this book's original printing) as well as advice based on the changing nature of the publishing industry today (with ebooks, etc.).
In addition to sage advice, this is delivered as if a friend was conversing with the listener over coffee. In addition to the writing advice the author peppers the work with anecdotes that make this much more than a text book which it might have turned into in the hands of anyone else.
What other book might you compare Writing the Novel from Plot to Print to Pixel to and why?
Since I have yet to read any other books on fiction writing I cannot answer that to the degree that I would like to do, but since this is peppered with anecdotes and biographical elements I would suggest that this compares to any good, readable (listenable) anecdote filled biography.
What does Mike Dennis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Mike Dennis is an excellent narrator for this. He does a very good job at reading the different elements "just so" and balances the fine line of not becoming a boring monotoned vocal reader, as one might do when reading "how to" directions, but he also does not make the mistake of becoming too animated and making this, including the lighter elements sound like a stand up act. As I say, in short, he is perfect.
I think my biggest disappointment will be, that if I ever meet the author, Lawrence Block, that his voice is not Mike Dennis' because I really feel like the author was speaking to me via the latter narrating the writer's first person voice in the text.
Dennis also does good work at bringing the written sections to life in appropriate ways. Sometimes a chapter is broken up by the author having a "voice" ask him a question. Dennis appropriately modulates his voice so that the audible listener can discern when this is happening.
What insight do you think you’ll apply from Writing the Novel from Plot to Print to Pixel?
Wow. Where do I begin? This book is chock full of useful information, which the author also is careful to present throughout that there is no "one way." He shares what works for him but also provides options that works for others and encourages the reader to find his or her own way. The greatest insight for me is, perhaps, the known and previously unknown aspects of writing that actually prevent me from doing so - too much research, not being clear on the ending of my idea, and more. Through the author's sharing of experiences I have a better sense of the road blocks I put up for myself as well as ones that might come down the road. Like a cheerleader, Block, encourages the writer to write and I now feel more empowered to do just that.
Any additional comments?
Can you tell that I loved this audio book? I truly believe if you have wanted to write that novel that is in you, or wonder what a writer faces in going through the process, then this is a worthwhile listen for you. I know that I am glad that I obtained this for that purpose!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Lawrence Block is a very respectable mystery author who has written a number of books on writing. This one is excellent. He's practical, provides good advice and guidance especially for first time writers. Although the original book was published long ago, he's updated the relevant sections in a really helpful fashion, occasionally telling us what happened with one of his old works-in-progress, or revising his view point as a more experienced writer.
Lastly, I have to say, there are several sections that are laugh-out-loud funny. Block is a really good writer and his personality and style flows right through. The only drawback is the narrator is dull as dish water. But don't let that keep you from buying the book.
There are lots of books about writing, but this is up there with Sol Stein. This is absolutely a great purchase. Well worth it.