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With than a hundred published novels and than seventeen million copies of his books in print USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith knows how to outline And he knows ho. This is a short manual for beginning writers written by a pulp fiction writer and former poker game professional The least I can say is that it goes against what many other writing manuals profess as an ultimate truth namely that fiction writing must be planned in advance that outlining the plot is essential and so forth there are all sorts of methods out there on that topic especially focusing on screenwriting techniuesDean Wesley Smith takes the opposite view the panster view as it is often called His key idea is that outlining a story beforehand is a way to give the critical voice the learned formulaic derivative voice the upper hand and thus screw the creative voice that writes from the unconscious this assumption is barely explained though if at all The author goes even further advising against any rewriting once the first draft is done This means in a nutshell that writing a novel should or could be done without safety nets since using them is nothing but a way to ward off fear an expression of resistance and a way to sabotage oneself on the part of the writer The book ends with a couple of interesting hints on writer s block on looping and cycling around the draft on outlining a posteriori instead of a priori and on accepting to write extra words while experimentingAll this should probably be taken with a pinch of salt but by and large his argument certainly is liberating since it encourages writers to embrace uncertainty to trust their guts first in short to write from the inside instead of adopting any of the formulas that are hard sold everywhere

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Writing into the Dark

Outline boosts your creative voice and keeps you interested in your writing Want to enjoy your writing and entertain yourself Then toss away your outline and Write into the Dar. I only picked this up because Dean Wesley Smith s wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch is one of the smartest cookies around I ve found her advice to aspiring writers to be thoughtful and well reasoned I m afraid Writing into the Dark did nothing for me and at 599 it felt like a ripoff for what is essentially a long blog post plus a pitch to purchase another book While this might be helpful to beginner writers who are struggling to birth that first novel virtually nothing is useful to a seasoned author Smith s conviction that the critical voice drowns out the creative voice thus leaving the writer paralyzed andor with a bland story seems reductive and ill reasoned Writing well reuires the careful employment of the critical voice to ensure that one is being as creative as possible Mostly this book seems ignorant about the actual craft of writing and there is an actual craft replete with mandates on everything from how to render dialogue tags to using deep point of view Storytelling may be innate but story writing does reuire technical knowledgeWesley has written over 150 books so it s possible that his instincts are honed well enough to not care about craft However for most of us even when dogged with the terror and uncertainty present in writing fiction we can all benefit from writing than one draft another pet piece of advice to ensure that the book is in fact readable and cogent from soup to nuts

Dean Wesley Smith ✓ 2 Characters

W to write a novel without an outline In this WMG Writer’s Guide Dean takes you step by step through the process of writing without an outline and explains why not having an. I think this is a terrible book I don t like judging books as goods but 5 for a book that I read in like 2 hours is frankly outrageous I kept reading it hoping to find the Ha That s the catch moment and when I got to 80% on my Kindle the book finished and the rest 20% is basically advertising for another book of the authorApart from that this is one of those books with a couple of ideas that you can express in three pages but the author writes and rewrites and rephrases them over and over again for 75 pagesI ve read multiple books about outlining a novel Outlining is not the silver bullet to write a novel nor a method for all but at least all the books about novel planning i read DO give you a method often step by step you can apply and explain why it might be a good idea to try it for your next novelIn Writing Into The Dark the author uses an irritating I know it all tone and I swear because I m fun and easygoing that gets old and boring pretty soonBasically the book is There is a mythical creative voice that is GOOD and a mythical critical voice that is BAD Stuck on your writing Blame the critical voice Want to write Trust the creative voice and if you re stuck or write crap go back a little and follow your creative voice You don t know what to write Just write What Creative voice tells you Because it is GOOD Critical voice BADThat s it really I just saved you 5 bucks because this is all the author writes over and over in different forms for the whole short and overpriced bookHow to shape characters and get to know them while writing by the seat of your pants How to get a sense of the inner story structure What if I missed some important parts chapters ago How to develop and explore settings Who knows the author doesn t bother to say anything about actually coming up with a story and develop it If you pick up any book that talks about outlining novels they really take you by the hand into shaping a story I m not saying that outlining is inherently better than writing into the dark But really if you pick up any book about writing I may assume you re not Stephen King you re and aspiring writer with little or no experience and frankly some generic hippy follow your path trust your soul while writing kind of crap is useless


10 thoughts on “Writing into the Dark

  1. says:

    I'm a firm believer that what works is what works when it comes to writing There is no right way there are simply tools and some tools work better for some than for others The podcast writing excuses and Brandon Sanderson's lectures are what dr

  2. says:

    This is a short manual for beginning writers written by a pulp fiction writer and former poker game professional The least I can say is that it goes against what many other writing manuals profess as an ultimate truth namely that fiction writing must be planned in advance that outlining the plot is essential and so forth there are all sorts

  3. says:

    I've actually read this short book on the art of writing a novel without relying on outlines or other machinations three times now That as much as anything tells me it's a book I value and that the advice inside – unlike that of

  4. says:

    Hey this is how I writeIt's actually nice to get affirmation that you're doing it right What I've always called Looping Dean calls Cycling but they're both basically the same process I've tried multiple times to outline large compl

  5. says:

    I think this is a terrible book I don't like judging books as goods but 5 for a book that I read in like 2 hours is frankly outrageous I kept reading it hoping to find the Ha That's the catch moment and when I got to 80% on my Kindle the book finished and the rest 20% is basically advertising for another book of the authorApart from that thi

  6. says:

    A few good ideas nothing bad It's really like a few long blog posts than a book though The biggest problem with this book as with a lot of Smith's otherwise excellent writing advice is that he uses nonstandard terminology You have to read carefully to understand what he's really saying For example he recommends no rewriting and revising Ho

  7. says:

    Maybe one of the reasons I liked this book so much is that it confirmed the writing style I gravitate towards naturally especially the discussion of cycling as a way to edit while you go and build up momentum

  8. says:

    If you're a newbie writer be careful with this one The author gives a lot of advice on his process but he delivers it as though it's a must despite saying there's no wrong way He had some interesting things to say about dis

  9. says:

    I only picked this up because Dean Wesley Smith's wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch is one of the smartest cookies around I've found her advice to aspiring writers to be thoughtful and well reasoned I'm afraid Writing into the Dar

  10. says:

    This is a great book for us pantsers It's okay to not outline to edit as you write and write out of seuence I smiled as I read this book and it validated my process There's a method to the madness