Finding the Magic

In an attempt to add more content to my blog I figured I would go through books I have read on writing and review them. I have separate blog I post reviews on, since this one is on writing I figured I would post it here as well.

Finding the Magic is a cheap book I found on Amazon that gives Author Alicia Dean come up with her plots relatively quickly. The book is a fast read, I just finished it about twenty minutes ago. The book has very useful, especially for new writers or experienced writers who just have problems developing solid plots. For me, I found everything Alicia Dean wrote as nothing new. Some readers would think this is a waste of time, for me it wasn’t. I found a few tidbits in the book, for one Alicia uses a five part structure instead of the more traditional 3 Act Structure. I am so sick of hearing about 3 Act Structure it was a nice change of pace as well she shows you how to use it. Not just what should be in each part, but gives examples from her book Without Mercy. Without her giving examples it would have been a waste of time, since you can find a lot of ideas on how to structure a novel but rarely do you get a good example to help you understand it. Below is a list of the ten steps and I am not going to go into detail, just the names you want to know more buy the book.

  1. Merge Ideas with Characters that are right for the story
  2. Get to know your Characters
  3. Write a Story Pitch
  4. Develop story using 5 part Structure
  5. Write a Synopsis
  6. Calculate number of Scenes
  7. Make a Scenes note List
  8. Flesh out Scenes into full fledge draft
  9. Edit your Scenes
  10. Bonus Tips

Like I mention I head a lot of this before, be sides the five part structure the biggest thing I got from this book is in the bonus tips where she gives advice on different style of writing from dialogue to show vs. telling. The show and tell part was really helpful. I know how to show, but sometimes when I am writing I not thinking and having several examples of telling and then showing is great. I am going to print that out and stick on my wall in front of me.

Good:
If you haven’t read a lot of books on writing or plot, this book will help you out greatly. While writing characters is not what this book is about, and Alicia even says she’s not that good at writing characters, she at least has her characters in mind while plotting. Some books I have read don’t even consider characters just the plot and the events. The five part structure, I love, not that I am going to use it, but seeing that someone not use the traditional 3 act is great. Bonus tips will help even the most experience writes at time, especially when you just are in a fog and nothing is coming out right. The examples from one of her own novels helps you see how she used it.

Bad:
Repeat of what I have already read else were and in some ways better explained. There is nothing really new or different.

Overall I am going to give this book 7 out of 10. It may not have helped me much, but it could help novice writers a great deal.

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