Book Review: Plot & Structure

This week's book, Plot & Structure,  is getting quite dog-eared and marked up. Before I could write my review, I had to pry it from my daughter's hands (she's heading off to college, and majoring in creative writing). Needless to say, this book is not going with her. She'll have to get her own copy.

James Scott Bell is not only a prolific novelist (and former trial lawyer), but he has published three books on the craft of writing, all of which are in high demand. And for good reason.

Plot and Structure is a great book for those of us that like to learn visually. Full of diagrams, charts and illustrations, the reader can easily grasp the concepts Bell is explaining.

Figuring out how to take an idea and give it enough substance to carry a reader through 300 pages is not something we all learned in school. Bell explains how plot affects every aspect of a novel. He gives details on several different plotting systems, so you can find the one that works best for you.

Probably the most encouraging part of the entire book is Bell's introduction. He explains how he wasted ten years of his life because he had been told that writing could not be taught. Bell insists that writing can be taught, and that anyone who is motivated to learn can grow into a good writer. Fortunately, we have books by Bell to help us along.

James Scott Bell's website. Click on "Writer's Page" for links to writing articles by Bell. Click on the "News" page, where you can download an exerpt of Bell's latest book: The Art of War for Writers.

The Kill Zone: the blog where Bell posts on Sundays.

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