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Brewing Fine Fiction by Maya Kaathryn…
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Brewing Fine Fiction

by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff (Editor), Pati Nagle (Editor)

Other authors: Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff (Contributor), Amy Sterling Casil (Contributor), Brenda W. Clough (Contributor), Lori Devoti (Contributor), Chris Dolley (Contributor)16 more, Laura Anne Gilman (Contributor), Sue Lange (Contributor), Ursula K. Le Guin (Contributor), Vonda N. McIntyre (Contributor), Nancy Jane Moore (Contributor), Pati Nagle (Contributor), Steven Harper Piziks (Contributor), Irene Radford (Contributor), Patricia Rice (Contributor), Madeleine Robins (Contributor), Deborah J. Ross (Contributor), Sherwood Smith (Contributor), Jennifer Stevenson (Contributor), Judith Tarr (Contributor), Gerald M. Weinberg (Contributor), Sarah Zettel (Contributor)

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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
To be not merely read - but re-read with pleasure - is an uncommon trait for 'help' books.

Brewing Fine Fiction succeeds on many counts. It is interesting, being viewpoints from many authors, and unlike a number of similar titles it does tempt you to take it down and read it more than once - or at least several of the essays/articles in it.

This is not to say it is without flaws. Its diverse contributors sometimes contradict each other, the book as a whole lacks a cohesive voice, and the advice and suggestions are not new - differently phrased, true, but not new. The e-book format used is one which is reminiscent of an online read, a little scatty in places, reflecting its origin as Writers Cafe. Viewed as a complimentary information source to a 'normal' book it is not necessarily a drawback , but it does tend to unsettle if you are expecting otherwise.

Overall the book is interesting, some parts more so than others, and its assemblage of authors and styles are enough to get it taken off the shelf to flip through when something sideways is needed.

3 Stars - Will keep a copy for flipping through and occasional inspiration
(LibraryThing Reviewers copy) ( )
  RSard | Jul 14, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Brewing Fine Fiction is a collaborative ebook on writing by the authors at Book View Cafe. While also offering essays on writing in general, this book focuses on the craft of science fiction. The most effective essays balance valid writing tips with humor and insight gained from experience. Some contributors seemed to lack the experience and insight needed to offer others writing tips.

The topics, writing style, and lengths of the essays vary widely, which gives the book a feeling of being a collection of blog postings at points, rather than a cohesive manual on the art of writing. This lack of cohesiveness could (should?) have been fixed by an editor.

It’s a personal preference that books on writing be actual physical books. The ebook format doesn’t lend well to thumbing through to find an essay you love or decorating pages with marginalia (actual writing in a book on writing).

Brewing Fine Fiction is filled with ups and downs in essay quality, attempts at humor, and writing tips offered. But what does come through clearly is the passion each author has for the craft of writing. ( )
  TheWordJar | Apr 21, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Brewing Fine Fiction is a digital offering by the Book View Cafe, and is advertised as a collection of advice for writers by writers. If the names of the contributing authors are familiar to you, you can probably guess that the focus of this book is on genre fiction. The draw for me was Ursula LeGuin, a well known genre author.

Unfortunately Brewing Fine Fiction confirms some of my biases against both genre fiction and ebooks. Most of the advice is extremely elementary and sometimes contradictory, and while this can make sense considering the relativity of style, these issues are never unified by an overall philosophy. The chapters, of which the book has many, with lengths ranging from extremely short to a few pages, also vary widely in quality. There were some chapters were I did not feel that the author knew enough yet to be giving advice to anyone. Their examples of what was good fell far short of what I would have been willing to accept in my own writing.

The most useful parts of the book were those that included exercises. A few chapters had them, and these actually encouraged action and thought on the part of the reader. How many times have wannabe authors been told "Just Write?" The exercises apply the theory.

Some chapters are editorials on certain elements of the craft, such as plausibility in fantasy and the value of Strunk and White. These can be amusing, but they cover subjects that have been covered before, and in books that can actually be put on a shelf (my bias is revealed here).

There are also a number of chapters listing "rules" of writing, most, if not all, with the standard "rules are made to be broken" caveats. For any writer who has gone out of their way to study the craft, these are essentially the same rules that we have been reading about since people started putting rules to paper.

Brewing Fine Fiction takes advantage of its format to integrate a few online links and extend its material in that way, which is a direction I'd like to see more e-books take. However, I feel that the quality of this particular e-book is at a sort of 'website articles' level itself, which is -not- what I want to see in e-books. With so many great websites and blogs already covering the topics BFF does, in a more accessible format, and sometimes at a higher level of quality, I can't really suggest this book to anyone. ( )
1 vote bokai | Apr 7, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Brewing Fine Fiction is a collection of essays written by contemporaries in the written world offering advice for new novelists. I liked how the book was broken down into different sections and offered a variety of opinions and perspectives. Although I am not an aspiring author, I have some friends who wouldn't mind getting a look at this work. ( )
  TheNovelWorld | Mar 22, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This wasn't really the book I was looking for. As a series of essays, it crosses the spectrum of writing, and the essays are highly variable. Some of them are focused on the basic mechanics of writing, but I already know that I have to polish my text. What I expected (from the title) was a book on how to work through the process of getting ideas out of my head and into a fully formed piece of writing. The "brewing" process, if you will. While some of the essays will certainly help with this, the end-to-end experience of the book itself is disjointed.

[Edit: Now that I read other reviews, I wonder whether my perspective on this book isn't shaped primarily by my difficulties reading it on screen and making sense of it as a book, rather than as a sequence of essays.]

From another reading-experience perspective, this was the first e-book I have read. I missed the paper. I missed the Book. I don't have a reader, so I was stuck sitting in front of the computer for long periods of time, and I didn't like it. Unless I come by a reader, I probably wouldn't get another e-book unless there were no paper version available.
  onthequest | Feb 9, 2011 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bohnhoff, Maya KaathrynEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nagle, PatiEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bohnhoff, Maya KaathrynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Casil, Amy SterlingContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clough, Brenda W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Devoti, LoriContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dolley, ChrisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gilman, Laura AnneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lange, SueContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Le Guin, Ursula K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McIntyre, Vonda N.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, Nancy JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nagle, PatiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Piziks, Steven HarperContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Radford, IreneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rice, PatriciaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robins, MadeleineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ross, Deborah J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, SherwoodContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JenniferContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tarr, JudithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weinberg, Gerald M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zettel, SarahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Advice for writers from the authors at Book View Cafe."Check any bookstore and you'll find a host of titles on writing. Some are good, some not so good. Every author has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. But in Brewing Fine Fiction: Advice for writers from the authors at Book View Cafe, you get a smorgasbord of professional advice and expertise. From the plausibility of fantasy, by Ursula K. Le Guin, to Deborah J. Ross's comments on reviews, you'll find every facet of the craft and writing life covered. For the wealth of information, experience, and diversity, all under one cover, you can't beat it." - Mary Rosenblum, Longridge Writers Group Instructor… (more)

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