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Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises…
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Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips… (edition 2004)

by James Scott Bell (Author)

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7571612,258 (3.91)3
Member:trcovell
Title:Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish
Authors:James Scott Bell (Author)
Info:Writer's Digest Books (2004), Edition: 5, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
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Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

  1. 00
    Beginnings, Middles & Ends by Nancy Kress (CKmtl)
    CKmtl: While these two works touch on the same material, I find Bell's treatment slightly better.
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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Sometimes I hate myself and my need to finish reading anything I start, no matter how boring or how terrible it is. This book is the absolute worst example of this.

My experience with this book was akin to being told some mildly useful advice by someone you can’t stand, find painfully boring, and have trouble taking seriously. There is a lot of good, if basic, information here, but it’s a boring and sterile read that makes writing seem soulless and mechanical; and I find it hard to look past James Scott Bell’s taste in literature. Most of his examples are from James Patterson and Dean Koontz, both of whom Bell seems to have a huge thing for.

Perhaps there’s an argument to be made for the fact that both of them are best sellers, but you know who else is a best seller? Stephenie Meyer. Best seller does not a good writer make, and while I haven’t read enough of either author to say that what they write is garbage (even though it totally is), I think I can say that using them as examples of great writing, in a book about writing, was a questionable move at best. Anyone planning on reading this would be much better served by picking up Begnnings, Middles, & Ends by Nancy Kress. It essentially covers the same territory but, unlike this piece of trash, is one of the best books on writing that has ever been written.

So long James Scott Bell. I won’t be reading any more books by you. Especially since I did a little research and found out that, besides books about writing, literally all you write is crime thrillers full of Christian propaganda and I threw up in my mouth a little bit. I wish I could say it was fun while it lasted, but it was hell.
( )
  ForeverMasterless | Apr 23, 2017 |
Great advice on what makes good writing and how to solve problems ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
Bell’s book isn’t a mere taxonomy of various plots. No, Plot and Structure lays bare the mechanics of plot. This is a tinkerer’s book. Bell shows the distinction between inciting incident and plot point. He also explains, in a way that I now understand, the differences and connections between the acts in a three-act structure: I, II, and III. Lastly, Bell has some genuinely useful exercises for developing ideas about plots and characters. I’m being vague here because I have to be: Bell, a lawyer by trade, makes the reader sign, at the end of the book, an unusual Confidentiality and Non-Compete Agreement: one consents to the agreement, and is bound by it, simply by virtue of having only read it. The less said, the better. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
Fantastic writing resource. I can tell I'm going to refer to this one again and again. I liked it so much that I purchased the other books in the series. ( )
  ScottBeard | Feb 21, 2016 |
Actual rating: 3.5 stars.

Bell has a warm, friendly tone and presents an organized collection of many helpful tools for analyzing, building, and revising plots. As someone who struggles with plot, I was grateful to have all the broad strokes outlined in a non-intimidating way in one place. There are many exercises (some which I don't imagine using, but many which I think I'll be glad to adopt), and I also love that Bell has an Appendix that lists all the bare bones out clearly.

If I didn't consider this book a rollicking good ride (which was not its purpose), it's certainly useful and I can imagine myself coming back to this again... especially because I do want to try more extensive outlining for one of my future novels. :) ( )
  elephantine | Nov 27, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 158297294X, Paperback)

Craft an Engaging Plot

How does plot influence story structure? What's the difference between plotting for commercial and literary fiction? How do you revise a plot or structure that's gone off course?

With Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure, you'll discover the answers to these questions and more. Award-winning author James Scott Bell offers clear, concise information that will help you create a believable and memorable plot, including:Techniques for crafting strong beginnings, middles, and ends Easy-to-understand plotting diagrams and charts Brainstorming techniques for original plot ideas Thought-provoking exercises at the end of each chapter Story structure models and methods for all genres Tips and tools for correcting common plot problems

Filled with plot examples from popular novels, comprehensive checklists, and practical hands-on guidance, Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure gives you the skills you need to approach plot and structure like an experienced pro.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:29 -0400)

'Plot & Structure' offers clear and concise information on creating a believable and engaging plot that readers can't resist. Written by award-winning thriller and suspense author James Scott Bell, his handy instruction guide includes easy-to-understand techniques, engaging exercises and guidance.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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