Renee Conoulty: Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques by James Hynes


Monday, 4 April 2016

Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques by James Hynes

Whether you're huddled around the campfire, composing an email to a friend, or sitting down to write a novel, storytelling is fundamental to human nature. But as any writer can tell you, the blank page can be daunting. It's tough to know where to get started, what details to include in each scene, and how to move from the kernel of an idea to a completed manuscript. 

Writing great fiction isn't a gift reserved for the talented few. There is a craft to storytelling that can be learned, and studying writing techniques can be incredibly rewarding - both personally and professionally. Even if you don’t have ambitions of penning the next Moby-Dick, you'll find value in exploring all the elements of fiction. 

From evoking a scene to charting a plot to revising your drafts, Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques offers a master class in storytelling. Taught by award-winning novelist James Hynes, a former visiting professor at the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop, these 24 insightful lectures show you the ins and outs of the fiction writer's craft. Get tips for developing believable and memorable characters, explore how to craft plausible dialogue that serves the purposes of your narrative, compare the advantages of different points of view, and more. A wealth of exercises will inspire you to practice the many techniques you learn. Professor Hynes is an able guide, showing you what has worked for him and other novelists, and pointing out pitfalls to avoid. Writing Great Fiction is truly an exceptional course for anyone interested in storytelling.

©2014 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2014 The Great Courses

Hey! Here's my review.

Since I started writing, I've been on the lookout for good writing tips books. I found this book on Audible, and with 24 lectures I felt I would get good value for my credit. 

I found the narrator/lecturer easy to listen to and the topics interesting. This is a very broad overview for beginner writers and is jam packed with information. I found I had to listen to one lecture at a time then stop so I could absorb all the information, not binge read like I do with novels. A lot of the information was stuff I've picked up here and there, but it was good to have it all reinforced and refreshed in my mind. 


  • Where: Audible
  • Format: audiobook

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