Hot Best Seller

Writing Popular Fiction

Availability: Ready to download

Dean Koontz, whose own books have sold more than 25 million copies, shares his insight into the publishing world and shows writers how to write the kind of book that a publisher can promote as a lead title - a well-written, thoroughly researched, complex, wide-appeal novel that can sell the millions of copies necessary to finance an extensive advertising and promotion camp Dean Koontz, whose own books have sold more than 25 million copies, shares his insight into the publishing world and shows writers how to write the kind of book that a publisher can promote as a lead title - a well-written, thoroughly researched, complex, wide-appeal novel that can sell the millions of copies necessary to finance an extensive advertising and promotion campaign. Koontz takes a practical, detailed approach to the art, craft, and business of novel writing. You'll learn how to structure a story for greatest reader appeal, how to provide depth of characterization without slowing the pace, and how to recognize and use the sort of theme that is timely and appealing. Plus you'll receive thorough instruction on other writing techniques as they apply to today's novel, including background, viewpoint, scene setting, transitions, and dialogue. On the business side, Koontz gives an insider's view of how to deal profitably with editors and agents, advice on contracts, and tips on paperback and book club sales, foreign rights, and film rights. His final advice to writers is to read, read, read. To help you get started, he supplies a list of today's best-sellers which will provide further insight into the kind of novel that will succeed today...."


Compare

Dean Koontz, whose own books have sold more than 25 million copies, shares his insight into the publishing world and shows writers how to write the kind of book that a publisher can promote as a lead title - a well-written, thoroughly researched, complex, wide-appeal novel that can sell the millions of copies necessary to finance an extensive advertising and promotion camp Dean Koontz, whose own books have sold more than 25 million copies, shares his insight into the publishing world and shows writers how to write the kind of book that a publisher can promote as a lead title - a well-written, thoroughly researched, complex, wide-appeal novel that can sell the millions of copies necessary to finance an extensive advertising and promotion campaign. Koontz takes a practical, detailed approach to the art, craft, and business of novel writing. You'll learn how to structure a story for greatest reader appeal, how to provide depth of characterization without slowing the pace, and how to recognize and use the sort of theme that is timely and appealing. Plus you'll receive thorough instruction on other writing techniques as they apply to today's novel, including background, viewpoint, scene setting, transitions, and dialogue. On the business side, Koontz gives an insider's view of how to deal profitably with editors and agents, advice on contracts, and tips on paperback and book club sales, foreign rights, and film rights. His final advice to writers is to read, read, read. To help you get started, he supplies a list of today's best-sellers which will provide further insight into the kind of novel that will succeed today...."

30 review for Writing Popular Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    A.M.

    There is one rule of style that every writer can benefit from: say it as simply, as clearly, and as shortly as possible. Only two genres are hospitable to the baroque style of writing—fantasy and Gothic-romance; all other categories are better suited to crisp, lean prose. This is one of those writing books that I keep hearing writing coaches talk about. It’s like the holy grail of how-to-write books. Along with his other one from 1981 How to Write Best Selling Fiction. BUT it has been out of prin There is one rule of style that every writer can benefit from: say it as simply, as clearly, and as shortly as possible. Only two genres are hospitable to the baroque style of writing—fantasy and Gothic-romance; all other categories are better suited to crisp, lean prose. This is one of those writing books that I keep hearing writing coaches talk about. It’s like the holy grail of how-to-write books. Along with his other one from 1981 How to Write Best Selling Fiction. BUT it has been out of print for decades. I did find a copy on betterworldbooks (a site that sells old library books) but it was US$225. That’s a heck of a lot of aussie dollars. It’s similar prices on Amazon. And then I saw on the google result page, there was a PDF; free and most probably illegal. Reader, I downloaded it. *hangs head in shame* I am a bad book person. Now… after that confession… It’s pretty basic, clear and sensible advice. Couple of things I hadn’t thought about. He says to give your character curiosity. Curiosity is responsible for every discovery since man tamed fire, yet, as with love, it is not motive enough to sustain a character for a full novel. There is a point at which—after he has been beaten and threatened enough—a realistic character motivated only by curiosity will call it quits. Right… and then they will need something else to push them onwards. He talks about world building especially in sci-fi. Unless you're accustomed to the often dreary and difficult prose of science books, juvenile and even children's non-fiction on the subject most concerning you will prove to be a treasure trove. In these books, the fundamentals—usually all you'll need to begin your story—are simply explained, easily grasped and retained. And whereas the average library may be short on available science books, it will have thousands of children's books covering everything from the nature of stars and suns and gravity, to the operation of a jet plane and the construction of an oil well. That is a super neat idea. I know I raided my kid’s books to find the names of things in a medieval castle. It’s hard to Google something when you don’t know what it’s called or how to describe it. He runs with the ‘what if’ questions. He talks about extending current world issues, (like water shortages or racism) far into the future, time travel paradoxes, and alternate worlds or alternate histories. He gives examples of novels in each genre and sub heading. A common mistake made by good, new category fiction writers is that in their science fiction stories they attempt to fully realize the human characters, but they construct the aliens out of cardboard, spit, and prayer. Say it louder… He goes through all the elements you need for a good mystery novel, spy novel and so on. He even does Gothic romance… with the interesting confession that he dabbled in writing erotic romance and gothic novels when cash was scarce. In two weeks he wrote a novel and sold it. Three months later, I wrote my second Gothic, again in two weeks, and received a $1,750 advance. My third Gothic, a few months later, took me one week from first page to last and earned another $1,750 check. Within a single year, taking only five weeks away from my serious work, I made $5,000 from my Gothics, enough to relieve immediate financial problems and let me get on with my more important work. ONE WEEK??? Must find Koontz’ secret Gothic romances. Googles it… “Deanna Dwyer is the pseudonym that Dean Koontz used to write five Gothic novels in the early 1970's.” HA! And here ‘she’ is on GR- oh boy. These aren’t novellas. He wrote a 200+ page novel in a week. One is 350 pages. https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... This will probably lead to more illegal pdf downloading… He advocates writing everyday and sticking to a page target per day. For practical advice, he talks about how if he is stuck he just retypes (this is the days of typewriter and carbon copies) the last couple of paragraphs. He’s writing. He’s tricked his brain into it. He keeps all his notes and ideas on the basis that he never knows what will be useful or what he can use somewhere else. For a multi-genre writer he can shift something from Western to scif-fi for instance. He talks about how he comes up with titles. Man, that is SO hard. He evidently produces a pretty good first draft. He uses a lot of paper rewriting it as he goes. The danger of planning to do several drafts lies in the subconscious or unconscious attitude that, If I don't get it right this time, it's okay; I can work it out in a later draft. This encourages carelessness in your original word choices, phrasing, and plotting. The more things you write with this approach in mind, the sloppier you become until, finally, your first draft is so poorly done that no number of re-workings will make it click. No financially successful, critically acclaimed writer I know has let himself get caught in the "fix it in a later draft" trap. Without fail, however, the hopeless amateur clings to this fallacious theory like a drowning man to the only rock in the lake. Hmmm… now that IS advice that goes against what everyone else says. But I get what he’s saying. He deals with very practical things that are more out of date now; postage rates for mail classes, traditional publishers and agents, and so on. 15. How do I overcome a complete writer's block, when I can't write even one word? A writer's block is most often caused by one of five things: overwork, boredom, self-doubt, financial worries, or emotional problems between the writer and those close to him. Copy that. Does any country exempt writers from income tax? - yes, Ireland… wait… what? Googles that. Huh. And it’s still in place. If all else fails… I’m moving to Ireland. 4 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kirsteen

    Very practical. While some of it is very basic, I think Koontz did a good job of trying to explain things to amatures as well as people trying to branch out in their writing. Much of what he wrote in this book reminded me of things I learned in my creative writing class in high school and from all the books I've read over the years. I think this book is a very good source for people who are looking at trying to start in the business. The reason I give it 5 stars though has more to do with the fac Very practical. While some of it is very basic, I think Koontz did a good job of trying to explain things to amatures as well as people trying to branch out in their writing. Much of what he wrote in this book reminded me of things I learned in my creative writing class in high school and from all the books I've read over the years. I think this book is a very good source for people who are looking at trying to start in the business. The reason I give it 5 stars though has more to do with the fact that I trust where Koontz is coming from. He seems to know his stuff and I trust any of his tips he gives. There were a couple pages I noticed, in the book, where it talks about the types of questions people need to ask themselves as writers, which I found rather impressive. Ie) He states that people could be wearing masks around in public just to get by, due to pollution issues. This, a book written back in 1972. I feel if Koontz is that good at seeing a problem like pollution, and correctly guessing what might be in 40 years, then he's probably pointing us in the right direction, as far as tips go. I would recommend this book for anyone who either needs a reminder of the basics or is just beginning to dabble in writing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katia M. Davis

    I think if I had read this closer to the publication date, say 1980, then I would have given it 4 stars, but as it was, this book is incredibly dated. It might hold a few good points for basic craft, but the information and advice given here is no longer on the pulse point of genre fiction, which has changed drastically since this book was first published. Likewise, the information given for seeking an agent etc. may be generally ok as a very rough guide for people who want to go down the tradit I think if I had read this closer to the publication date, say 1980, then I would have given it 4 stars, but as it was, this book is incredibly dated. It might hold a few good points for basic craft, but the information and advice given here is no longer on the pulse point of genre fiction, which has changed drastically since this book was first published. Likewise, the information given for seeking an agent etc. may be generally ok as a very rough guide for people who want to go down the traditional publication route, however it is severely dated, e.g. typing your manuscript on carbon paper to ensure you keep a copy while you wrap the original in brown paper and twine to send to a publisher and hope the postal worker does not step on it. I had hoped this would give more information to do with craft and how Dean Koontz has managed to be so successful over the years, however I was disappointed as it seemed bogged down with lengthy descriptions of each genre type and affectations of, as they existed in the 1970s. So it's not a bad book, just no longer relevant in my opinion. I wanted to stop reading it after the first 30 pages or so, but forced myself to read on just in case there were a few gems. Unfortunately I didn't find any for my purposes, but that's not to say other's won't. Read if you are nostalgic or want to learn about the history of how to get published.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julia Blair

    You can’t argue against Dean R. Koontz’s success as an author, with over two dozen titles reaching number one on the NY Times Bestseller List through the years. Writing Popular Fiction was first published in 1972, in a very different publishing era than today. When this book came out, paperback scifi and fantasy novels cost less than a dollar. Writers in Koontz’s vein published multiple novels per year, and according to Koontz, the most prolific and successful of these hacks – yes, hacks – follow You can’t argue against Dean R. Koontz’s success as an author, with over two dozen titles reaching number one on the NY Times Bestseller List through the years. Writing Popular Fiction was first published in 1972, in a very different publishing era than today. When this book came out, paperback scifi and fantasy novels cost less than a dollar. Writers in Koontz’s vein published multiple novels per year, and according to Koontz, the most prolific and successful of these hacks – yes, hacks – followed a formula that worked. Koontz reviews the characteristics of six kinds of genre fiction: science fiction and fantasy, suspense, mysteries, Gothic-romance, Westerns, and erotica; presumably all genres in which he has written. I hesitate to use the word analyze in his treatment of each genre, as his tone and treatment reveal a sense of self-confidence that his way is the best way for a writer to churn out manuscripts for sale. And for its time, it probably was. At least it was for him. I confess here that of the genre chapters, I read only the one on science fiction and fantasy, though I did read the remainder of the book that dealt with non-genre specific advice. However, this isn’t really a useful book. For someone wanting to learn about the creative process, Koontz’s advice is basic and based on the fact that he is (or was) already writing for publication. For an active writer, there is little sophistication in his later discussion of mechanics and style. He uses excerpts of his own to illustrate essential elements, but his study seems more of a self-fulfilling afterthought than a discussion of craft: “We have now learned that the hero is apparently not of human parents, but an experiment of as yet unexplained ‘Artificial Wombs.’” Yes, we do see that, but there is no real analysis of the elements of character introduction, or developing an effective opening hook. A one-page chapter entitled “The Most Important Chapter in This Book” exhorts the writer to learn the formula and get a few books published before attempting to “break the rules.” It’s easy enough to get past the dated culture of the time – Koontz speaks of using carbon paper in his typewriter to create copies of his drafts – but it becomes clear to the interested reader (presumably an aspiring writer like myself) that writing has changed. I’d like to think for the better. No longer the days of browsing the fiction shelves of a corner bookstore for the 99 cent pulp fiction of the Seventies and Eighties. The internet has killed the hack. It has certainly driven hordes of aspiring professionals into the electronic ghetto of blogging and self-publishing. Or maybe it’s simply made the hack a more creative storyteller, because the rules no longer apply. Bottom Line: Not worth adding to your writers’ bookshelf.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Don Gillette

    An extremely dated instructional manual on freelance fiction writing, but still okay as a general explanation of modern fiction writing. Anything technical about submission, typing manuscripts, etc. has long been replaced by the age of automation where manuscripts are emailed as MS Word attachments, but reading the formulas Koontz still uses to this day was enjoyable because, for the most part, they're the formulas ALL fiction writers use. This isn't to say you can read this and write a best-sel An extremely dated instructional manual on freelance fiction writing, but still okay as a general explanation of modern fiction writing. Anything technical about submission, typing manuscripts, etc. has long been replaced by the age of automation where manuscripts are emailed as MS Word attachments, but reading the formulas Koontz still uses to this day was enjoyable because, for the most part, they're the formulas ALL fiction writers use. This isn't to say you can read this and write a best-seller because as always, it's about "story," but it is an interesting look behind the scenes.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mr.Jamie

    Not half as good as King's On Writing, but I suppose that koontz isn't quite the writer that King is anyway. Not at all what I had expected either. Where King's book was informative And entertaining, Writing Popular Fiction just came off as being forced and obtuse. 2/5 Stars Not half as good as King's On Writing, but I suppose that koontz isn't quite the writer that King is anyway. Not at all what I had expected either. Where King's book was informative And entertaining, Writing Popular Fiction just came off as being forced and obtuse. 2/5 Stars

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tyson

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mavis 69 420 666

  9. 5 out of 5

    Henri Eelsaare

  10. 4 out of 5

    posthuman

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rogério Alvarenga

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stasha Rankin

  13. 4 out of 5

    Serena

  14. 5 out of 5

    .

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kniploks

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sketchesbyboze

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eric C

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jolene Brown

  20. 4 out of 5

    J.E.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan Stack

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nova Joseph

  23. 4 out of 5

    Keri

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gordon

  25. 5 out of 5

    Trishtan

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cyber

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tonko Kordic

  29. 5 out of 5

    Winston Bribach

  30. 4 out of 5

    H.N. Klett

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...