This book is an interesting read and dated both in a number of ways The two main takeaways seem To Be Publishers Are Evilbut be Publishers are Evilbut all and Read If you want to write readThere s no uestion that Koontz is a bestselling author so one would think he d have a lot to offer I didn t find much revelatory in this book Definitely a lack of advice re techniue character plot dialogue Definitely lots of suggestions for whom to read to learn techniue character plot dialogue There s a lot about the business of writing in the book specifically how bad publishing drives out good publishing read lots of bad books drive out good books and he gives several examples of poorly
#written edited printed books taking up bookstore shelves so there s less #edited printed books taking up bookstore shelves so there s less for accomplished writers to put their wares outMakes one wonder what he d have to say about the self publishing industryI ve written about How to Write Best Selling Fiction on my blog if you re interestedBottom line the book is okay not outstanding probably worth a read but not much Don t be turned off by the boldness of the title This is really a good book for anyone that wants to write Koontz offers
advice on pacing voice point of view and even his recommended reading list It s out on pacing voice point of view and even his recommended reading list It s out print hard to find and inda expensive but well worth the troubleA generous look at some of Koontz s tricks of the trade Out of print but worth getting your hands on even if you only fantasize about writing fiction My daughter grew up with this book and wanted to take it to college because it is such a pleasure using one of his exercises we made up a title for a book we haven t yet written Orbiting Body Parts A lot has changed since the mid 1970s especially if one is writing about that period while still cognizant of the lingering impact of the late 1960s It would be wrong to think that the market for fiction is anywhere near the same While the shift is likely less jarring than the pre to post Hemingway era of American literature genre fiction the subject of Dean R Koontz s Writing Popular Fiction 1974 one must consider how different the world is the recent now Koontz was writing about a world where Peter Benchley s Jaws was just released as a book and had not become the first modern blockbuster George Lucas had made two films at that point THX 1138 1971 and American Graffiti 1973 there was no such thing as Star Wars 1977 Star Trek 1966 69 was a show that had a decent run on network television and had not yet emerged as a presence in syndication The use of vampires in successful fiction wouldn t emerge until Stephen King penned Salem s Lot in 1975 and it would not be until Anne Rice brought the sexy vampire back with Interview with a Vampire 1976 that the undead got to be in something than a sub category of the horror genre Cable television had been around for 25 years but was still something common in remote rural areas than the sameness of suburbia Satellite television existed it had its first single purpose satellite launched in 74 The personal computer was effectively unknown The VCR existed but was extremely expensive It wouldn t be until 1975 that Betamax came on the scene and allowed for the average person to record broadcast television or watch movies at home at one s leisure Hell print magazines were still a major and viable outlet for a writer to submit fiction Koontz lists seven categories of genre fiction Science Fiction Fantasy Suspense Mysteries Gothic Romance Westerns and Erotica I would argue that Sci Fi wildly expanded over what it was by the mid 1970s for better or worse Fantasy Suspense still very strong Mystery Koontz writes about the traditional Agatha Christie style mystery which has been superseded by a active plot structure since the early 1990s at least Gothic Romance this is a chaste ind of romance part Bront sisters young girl sent off to live in a strange house and long for the unobtainable man part supernatural mystery my understanding is that this market died before the 1970s were over Westerns another Writer's Digest Hardcover 1974 2nd printing with 232 pgs size 8 34 x 5 34 approx Fan of popular fiction professional writer new writer looking for markets whoever you are you'll enjoy this book It takes you behind the publishing scene and shows you how popular novels science fiction mysteries suspense thrillers Go. .
Non fiction to his fiction but he clearly has mastered the craft of getting the readable serviceable story in print uickly Dated sure but worthwhile A little dated but super helpful if you wanna become a writer Some of the information here such as what the current market is doing is out of date However the middle sections were Koontz gets into the nuts and bolts of writing a novel are extremely valuable to the new writer He talks about plot and structure dialogue tags and writing a novel are extremely valuable to the new writer He talks about plot and structure dialogue tags and places you ve never been among other things He writes in a clear precise manner that is easy to understand
#and I appreciated how he worded a few things On top #I appreciated how he worded a few things On top all this he lists 99 authors he recommends and talks about a few of their titles he especially likes many of whom are well nown like Robert Heinlein and Dashiell Hammett The sucky part about this book is that it is out of print and used copies can run from 150 400 likely because collectors of Koontz s work have driven the price up over the years He s been saying he ll write a newer edition for awhile now but I ve not seen any indication that one is on the horizon If it ever does happen though rest assured I ll be the first person waiting in line for it Although an older book I have used this guide many times Dean has stated that he does not wish others to read or use this book as he wrote it when he was so young and so much has changed over the years I can t say that I agree with him totally as I have found a lot of his information has withstood the test of time It is rare to find for cheap and I m hoping he will do another writing guide in the near future Truly one of the classics Extremely hard to find and very expensive on the back market Worth every penny Koontz gives the budding author inside information on writing and the industry at the time Great resource for any author Highly recommended I suppose that in 1972 when this book was published it was a great reference for writers but now Meh Previously I talked about how Tell Lies for Fun and Profit taught me a bit about writing Well after that I went to hunt down books about writing and found Writing Popular Fiction by Dean Koontz And you How to Grow Practically Everything know what It taught me a lot about plotBasically the book deals with category fiction and then in each category discusses the basic plot types plot pitfalls and things that are absolutely necessary to include if you want your book to sell In fact compared to Manual for Fiction Writers Writing Popular Fiction is mercenary in terms of how it assumes that the whole point of writing or being an author is to sell something The category fiction discussed in the book is Science Fiction and Fantasy Suspense Mysteries Gothic Romance Westerns and Erotica If your future novel is going to be in any of the above categories you should definitely take a look at this book But anyway there are uite a few chapters on writing in general which make it worth looking at even if you don t think you are writing in any of these categories My biggest takeaway from this book was that it made me realise that my NaNoWriMo novel is going to be very close to if not actually Science Fiction I don t have any new technologies or such but I m definitely writing a In The Near Future story And from that section alone I have a lot things to consider about the background of the world I m creating I may not include all the information but I have to consider them if I want my novel to feel realistic Towards the end some of the advice gets very dated especially when he talks about submitting your manuscript and typewriters In the age of e publishing you can completely by pass the traditional gatekeepers if you re so desperate to get your book out Even if you want to be a traditional published author I have a feeling that the submissions methodgetting an agent process if different But then again I don t work in the publishing industry so I don tnow If you re stuck on plot this is definitely the book to readFirst posted at With love from Japan Eustacia. Nty four copyright of this book 1974 popular novels Before becoming a full time free lance writer he worked as a supermarket check out clerk a drummer in a rock band a foredt ranger a tutor for underprivileged children with the Appalachian Poverty Program and as a suburban school English teacher among other things. ,
Enre that has widely gone by the wayside it takes a very well written book to garner any attention beyond people who go purposely looking for book to garner any attention beyond people who go purposely looking for Western however the modern Western follows a much different plot structure where a man can be a man instead of a slave to the modern world and Erotica Koontz divides this category into the Big Sexy Novel and the Rough Sexy Novel the former category includes everything from the bodice ripper romance novels of the 1980s and 1990s to the sex filled stories of Jacuelin Suzanne or Harold Robbins and even while Rough Sexy is effectively porn To his credit I think that Koontz did a fantastic job of delineating the categories and his understanding of them I could not think of a Rapunzels Release kind of genre fiction that would not fit in these groups though as noted I believe the Gothic Romance is dead More to the point Koontz who was not yet 30 when he wrote Writing Popular Fiction clearly understood all of the genres and the necessary elements to make one acceptable to a publisher Koontz is a little too eager to go to numbered lists this is of a personal complaint because if one iseeping the book handy as a resource then this tactic is fine but it gets cumbersome if one is just reading through the book as a book Then when doing so would make the most sense he avoids the tactic and just lists the information with paragraph breaks It feels a little odd but once I understood that he was going to change it up whenever he felt like it I became much less concerned about it One of the better parts of any book on writing is how many forgotten or at least unknown to me if they have remained popular books the author mentions as good examples of the genres For the most part Koontz rattles off well nown and renowned titles and authors though in some instances he seems to be well ahead of his time He praises Lucas THX 1138 as being one of the two worthwhile meaning not derivative science fiction movies which is impressive mostly because nobody saw THX 1138 when it was released Still it became uite clear that not only was Koontz very well read he also had no problem throwing other writers under the bus when it came to their abilities and works This stood in odd contrast to his straight out advice that a writer is better served by writing sub standard by the numbers genre fiction to earn a paycheck than in taking a 9 to 5 job and neglecting writing for even a few short months Koontz also gives great insight into why the authors of the era were so eager to use pen names This always confused me but apparently there was a prevailing belief that an author could compete with himself or herself instead of a loyal following buying books by the same author Likewise there were genres this may still be the case where the audience was thought to only endorse on gender of author Westerns needed to be written by men Gothic Romances only by women and an author often took a name for each genre in which he or she worked It still seems crazy to me but Koontz does an excellent job of explaining that when the publisher tells you to use a different name if you want the advance check do it According to Koontz a good story needs "A Strong Plot A Hero " Strong Plot A Hero Heroine Clear Believable Motivation A Great Deal of Action A Colorful Background That all seems super obvious doesn t it Yet there are several stories I d love to develop that I have have yet to figure out how to move the plot to the forefront of the tale I have been nown to try to force weak or unlikeable characters into the main role I cannot remember I time I did not try to hide the characters motivations I love restricting action for no reason And I am weak at describing the alien Science Fiction or Fantasy settings or in bringing out the particulars of an environment and making the story come alive because of them It is all simple advice but sometimes I need to be clobbered over the head with it My overall reaction to this book is positive I think I would enjoy a conversation with Koontz than his books and. Thic romances adult fantasy Westerns and erotica are created and how you can write them too This book offers you whatever you write the chance to perfect your craft while earning income building your reputation and experiencing the encouragement of seeing your work in print Dean Koontz has sold since 1967 over twe. ,