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Writing Fiction for Dummies


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 Part I: Getting Ready to Write Fiction 7 Chapter 1: Fiction Writing Basics 9 Chapter 2: What Makes a Great Story? 21 Chapter 3: Finding Your Audience and Category 37 Chapter 4: Four Ways to Write a Great Novel 59 Chapter 5: Managing Your Time . . . and Yourself 71 Part II: Creating Compelling Fiction 85 Chapter 6: Building Your Story World: The Setting for Your Story 87 Chapter 7: Creating Compelling Characters 107 Chapter 8: Storyline and Three-Act Structure: The Top Layers of Your Plot 135 Chapter 9: Synopsis, Scene List, and Scene: Your Middle Layers of Plot 157 Chapter 10: Action, Dialogue, and More: The Lowest Layer of Your Plot 177 Chapter 11: Thinking Through Your Theme 203 Part III: Editing and Polishing Your Story and Characters 215 Chapter 12: Analyzing Your Characters 217 Chapter 13: Scrutinizing Your Story Structure 239 Chapter 14: Editing Your Scenes for Structure 259 Chapter 15: Editing Your Scenes for Content 273 Part IV: Getting Published 291 Chapter 16: Getting Ready to Sell Your Book: Polishing and Submitting 293 Chapter 17: Approaching Agents and Editors 315 Part V: The Part of Tens 327 Chapter 18: Ten Steps to Analyzing Your Story 329 Chapter 19: Ten Reasons Novels Are Rejected 337 Index 345

About the Author

Randy Ingermanson is the award-winning author of six novels. He is known around the world as "the Snowflake Guy," thanks to his Web site article on the Snowflake method, which has been viewed more than a million times. Before venturing into fiction, Randy earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California at Berkeley. Randy has taught fiction at numerous writing conferences and sits on the advisory board of American Christian Fiction Writers. He also publishes the world?s largest e-zine on how to write fiction, The Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine. Randy?s first two novels won Christy awards, and his second novel Oxygen, coauthored with John B. Olson, earned a spot on the New York Public Library?s Books for the Teen Age list. Visit Randy?s personal Web site at and his Web site for fiction writers at Peter Economy of La Jolla, California, is a bestselling author with 11 For Dummies titles under his belt, including two second editions and one third edition. Peter is coauthor of Writing Children?s Books For Dummies, Home-Based Business For Dummies, Consulting For Dummies, Why Aren?t You Your Own Boss?, The Management Bible, and many more books. Peter also serves as Associate Editor of Leader to Leader, the Apex Award-winning journal of the Leader to Leader Institute. Check out Peter?s Web site at


' easy-to-follow guide providing step-by-step instructions...' (Writers Forum, December 2009).

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