Is Life Like This?: A Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months

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9780393338836: Is Life Like This?: A Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months
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"Belongs on the shelf alongside John Gardner's The Art of Fiction and E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel."―Steve Yarbrough

John Dufresne's smart, practical, hard-nosed guide is for the person who has always wanted to write a novel but has been daunted by the sometimes chaotic, always challenging writing process. A patient teacher and an experienced writer, Dufresne focuses his expertise and good humor on helping aspiring novelists take their first tentative steps.

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About the Author:

John Dufresne is the author of ten previous books, including two fiction writing guides. A professor in the MFA program at Florida International University, he lives in Dania Beach.

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There seems to be a trend lately for authors of how-to-be-a-writer books to supply the reader with a time frame: six months, a year, whatever. Most novelists would probably tell you that writing a book takes as long as it takes, but you can’t deny that having a schedule forces you to buckle down and actually write, as opposed to thinking about writing. And that’s Dufresne’s goal: to get you writing. He covers the usual ground—character, plot, dialogue, etc.—but what makes this guide especially interesting is the way the author takes you through his own story-development process, beginning with a simple character observation and building it, detail by detail, motivation by motivation, into a fully fledged plot. Watching how it’s done, and not merely reading about the process, could be a definite boon to some would-be novelists. Recommended highly for its hands-on, user-friendly approach. --David Pitt

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