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Dwight Swain Speech

Dwight Swain: Master Writing Teacher

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Publisher's Summary

One of the best writing teachers in the English language on how to structure your novel and how to build strong story people who will enrich your fiction.

Structuring Your Novel

A step-by-step guide to writing stories you can sell. Learn how to:

  • Conceive and cast your work
  • Find the spine
  • Drive the plot forward
  • Use scene and sequel as building blocks
  • Create conflict
  • Use the springboard scene
  • And much, much more!

How to Build Fictional Characters

Learn how to:

  • Create memorable heroes and villains
  • Make your characters likeable
  • Give your characters purpose
  • Put story people in danger
  • Discover a character's attitude and motivation

©1992 Dwight Swain; (P)2003 Writer's AudioShop

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  • Tim Byers
    Indianapolis, IN USA
    20/09/06
    Overall
    "Pretty solid advice"

    Swain has the credentials to know what he's talking about here. These are recordings of a series of lectures at a writers conference, I presume. They suffer from age a bit, the fact that he seems to refer to slides we the listener can't see, and rather than discussing general concepts, sometimes forces definitions that don't always work. Nevertheless, he does know what he's talking about and will no doubt job your memory as a writer to strengthen your characters, tighten the action, and revise ruthlessly.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Jane
    Chicago, IL, United States
    05/02/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "3 ½ stars."

    Might be good for an author just starting out. Might be good for authors who feel stuck and could use a nudge. The best part is you can listen while driving your car. Dwight Swain published a lot of fiction as well as some how-to-write books. This audiobook is two lectures he gave around 1991 for writer workshops.

    Many of his thoughts are simple and obvious. Example: every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. But I could see the following. Someone is writing a book and is kind of stuck, so they listen to this tape. Then they think oh yeah, I could try this, or I should do that. Then they would go back to their writing. I see it as a jog for writers.

    A few thoughts from the lecture:

    Alfred Hitchcock quote: Drama is life with the dull parts left out.

    The strength of your villain is the strength of your story. The bad guy is ruthless to get what he wants, even if it is just the corner office.

    Every chapter needs a climax (disaster, crisis). Authors should stretch out the climax scenes. A disaster could be winning the lottery. Disasters don’t have to be bad.

    The main character wants something. It could be relief from a boss, change in climate, revenge...

    A story is a record of how somebody deals with danger.

    Books on the craft of writing:
    I purchased and started reading Swain’s book “Techniques of the Selling Writer” published in 1965. I couldn’t get into it. It reads like an encyclopedia. But for some, that could be good.

    I loved the following two books that I think would be useful to all fiction writers. “Stein on Writing” by Sol Stein and “On Writing” by Stephen King.

    Genre: nonfiction, how to write.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Miranda
    DETROIT, MI, United States
    04/11/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dwight Swain Live!"

    I missed attending a Dwight Swain Workshop while he was living. This live workshop really brought home all of the points Dwight Swain makes in his book Technique of the Selling Writer. and I absolutely adored listening to his voice and advice. If you've read the Technique of the Selling Writer, then you will love this audio book, because it puts Dwight right into your ear and your heart. As they say on the children's reading show, "You don't have to take my word for it." Get for yourself, and I believe that it will be the best dollar you've spent on writing technique books.
    MC

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • T.
    Lexington, KY, USA
    05/02/08
    Overall
    "Dwight Swain"

    If this work seems dated,consider that Dwight Swain died in 1992 @ age 77.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Jay
    19/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "better than Stein On Writing"

    Far better than Stein On Writing. If you are tired of snarky, literary types teaching you how to write, then you'll love Swain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Texas, USA
    12/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Experience Across All Genres"

    Amazing breath of experience from Fantasy and Si Fi to Westerns. Every sentence is significant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anthony K. M. Yong
    Singapore
    23/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely seminar by Dwight"

    Love Mr Swain presentations on writing. Wish could find more seminars by him on audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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