I’ll Use It Every Time I sit Down to Write
You WILL become a better writer by reading this book and implementing the suggestions made by Mr. Rhamey. And they're not vague or theoretical suggestions, either—they are clear, definitive, concrete, and 100% useful. It's a brilliant and entertaining resource book on the craft of writing.
In my opinion, the best way to use this book is to first read it cover to cover, pretending it’s an online course or weekend workshop. Gobble it up whole, so the cells of your writer’s brain absorb and integrate the information. Then, as you write and revise, you can go back to refresh yourself on specific skills or techniques as you need them.
Here are three reasons I like and recommend this book:
The style and voice are friendly, engaging, encouraging, and genuine. There's no huge ego behind the scenes, bestowing rules and regimens. Ray Rhamey is an unassuming guy who really knows his stuff, and his warm teaching style comes through the text beautifully.
Examples abound! By far the best way to improve writing and revising is to see before and after samples, and Rhamey has included a truckload. At every step we're shown ways to improve word choice, sentence structure, characterization, description, dialogue, opening pages, and more. He draws from published and unpublished novels, other books on the craft, agent blogs, and even his own fiction.
The final section of the book includes the opening paragraphs of eleven stories, submitted to his online critique blog, Flogging the Quill. After reading through the book, critique these excerpts yourself, and see how your comments compare to those Rhamey made. The results are dramatic: do just a few of these and you'll realize how much you've learned. Better yet, you'll be ready to apply these critical reading skills to the revision of your own work.
Rhamey suggests “there should never be a good place to put your book down.” If you want to write a book that readers can't put down, then Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling is a resource you can't afford to be without.