Composition: A Fiction Writer's Guide for the 21st Century

by Linda A. Lavid

Publisher: Full Court Press

Publication Date: May 21, 2015

ISBN: 9781458114792

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Review from The Compulsive Reader written by Magdalena Ball. Composition: A Fiction Writer's Guide for the 21st Century is a brief but illuminating read about how to write a book from concept to creation, and then get it out there. It’s super easy to read, and for a non-fiction book, fast paced and fun. It’s also a good example of the advice author Linda Lavid offers – a self-published book which is well written, well designed, and well promoted. Lavid’s prose is wonderfully light, encouraging and accessible, and inspiring - making use of common sense to illuminate exactly why, and how, a writer can produce, publish, and promote his or her work. She is always relaxed, casual, and intimate with the reader. Composition is split into two halves – the first half is about the craft of fiction. It employs gardening metaphors to take the reader from the planting of a seed, through watering, tending, filling the garden and digging the weeds. In terms of creating a piece of work, that translates into coming up with a good story idea and goal, creating plot, writing scenes, developing the story through elements like action, dialogue, and description, and finally rewriting. The chapters of Composition are, at times, a little broad-brush in their approach, providing, for example, just a paragraph each for the elements that constitute the heart of the story, but that is, perhaps, one of things that differentiate this book. Throughout the section, there are examples, and personal anecdotes. The second part of Composition looks at the publishing process. This one drops the gardening metaphor and uses simple headings like Decide, Prepare, Publish, Market and Sell. Sounds easy! And Lavid makes it look easy too – presenting the options, providing information on what the reader needs to understand, explain what needs to be prepared in order to send a book out to a POD or subsidy publisher, and then how to market and sell the book.