How to Grow a Novel: The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome Them

Front Cover
St. Martin's Publishing Group, Feb 11, 2014 - Reference - 288 pages

Each year thousands of fiction writers, from beginners to bestselling author, benefit from Sol Stein's sold-out workshops, featured appearances at writers' conferences, software for writers, on-line columns, and his popular first book for writers, Stein on Writing. Stein practices what he teaches: He is the author of nine novels, including the million-copy bestseller The Magician, as well as editor of such major writers as James Baldwin, Jack Higgins, Elia Kazan, Budd Schulberg, W. H. Auden, and Jacques Barzun, and the teacher and editor of several current bestselling authors. What sets Stein apart is his practical approach. He provides specific techniques that speed writers to successful publication.

How to Grow a Novel is not just a book, but an invaluable workshop in print. It includes details and examples from Stein's editorial work with a #1 bestselling novelist as well as talented newcomers. Stein takes the reader backstage in the development of memorable characters and fascinating plots. The chapter on dialogue overflows with solutions for short-story writers, novelists, screenwriters, and playwrights. Stein shows what readers are looking for-- and what they avoid-- in the experience of reading fiction. The book offers guidelines-- and warnings-- of special value for nonfiction writers who want to move into fiction. Stein points to the little, often overlooked things that damage the writer's authority without the writer knowing it. And this book, like no other writing book, takes the reader behind the scenes of the publishing business as it affects writers of every level of experience, revealing the hard truths that are kept behind shut doors.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RandyMetcalfe - LibraryThing

Sol Stein is charming. He offers practical advice for would-be novelists mingled with discrete anecdotes and examples from his long career as a playwright, novelist, editor, publisher, and non-fiction ... Read full review

How to grow a novel: the most common mistakes writers make and how to overcome them

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

"Come sit. We need to talk." With this simple invitation, novelist, editor, and writing instructor Stein invites the reader to listen as he shares what he has learned from his extensive experience in ... Read full review

Selected pages


For the Reader Who IsAlso aWriter
Success Lies in Seeing the Details
Characters Who Are Characters
Where WritersGetTheirPlots 7 Our Native Language Is Not Dialogue 8 Getting Intimate with the Reader Advanced Point of View
Revision as Opportunityand Danger
Some Fundamentalsfor Emigrants from Nonfiction
The Little Things That Damage the Writers
Where Writers Get Help

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2014)

Sol Stein has edited the work of such major writers as James Baldwin, Jack Higgins, David Frost, and Elia Kazan, and founded the publishing house Stein & Day. He has taught creative writing at Columbia, Iowa, and the University of California at Irvine, which presented him with the Distinguished Instructor Award in 1993. He is the author of nine novels, including the million-copy seller The Magician. He is also the author of the much-acclaimed Stein on Writing and How to Grow a Novel, both published by St. Martin’s Griffin.

Bibliographic information