Yours to Tell: Dialogues on the Art & Practice of Writing

Yours to Tell: Dialogues on the Art & Practice of Writing

by Steve Rasnic Tem, Melanie Tem


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Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem are no strangers to the writing business. Between the two of them, they have published more than 600 short stories, 20 novels, and 10 short story collections. Not to mention numerous articles, essays, poems, and plays. They’ve won the World Fantasy Award, British Fantasy Award, and Bram Stoker Award.

In this book they go over everything from the mechanics of writing, to how to find the time to write, to dealing with all the paper writers tend to collect. They discuss plot, point of view, setting, characterization, and more, all in an informal tone that invites you to become part of their conversation. Learn how to find your stories because they are Yours to Tell.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937009472
Publisher: Apex Publications
Publication date: 04/11/2017
Pages: 242
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem have been writers, both solo and in collaboration, for over thirty-five years. Between them they have published over 600 short stories, 20 novels, 10 short story collections,
and numerous articles, essays, poems, and plays. They are past winners of the World Fantasy Award, British Fantasy Award, and the Bram
Stoker Award.

Table of Contents

Introduction - 1
Why Write? - 4
Idea & Theme - 15
Plot - 38
Point of View - 58
Character - 81
Structure - 104
Beginnings, Middles, & Endings - 108
Setting - 129
Subtext - 136
Engaging the Reader - 144
Revision - 164
Marketing & PR - 178
Questions of Genre - 189
Buried in Paper - 195
The Writing Life - 205
Some Recommended Reference Works - 218
A Rough Reading List - 220
Referenced Works by Steve & Melanie Tem - 226
Index - 228

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Yours to Tell: Dialogues on the Art & Practice of Writing 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Sharon Maynard More than 1 year ago
Before I launch my two cents, I’d like to disclose I received “Yours To Tell” after I signed up for Apex’s Minion Read and Review group. In this group, you choose a free book with the understanding you will write a review on that book. Sweet! A more appropriate title for this book would be “Mine to Tell.” Authors Steve and Melanie Tem give their opinions on the craft of writing. When the authors stick to addressing those delectable elements like structure and plot, the chapters are gold. When the writers detour from the elements and travel through the landscape of “My Life as a Writer,” then the reader may ask “Do I care if they gave away books at their holiday parties?” The chapters “Buried in Paper” and “The Writing Life” may not be page turners, but if you’re under the impression a writer’s life is full of skyrockets, then these chapters bring you back to planet Mundane. Let’s start with the nuggets a.k.a my favorite parts of the book. The chapter “Beginnings, Middles, and Endings” provides ideas for beginning and ending a story. Also, the chapter describes the roles that beginning and endings play. When the audience complains, “This tales moves too damn slowly,” then the chapter “Setting” and a highlighter may provide the remedy. The Chapter “Subtext” is worthy of reflection for those who enjoy embedding innuendos/ double meanings in their work. If I don’t include my least favorite part of “Yours To Tell,” then my review reads like a bunch of cockadoodle doo. My least favorite part has to do with my PERSONAL PREJUDICES. On page 155, Tew writes. “I tried to write from deep inside his head and heart in an attempt to understand someone I, tragically, knew.” This statement was written in reference to the viewpoint of one of her primary characters who happened to be a pedophile, according to the author. The point jarred me because I dislike anything remotely connected to pedophilia. Too Much Information!!! “Yours To Tell” is built from audio transcripts, notes, essays, and other material, according to the authors. That explains why, when scrolling through the book, I initially thought ‘This is like reading a book of transcripts.’ Despite the format – perhaps because the authors share their reasons for writing about certain topics – “Yours To Tell” possesses a mood of intimacy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You may yawn at yet another how-to-write coming out but this one is different. For a start it's written by two authors who really know how to write and have been in the industry for years and years. They have written many short stories and novels. Between them they have two Bram Stoker awards, two World Fantasy Awards, two British Fantasy Awards, one International Horror Guild award amongst others. The authors I'm talking about are husband and wife, Steve and Melanie Tem. I really felt whilst reading this book is that the reader gets a really intimate and rare insight into how two very prolific and successful authors go about their craft. Yours to Tell is divided into chapters which cover all aspects of writing, such as plot, characters, setting, point of view, structure as well as chapters that deal with engaging their readers. So, in short it covers a lot of ground and pretty hefty 227 pages long. The book is written in a conversational tone which is easy to read and informal, they have been teaching pupils to write for years and this book reflects what they taught in those years. What I liked about this book is that you don't have to read the book cover to cover. You can start with whatever chapter you want and read in your own preferred order. This book is packed full with really simple advice, to importance of following your own path in writing. They've given me lots of new methods to try out with my own writing and is full of practical advice. One little gem I will share with you is how to move a story along and stop your readers from getting bored. The tip they shared actually comes from South Park creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. When coming up with new episodes for their South Park series, they plot by theoretically inserting a "therefore" between each scene rather than an "and". This happens therefore that happens. This helps them to ensure the story is constantly moving forwards. To create tension and conflict they also throw in a few "buts." Which is definitely a method I will be using to check against my own work. Yous to Tell is a book that I will definitely be reading again. There's also a recommended reading list added at the back including creative writing handbooks and great fiction!