Writing into the Dark MOBI ↠ Writing into eBook


10 thoughts on “Writing into the Dark

  1. David David says:

    I'm a firm believer that what works is what works when it comes to writing There is no right way there are simply tools and some tools work better for some than for others The podcast writing excuses and Brandon Sanderson's lectures are what drilled this belief into me most likely So while I have nothing against discovery writing or pantsing I take issue with the way this book presents this style of writing and fails to address the strengths AND weaknesses inherent to itSmith makes some half hearted attempts to say that this isn't necessarily the only right way to write but he clearly believes that it is as the book is filled with incredibly repetitive and immature jabs at outliners english professors editors and publishers Among the silliest things he recommends is to only write one draft of your novel Fix everything as you go as it comes up immediately Never do rewrites never look back after it's done I would really prefer not to have to point this out but he doesn't have a single novel listed on goodreads that's cracked a 4 star average that I saw Most are uite badly rated indeed His Thunder Mountain series he keeps using in examples for this book has a 304 star average and the first book has a 276 star average That's incredibly unusually bad I almost never see books rated below 3 stars on here no matter how bad they are Likely Smith just doesn't care I get the sense that he values uantity over uality and he certainly does pump out licensed books at an astounding rate and that's incredibly impressive and I'm happy for the financial success he's achieved doing it absolutely However that's not the kind of writer I ever want to be and I'm pretty sure that's not the kind of writer the majority of writers want to be so who is this written for? People who want to write Star Trek novels for a living I guess? Why not advertise it that way then? Why not call the book How to write passable licensed novels at an astounding rate and earn big or something of that nature? Looking at the reviews many people seem to have problems with his plotting and his endings Nothing about this surprises me When you write into the dark you may create rich characters but your plot often fails to come together into a satisfying cathartic and symbolically significant whole That takes planning or a rewrite or two Endings are the hardest for writers of this style Don't take my word for it Self admitted pantser Dan Wells will tell you that endings are his biggest weakness by far and the thing he's had to work hardest at improving His strategy is to not start writing a novel until he clearly sees what the ending scene will be and he writes that first and writes towards it So already we have another pantser that disagrees with these methods George RR Martin is also a self admitted pantser which explains why Game of Thrones is spinning it's wheels and going nowhere in particular in a hurry I don't think anyone sane expects a satisfying ending from that series but gosh darn if the characters aren't so emotionally damaged and compelling in the meantimeThe one piece of advice in this book which I thought was A presented in a uniuely clear way and B wasn't hobbled by the problematic and biased way it was presented was his insistent reminder that you don't have to write your book front to back the way it will be read You can go and write the last scene of the novel instead of wallowing on a scene in the middle You can skip a chapter ahead and come back later It seems obvious but it's easy to forget in the moment and bears much repeating and he put it better than anybody else I've yet seen put it so one star for that Otherwise take this very short blog post sized book with a grain of salt Not only may it not be useful to you it may be actively harmful to your writing if you take its advice at face value


  2. Leonard Gaya Leonard Gaya says:

    This is a short manual for beginning writers written by a pulp fiction writer and former poker game professional The least I can say is that it goes against what many other writing manuals profess as an ultimate truth namely that fiction writing must be planned in advance that outlining the plot is essential and so forth there are all sorts of methods out there on that topic especially focusing on screenwriting techniuesDean Wesley Smith takes the opposite view the “panster” view as it is often called His key idea is that outlining a story beforehand is a way to give the “critical voice” the learned formulaic derivative voice the upper hand and thus screw the “creative voice” that writes from the unconscious this assumption is barely explained though if at all The author goes even further advising against any rewriting once the first draft is done This means in a nutshell that writing a novel should or could be done without safety nets since using them is nothing but a way to ward off fear an expression of resistance and a way to sabotage oneself on the part of the writer The book ends with a couple of interesting hints on “writer’s block” on looping and cycling around the draft on outlining a posteriori instead of a priori and on accepting to write extra words while experimentingAll this should probably be taken with a pinch of salt but by and large his argument certainly is liberating since it encourages writers to embrace uncertainty to trust their guts first in short to write from the inside instead of adopting any of the formulas that are hard sold everywhere


  3. Sebastien Castell Sebastien Castell says:

    I've actually read this short book on the art of writing a novel without relying on outlines or other machinations three times now That as much as anything tells me it's a book I value and that the advice inside – unlike that of so many fiction guides – is both valuable and warrants returning to now and againOne advantage Smith has over so many other would be writing gurus is that he can actually back up his claims through his own work over two hundred novels published over a hundred of those through traditional publishers and six or seven hundred short stories So much of the time when I find a book on outlining I look up the author's work read the first page and find myself doubting the virtue of their advice But than that Dean Wesley Smith offers some concrete ways to begin push through the middle and end novels without outlines which is a great deal helpful than the usual just listen to your muse form of pantsing one hears about it's worth noting that the term pantser not not explicitly pejorative seems exclusively used by people selling books on the importance plottingI can't say whether Smith's approach is definitively better than others After all there's no one correct way to write a book I say that having had ten novels published none of which followed the exact same process However here's what I can say with confidence the most important uality any book on writing should have is to make you want to put it down at the end and go write Every time I've sat down with Dean Wesley Smith's Writing Into The Dark It's gotten me to run off and start writing myself That's five star writing advice as far as I'm concerned


  4. Shawn Scarber Deggans Shawn Scarber Deggans says:

    Hey this is how I writeIt's actually nice to get affirmation that you're doing it right What I've always called Looping Dean calls Cycling but they're both basically the same process I've tried multiple times to outline large complicated novels only to find I can't complete them Same goes for short stories The moment I plan too much the playful part of my brain gets bored and wants to give up on the 'work' It's nice to see a process explained that takes advantage of the playful part of the brain channels that playfulness into useful sets of tools and then gives you permission to write in a way that doesn't feel dreadfulUnderstand this isn't a long book with some complicated process but it's worth every penny for the freedom it givesI tell myself to always trust the process Knowing someone as prolific as Dean faces the same process challenges and has learned to embrace them as features and not see them as roadblocks really gives me the encouragement to keep doing what I'm doing; detailed outlines and 11 redrafts are out the doorNow I'm going to go have some fun and write a new story


  5. Hugo Di Pietro Hugo Di Pietro says:

    I think this is a terrible book I don't like judging books as goods but 5 for a book that I read in like 2 hours is frankly outrageous I kept reading it hoping to find the Ha That's the catch moment and when I got to 80% on my Kindle the book finished and the rest 20% is basically advertising for another book of the authorApart from that this is one of those books with a couple of ideas that you can express in three pages but the author writes and rewrites and rephrases them over and over again for 75 pagesI've read multiple books about outlining a novel Outlining is not the silver bullet to write a novel nor a method for all but at least all the books about novel planning i read DO give you a method often step by step you can apply and explain why it might be a good idea to try it for your next novelIn Writing Into The Dark the author uses an irritating I know it all tone and I swear because I m fun and easygoing that gets old and boring pretty soonBasically the book is There is a mythical creative voice that is GOOD and a mythical critical voice that is BAD Stuck on your writing? Blame the critical voice Want to write? Trust the creative voice and if you're stuck or write crap go back a little and follow your creative voice You don't know what to write? Just write What? Creative voice tells you Because it is GOOD Critical voice? BADThat's it really I just saved you 5 bucks because this is all the author writes over and over in different forms for the whole short and overpriced bookHow to shape characters and get to know them while writing by the seat of your pants? How to get a sense of the inner story structure? What if I missed some important parts chapters ago? How to develop and explore settings? Who knows the author doesn't bother to say anything about actually coming up with a story and develop it If you pick up any book that talks about outlining novels they really take you by the hand into shaping a story I'm not saying that outlining is inherently better than writing into the dark But really if you pick up any book about writing I may assume you're not Stephen King you're and aspiring writer with little or no experience and frankly some generic hippy follow your path trust your soul while writing kind of crap is useless


  6. John Smythe John Smythe says:

    A few good ideas nothing bad It's really like a few long blog posts than a book though The biggest problem with this book as with a lot of Smith's otherwise excellent writing advice is that he uses nonstandard terminology You have to read carefully to understand what he's really saying For example he recommends no rewriting and revising However if you read between the lines he describes his own rewriting and revision process What he's really recommending is rewriting and revising as you go rather than in a second pass after the first draft is written I suspect Smith has one really good book about writing inside him and pieces of it keep dribbling out here and there It would be nice to see one larger unified book from him that puts it all together Not just a larger collection of blog posts either In fact dare I say it? a planned and outlined book There's a lot here that dips into ideas he's talked and written about at greater length elsewhere eg critical voice vs creative voice and some of that may seem unsupported or unclear if you haven't read that as wellThat's not to disagree with his advice here for novels but for how to nonfiction not discussed in this book but what this book itself is it can be useful for an author to have a clear picture of what topics they need to cover and which ones depend on and follow which others Smith has a fairly well developed approach to writing but it's not yet available anywhere in a unified form


  7. Margaret Killjoy Margaret Killjoy says:

    Maybe one of the reasons I liked this book so much is that it confirmed the writing style I gravitate towards naturally especially the discussion of cycling as a way to edit while you go and build up momentum


  8. Waraji Sama Waraji Sama says:

    If you're a newbie writer be careful with this one The author gives a lot of advice on his process but he delivers it as though it's a must despite saying there's no wrong way He had some interesting things to say about discoveryseat of the pants writing though what I don't like is that he tells you to revise as you go but that's just not possible for a lot of writers myself include I hate doing it since it bogs me way down and I lose momentum Also I enjoy rewritingThis may be overly critical seeing as how I'm no even a published author and this guy's got over a hundred published works and has been on bestseller lists and all that but I noticed a lot and I mean a LOT of his books tend to range under 4 stars in the ratings department I've read plenty of good books that were rated under 4 stars but I've read a whole lot that just seemed to be missing something It's not fair of me to say that seems like a mark against the author's style of writing but there it isEdit 2019 I don't know what it is but I'm gravitating and toward this way of doing things I've read this book like five times For some reason I find it highly inspirational I must have been deluding myself about rewriting but I can't stand it any This could be due to the fact that I have a strong understanding of story structure and so I have no real need to outline My want to outline comes out of a want to be structured from fear of failure I've written into the dark or nearly into the dark and my writing is much better I can see the difference that Smith talks about in his book I still think it's important to have a strong grasp of craft and structure and I do some minor revisions to fill in broken things regarding my stories but I'm pretty good at filling in the gaps without rewriting


  9. Erin Bomboy Erin Bomboy says:

    I only picked this up because Dean Wesley Smith's wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch is one of the smartest cookies around I've found her advice to aspiring writers to be thoughtful and well reasoned I'm afraid Writing into the Dark did nothing for me and at 599 it felt like a ripoff for what is essentially a long blog post plus a pitch to purchase another book While this might be helpful to beginner writers who are struggling to birth that first novel virtually nothing is useful to a seasoned author Smith's conviction that the critical voice drowns out the creative voice thus leaving the writer paralyzed andor with a bland story seems reductive and ill reasoned Writing well reuires the careful employment of the critical voice to ensure that one is being as creative as possible Mostly this book seems ignorant about the actual craft of writing — and there is an actual craft replete with mandates on everything from how to render dialogue tags to using deep point of view Storytelling may be innate but story writing does reuire technical knowledgeWesley has written over 150 books so it's possible that his instincts are honed well enough to not care about craft However for most of us even when dogged with the terror and uncertainty present in writing fiction we can all benefit from writing than one draft another pet piece of advice to ensure that the book is in fact readable and cogent from soup to nuts


  10. Delaney Diamond Delaney Diamond says:

    This is a great book for us pantsers It's okay to not outline to edit as you write and write out of seuence I smiled as I read this book and it validated my process There's a method to the madness


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Writing into the Dark With than a hundred published novels and than seventeen million copies of his books in print USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith knows how to outline And he knows how to write a novel without an outline In this WMG Writer’s Guide Dean takes you step by step through the process of writing without an outline and explains why not having an outline boosts your creative voice and keeps you interested in your writing Want to enjoy your writing and entertain yourself Then toss away your outline and Write into the Dark

  • ebook
  • 75 pages
  • Writing into the Dark
  • Dean Wesley Smith
  • English
  • 17 September 2016