The Art of War For Writers – Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises by James Scott Bell

“The Art Of War For Writers: fiction writing strategies, tactics, and exercises” by James Scott Bell is an enlightening, informative, motivating, and practical little gem of a book for anyone who wants to successfully start and finish a publishable novel. I’m a fan of Sun Tzu, and I’m working on selling my first novel, so I was immediately drawn to this book when I saw the title. It was much better than I even anticipated. Bell’s advice is solid and this book contains the essential elements needed to be victorious as a writer.
The wisdom comes in seventy-seven short chapters divided into three main parts: Reconnaissance, Tactics, and Strategy. Under reconnaissance, you find suggestions such as being aware of what the successful writing life is like, put heart into everything you write, and finish your novel. The tactics in part two include testing your premise to prove it worthy, utilizing the Q Factor as a strategic weapon for motivation at just the right time, and whether to outline or not to outline. The third part, Strategy, focuses more on the business of writing, such as goals, networks, when to get an agent and when not to, and promoting your book. I also really liked the chapters on rejections and criticism, something all writers experience as I’m currently learning first hand.
Bell uses quotes from Sun Tzu in places throughout the text, but he also quotes many authors, agents, and editors. There are tons of examples contained in the short chapters, and it’s a book I know I’ll be turning to again and again to assist me with my writing. I’ll look to it for both for practical strategies and suggestions, and for motivation. One of the most important things Bell stresses in various places is to continue to write. He provides quotes from various authors on how they design their typical writing days, but the bottom line is that every writer must be disciplined to hit the keyboard. The final word is encouraging and motivational and I’m sure I’ll read this chapter more than any other. The final words must be remembered and kept on the forefront of all writers, “Keep fighting. Keep writing.”
If you are inspiring to write fiction, I highly recommend “The Art of War For Writers” by James Scott Bell. It is a great addition to any author’s bookshelf, and one that you will turn to again and again as you navigate and pursue victory in the publishing industry.

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