Literary Yard

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Review: Reading Like the Writers


A couple of weeks ago while I was packing my luggage for a reclusive weekend at one of the resorts at the Jim Corbett national park, approximately 200 kilometers from New Delhi, I heard the doorbell. A packet was handed over to me by the courier boy. I tore it and found a review copy of ‘Plot Fiction Like The Masters’ by Terry Richard Bazes from the United States. I looked at the book packet, read through the title flipping pages with a heavy heart. Who would take the trouble of reviewing a book at this time – a book that dissects three novels to teach budding authors the ways of reading like a writer? I put it aside on the bookshelf so that I could read it later.

In the evening my reluctant hands went up to the shelf to grab the review copy. I tried to read the first portion which is about Ian Fleming’s Dr. No, a James Bond novel. My appetite to read more multiplied. Then I read the second portion which took me through Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – a novel which I personally dislike the most among masterpieces but it was a pleasure to read Terry’s account of the masterpiece. Then I read the final one about Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust. And it was over. I was amazed at the innovative approach Terry has taken to guide writers about reading a masterpiece like a writer. Although ‘Plot Fiction Like The Masters’ illustrates fine ways of reading like a writer, the spontaneity of Terry’s style makes this book no less than the masterpieces he has written about. Attempts have earlier been made to dissect novels and famous works as many authors wrote critical, analytical and anatomical thesis not to serve any purpose but to manifest their scholarly precision. This one is beyond this and truly proves to be a guide to writers.

As mentioned above, the book has taken into account only three masterpieces -Ian Fleming’s Dr. No, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust. It stands true to the claims that this is ‘different from the others, because its plotting lessons are not formulaic but concrete and practical -drawn from a close reading of successful books. In short this book does not teach you to write plots but tells you how history’s best plots were written. If this book can decode anything, it is nothing but the conscience of the reader who is also a writer.

Without further words which you may suspect as exaggerations, my humble request to the Literary Yard audience is please read this once as it hits the stands in September, 2015.

Title: Plot Fiction Like The Masters

Author: Terry Richard Bazes

Category: Non-fiction, how-to, Fiction-technique

Publisher: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Publishers

Price: $9.99


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