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How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling - James N. Frey With National Novel Writing Month fast approaching, I look upon my shelves and see I own six books on writing. The ones by Lawrence Block and Stephen King are by far the ones I've gotten the most use out of. The others are by authors I've never heard of and are like asking a psychic for winning lottery numbers. If they already know the winning numbers, why are they giving them to you instead of using them themselves? Surely being a millionaire pays better than psychicing over the phone.

I'll be honest, I don't remember much about this book other than Frey's methods sucking all the spontaneity out of writing. If I need 50-75 pages of documentation about characters and setting before I ever type a word, I'm probably going to run out of steam during the preparation.

As for my analogy about phone psychics and the lottery, Frey has 12 books to his credit. 5 are about writing. How about holding on to those lottery numbers for yourself?