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The Secret Pillars of Writing

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Published: 2010
Language: English
Wordcount: 12,921 / 40 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 80.9
LoC Categories: PS, Z
Downloads: 8,171
Added to site: 2010.08.23 28782
License: ©

A crash course in writing fast-paced, structured fiction and thrillers, by published author of BLACK ROAD 2012 and LOST RELIC OF THE GODS.

Show Excerpt

reader what s/he needs to get started. Then, you artfully leak out the rest of it-what's important-into the work as needed. Use dialogue as much as possible. Show me via dialogue and action, don't tell me about it. As author, make the character Do things or have someone Say things that give the necessary facts. Example:

Bernice peeked outside through the blinds. It was still there-on the lawn.

Her mother never got rid of that old swing set. Bernice and Bunny had put it up one long-ago summer. Before Bunny disappeared.

"They never did find her," Bernice's mother said-somehow suddenly in the room, right behind Bernice, making everything tense.

Bernice turned to look at the woman. She'd aged since Bernice was graduated from Harvard, just a year ago. "What did you say, Mom?"

The older woman seemed distracted-knitted bony fingers together in front of her. "Sheriff said, you were lucky that day, Bernie. Could of been you that day, hon."

"I know Mo

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.6 from 5 reviews: *****
Lisa Carr

One should add the word "Novels" to the book's title, as Friedberg tells about how to construct a novel. And not every novel, but an adventure/mystery/sci-fi novel.
I don't think Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, or Joyce's Ulysses, or Camus' The Stranger, or Kafka's The Trial, or Wharton's Ethan Frome or Clarke's 2001 A Space Odyssey fit his system, but most traditional and modern novels pretty much hold to it. The style is funny and breezy, and the book would probably be helpful to someone who wants to tell stories, rather than write literature.

C. Alan Loewen

As a published writer, I found myself very much enjoying Jeffrey Friedberg’s The Secret Pillars of Writing especially the following:

  • He has discovered an innovative way of marketing his work, not as an empty advertisement, but as a work that provides good, basic information for beginning writers and a good review for experienced authors.
  • He has an odd sense of humor that at least appealed to this reviewer.
  • His advice is basic and solid.
  • He has a very good bibliography at the end of the work that is priceless.

    What I did not like:

    In the bibliography he recommends Elmore Leonard’s Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing a book I found to be an unbelievable waste of money. Quite bluntly, Friedberg’s free e-book stands heads and shoulders over Leonard’s. To recommend Leonard after reading The Secret Pillars of Writing is like serving a hamburger grilled to perfection topped with impeccable and fresh condiments only to heartily endorse boiled pasta with some ketchup squirted on it for dessert.

    One caveat:

    Writing is an art that does have some subjectivity to it and each writer needs to find his own voice. Though I agree with The Secret Pillars of Writing in its basic theory, your actual mileage may vary. There are some rules that writers, after getting some experience under their belt, can afford to break, but it takes real talent.

    That is why writing is called an art.

    Bottom line: If you want to be a writer. Read this.

    Craig Alan Loewen

  • 2010.08.27
    Jenny Nathan

    I'm a professional editor and writer, and have a few observations for writers and budding writers who want to learn to write like their own literary heroes.

    Jeffrey A. Friedberg’s Secret Pillars of Writing: A Crash Course is a real find. It’s a down and dirty instant recipe for success for any writer.

    For newbies, he lays out the cardinal rules for writing top-notch, heart-pounding novels. For experienced writers, he throws out one gem after another for how to make your writing fresh and exciting. One word of caution – don’t read this book without reading Friedberg’s newest suspense thriller “Lost Relic of the Gods.” It is an essential companion to the Secret Pillars of Writing. You’ll get to see everything he recommends in action.

    Friedberg is especially adroit at handling how to write sharp dialogue, non-stop suspense, and gripping conflict.

    I’ve read dozens of books on writing and this one takes the most important highlights of ALL of them and condenses them into one fast read. Essential for every writer’s library.

    PS: this is the only Writer’s Guide that actually reads like a suspense thriller itself---with a bizarre Hannibal Lecter-like humor that makes easy reading!


    Tyler Danes

    This little book was fast, humorous, and jam-packed with Brand New Stuff I never saw before in my life.

    This is great stuff, very instructional and revealing of the inside ball game of writing.

    Knowledge, info, experience, and a compiled reading list to save reading hundreds of other books.

    Friedberg gives it away free, when he could prolly charge $20 for it.

    Eddie Bernd

    This is just the best book on short-cut writing I have ever seen. Especially at the price---you have nothing at all to lose here.

    It is written with clarity, incisiveness, boldness, humor, and it strips away all all the uncertainty and BS put out by people who write about writing, but don't actually write. I looked up the author, bought his book Lost Relic Of The Gods, and he is totally for reals.

    A winner, and a keeper!



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