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How to Write Best-Selling Fiction

Narrated by: James Scott Bell
Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
Categories: Education & Learning
4.7 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

Non-member price: $48.69

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Publisher's Summary

Most people think the way to write a best seller is to have a lot of talent and even more luck. As you will learn, there is a recipe for success, and luck may be the least important ingredient in creating a best seller. 

When it comes to solving the mystery of what makes a best-selling novel, no one has cracked the code better than James Scott Bell. A best-selling author himself, winner of the International Thriller Writers Award and the Christy Award for Suspense, plus the author of the number-one best seller for writers, Plot & Structure, Mr. Bell has been teaching the principles of best-selling fiction for over 20 years, principles that apply to any genre or style. 

In the 24 lectures of How to Write Best-Selling Fiction, Mr. Bell provides a comprehensive, eye-opening, and illuminating survey of the entire writing process, as well as a full breakdown of how best-selling authors such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Michael Connelly, Suzanne Collins, Janet Evanovich, and dozens of others have implemented best practices in their own writing. 

From fun creative challenges to help you get started with unique plot and character ideas to how to format, package, and promote your finished material - with help dotting every "i" and crossing every "t" along the way - Mr. Bell offers an insightful, intimate, and extraordinarily revealing look at the elements that elevate a novel to become a best seller. Any aspiring author will gain a wealth of tools that will not only improve their ability to write, but will also increase their enjoyment of the craft. 

The famous writer Somerset Maugham once said, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” And maybe no one knows the “rules”, but there are writing techniques, practices, and fundamentals that writers have used for decades to become best-selling authors. And just like Picasso, once you master the basics of your art, then you can create your own rules. With How to Write Best-Selling Fiction, you get an intimate introduction to the fundamentals of how to write your best seller, from a best-selling author who has mastered the secrets to success. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2019 The Great Courses (P)2019 The Teaching Company, LLC

What listeners say about How to Write Best-Selling Fiction

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  • accentrique
  • 22-07-2019

I'm a writer and this course is to blame.

In my Audible library most of the 70 finished titles are related to the art of writing. In my actual library at home there are more hardcovers and paperbacks on the same subject . And yet, I could never convince myself that I can write a complete novel or anything fictional. I've written weekly articles for my blog, lengthy Instagram posts , and occasional poetry. I love writing, but I am intimidated by the idea of writing fiction and showing it to another soul. This course, I believe, gently but convincingly took my fears away. It is written in such a respectful manner , with so much kindness for every fellow writer or those who only dream of becoming a writer , that you simply let the author take your hand and lead you on this journey. Step by step, no rush. You'll stumble and hesitate, but as soon as you hear the voice of James Scott Bell and truly listen to his thoughtful , practical advice, you will get into the state of "why not?" and "what if I just make my story go this way..?" . And for better or worse , you begin to believe in your story and your own writing staring back at you from the screen or paper. Thank you! I wish I found this course sooner.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Roy M.
  • 01-05-2019

Outstanding, practical advice for writers

I loved the practical and extensive content of this lecture series by Mr. Bell. He covers a wide array of topics from brain-storming to getting published, and always provides concrete examples to demonstrate his points. I especially appreciated that Bell is specific, but thorough with his advice, and doesn’t try to over-generalize his lessons with vague terminology, as so many writing courses tend to do. With each lesson, Bell makes his point clearly and concisely with little fuss, giving you exactly what you need to know without the extraneous fluff. Using this style, Bell is able to cover a lot of good material at an easily comprehensible pace that is neither too slow, nor too fast. If you’re looking for a course that offers practical, usable writing advice (as I was), I highly recommend this lecture series.

24 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 03-06-2019

Best Writing Course Ever

I've been to various writing conferences, been the VP of a large Creative Writing club, and read many books and courses on creative writing. This course is by far the most useful, clear, and honest writing course I've ever had the pleasure of taking. If you only ever take one course in creative writing, this is the course you should choose.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Noa
  • 21-05-2019

WOW!

What an amazingly informative and pleasant source this one is. Definitely a must-have if you're a writer, for the knowledge shared in it and for the inspiration that this course offers. A great listen!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Kimberly
  • 28-06-2019

Holy "How to Write Fiction" Batman!

I cannot give this work enough stars! I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone who desires to improve their writing. From my first listen, I knew I had found a crucial tool for my "I want to write a novel" toolkit. I've read several books on writing craft, all of which are valuable. James Scott Bell's work, "How to Write Best-Selling Fiction" is actually a phenomenal writing course. His instruction is clear and concise. The audiobook is structured in chapters as lectures which cover the art of the story and how to develop ideas, structure, plot & scene development, character development, and dialog. He also discussed the vast and complex world of publishing. Quite the eye-opener for me. This audiobook also comes with an extensive PDF file that is extremely valuable! I've listened to the book all the way through the first time, which was like trying to drink from a fire hose! So much information. The second time through, I used it as an actual writing class and listened while in front of my computer, or with a notebook, taking detailed notes. Now, I am combing through certain sections with my WIP opened on my computer, and doing a lot of tweaking. Excellent work Mr. Bell. Thank you.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Layton Park
  • 28-01-2020

I'd drive the 24 hours to buy that sandwich for you.

I just turned 70 and was considering dropping writing and and taking up fishing when I found this on-line course. I cast more than one line into the sea of readers, in fact five books full, with very few nibbles. Two were with trational publishers and my success was underwhelming. I felt like quitting, and living out my life on some river bank. I put the course on my RV radio as I drove 4 hours to get to Vancouver. First stop Staples to have the PDF’s printed. Second stop, my favorite campground, Walmart, where i laid on the bed for two days and listened to and read what James has to say. This course is well written, of course, and full of easy to follow ideas. It is hard to pause and James’s voice is smooth and easy to listen too. I saw all kinds of ideas jumping in my steam of thoughts. First thought was where did these bad fishy thoughts come from, I hate fishing. I'm going to be a writer instead, watch for me. If you want to be a writer, start here, but do it now while you're young like me. From Canada...

9 people found this helpful

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  • Travis Smith
  • 05-06-2019

Absolutely Incredible Value for Writers!

Everything you need to encourage and guide you in your writer career wherever you are in your journey. Bell does a wonderful job narrating and this book/course is well organized. He takes you on a journey whereby the end, you believe that you can be the type of Author who writes Best-Selling Fiction. Bell equips you with all of the tools you need to be successful as a career writer: from how to write to how to publish to how to hold the best mindset and overcome typical writer pitfalls. By the time I finished listening to this audiobook, I felt charged up, ready write and publish. I felt and still feel like I DO THIS! This book/course offers no fluff...I literally mean 0% unnecessary information. POWERFUL VALUABLE TRANSFORMATIVE I could not recommend this more highly. Stop reading this review and buy this audiobook 3 like minutes ago!!!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Orange Monkey
  • 30-06-2019

LISTEN - AND YOUR SCRIPT WILL START WRITING ITSELF

Mr. Bell, who gave up the idea of becoming an author, embarked on a career as a lawyer, until watching Moonstruck, when he stepped through the Doorway of No Return, and became an awarded, best-selling author. I'm writing non-fiction, but I've had this idea for a fictional story percolating in my mind for more than 10 years. I didn't get this book with the specific purpose of actually getting started writing that book (time!). However, listening to this on dog-walks, while driving and swimming, the book has essentially written itself. The main plot-turns, the character conflicts and resolutions, the interactions and conflicts with other characters are simply falling into place. It's just born out of listening to this book. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK. Listen, get inspired and let your imagination run, then jot down your ideas. The PDF-companion is an excellent, word-economical companion, guide and resource that makes you move at speed. It's like having a paved road, with fences on both sides - you can just GO, fast.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-06-2019

Phenomenal

So much knowledge, delivered in a clear and friendly voice. I'll definitely get back to this book often.Thank you!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Howard_a
  • 04-06-2019

Very well rounded course for writing.

Extremely valuable course on the basics of fiction writing. An incredible overview of getting stories to be exciting to readers, using many great examples. Well worth a listen!

4 people found this helpful

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  • ROBERT
  • 16-05-2019

Difficult concepts in simple terms

James Scott Bell obviously has a gift of teaching. The course is a real joy to listen to, the attached pdf material—a joy to read. I loved it so much that I decided to listen to it for the second time and I'm sure I'm going to return to it again and again. Interesting, informative, eye-opening, entertaining—what else should we expect? I cannot recommend it strongly enough—to me, it's a masterpiece by someone who obviously knows his craft and is not another boring theoretician.

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  • sin sin minkin
  • 20-07-2019

Sound Advice

James Scott Bell gives sound advice for gripping best sellers. Personally, I find his examples a bit pulpy. But that's just my opinion, my taste.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Connor Whiteley
  • 27-03-2020

Great

This is a very interesting and useful book that I would recommend for any writer.

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  • Jem
  • 06-11-2019

Great lecture series

An inspirational lecture series presented with humour and clarity by James Scott Bell. He fully captivated my attention.

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  • Blue Fenix
  • 08-09-2020

Not worth a cemredit

That is all I have to say... first book I am going yo try to return

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  • ITC
  • 28-08-2020

Outstanding...

The most comprehensive collection of writing knowledge outside of actual campus education. Something that you could listen to over and over again and either refresh or gain new understanding. I’ve tried many courses on the art of writing and this is by far the best. I’ve learnt so much and it shows in my manuscript and my feedback. Thank you.

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  • uklizanon
  • 10-12-2019

Too much wahoo hype

I couldn't get past chapter 2. It sounded too much like an ongoing Hershey advert at a town hall sales meeting.

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  • Jemma Beckwith
  • 26-08-2019

great listening easy to understand

found it very helpful and gave me lots of ideas will re listen to it again.

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  • Eddie
  • 19-08-2019

Great

Detailed and well structured. Recommended for writers. Contains a lot of useful advice. Up to date regarding self pub.