Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel (Paperback)
As the author of twenty-four novels, Elizabeth George is one of the most successful--and prolific--novelists today. In Mastering the Process, George offers readers a master class in the art and science of crafting a novel. This is a subject she knows well, having taught creative writing both nationally and internationally for over thirty years.
"I have never before read a book about writing that is so thorough, thoughtful, and most of all, helpful." --Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author of The Island of Sea Women
For many writers, the biggest challenge is figuring out how to take that earliest glimmer of inspiration and shape it into a full-length novel. How do you even begin to transform a single idea into a complete book?
In these pages, award-winning, number one New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George takes us behind the scenes through each step of her writing process, revealing exactly what it takes to craft a novel.
Drawing from her personal photos, early notes, character analyses, and rough drafts, George shows us every stage of how she wrote her novel Careless in Red, from researching location to imagining plot to creating characters to the actual writing and revision processes themselves. George offers us an intimate look at the procedures she follows, while also providing invaluable advice for writers about what has worked for her--and what hasn't. Mastering the Process gives writers practical, prescriptive, and achievable tools for creating a novel, editing a novel, and problem solving when in the midst of a novel, from a master storyteller writing at the top of her game.
About the Author
Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty psychological suspense novels, four young adult novels, one book of nonfiction, and two short-story collections. Her work has been honored with the Anthony and Agatha awards, two Edgar nominations, and both France's and Germany's first prize for crime fiction, as well as several other prestigious prizes. She lives in Washington State.
“The craft of writing fiction is highly difficult, but having someone to refer to like Elizabeth George in order to better understand outlining, attention to details, organization and more, is a true gift. Whether reader or writer, this is one title that provides an intimate look into the writing life and career of one of the absolute best who should appear on everyone’s ‘short list.’ 5 Stars!”
“George demonstrates her own cardinal virtues of writing—careful organization and meticulous attention to detail—in this skillful guide to creating a novel. . . . Writers looking for practical insights will find this book to be of great merit.”
“[A] practical guide to technique and intimate look into George’s writing life [that] wisely reminds readers and students that writing is a job and should be scheduled as such . . . [and] has much to teach about developing character, plot, and point of view.”
“An up-close and personal class in writing a novel.”
“In Mastering the Process, bestselling author Elizabeth George takes us on her step-by-step process for creating a novel. I have never before read a book about writing that is so thorough, thoughtful, and most of all, helpful. She gives structure to the creative act of writing. I would recommend this to beginning writers and to writing pros who are looking for new ways to improve their work or approach it differently.”
—Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author of The Island of Sea Women
“Mastering the Process will be either enormously useful or enormously fascinating, depending on whether you wish to write yourself or simply to see from the inside how a brilliant writer writes a brilliant book. Or both! We fans have long admired George’s intricate plots, her memorable and complicated characters, and her deeply committed sense of place. This is a wonderful doorway into a seductive world, recommended for writers and readers alike.”
—Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
“This is not only a useful guide to Elizabeth George’s writing methods, but an intimate and generous look into the mind of one of our great mystery writers. Detailed and optimistic. You will love it.”
—T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Good Guy
“Mastering the Process is a splendid gift to new novelists and seasoned ones alike. With the savvy and humor her readers love, Elizabeth George generously provides instruction in the writing approach she has honed over two bestselling decades. I finished the book inspired by new ideas and feeling a real appreciation for the author not only as a writer but as a teacher.”
—Nancy Horan, New York Times bestselling author of Loving Frank
“No one writing today is a better craftsman of fiction than Elizabeth George. When she offers to tell you the mysteries of the writing process, as she does in Mastering the Process, we should sit up and pay attention. This book is revealing and charming by turns, and anyone interested in how the magic works will want to read it.”
—Terry Brooks, author of The Sword of Shannara
“What a gift! Elizabeth George unites two of her greatest strengths—the keen insight of a master storyteller, along with the soul of a teacher—in her new book, Mastering the Process. What a rare treat for any writer, or any fan of George’s work, a smart, thoughtful, approachable book on the writing process, on her writing process, as she generously shares her step-by-step method of what has made her one of the most beloved writers of our time.”
—Gail Tsukiyama, author of The Samurai’s Garden and A Hundred Flowers
“Through the years I've been lucky enough to watch Elizabeth George at work, to learn from her as she makes her way through her complex and beloved novels. (Full disclosure: I've been lucky to call her a friend.) Now, in this fascinating, instructive book, anyone who is interested in writing and process can learn from the master herself; all of us are in luck.”
—Jane Hamilton, author of When Madeline Was Young