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I found your book very informative, and I refer back to it even now.  Especially helpful was the suggestion of a novel writing software. My stories come out much more cohesively and are much easier to write.  I also liked the suggestions you give for creating tension and mood in a longer story.  It has made my novel progress so much more easily.

Your book was the best five bucks I ever spent: Annette Piazza

There is a review on this website: Quintessentially Quilly Part of the review says: Quense has given me the tools I need to look at story creation. He outlines and comprehensively details the essential story crafter’s skills and tasks: story construction; character motivations; character development; plotting the story; writer’s patience; scene construction; humor writing; point of view; how to get started; writing tips; elements of writing for daytime TV; and 14 details listed as Odds & Ends. Some of what Quense says I have heard before, but much of what he provides in this book details the business of writing — how to get down and get the work done.

The problem with most books on writing is that they’re 10% gold and 90% filler. Short, sweet and to the point, Hank Quense’s Building a Better Story does the beginner a great service by distilling many ideas from books on writing, and giving you references at the end of each chapter if you wish to dig deeper. If I were giving a class in writing, I’d make chapter four REQUIRED READING. Here is information you CAN’T get from writing book created by a professional author. That alone is well worth the price of the book. Hank’s emphasis on organization and tools for organizing creativity (both paper and software) are also well worth the price of the book. – Robert Qualkinbush

Build a Better Story by Hank Quense provides a clear roadmap for creating stories. The text offers a strategy for planning your story before you ever start writing the first draft. Quense’s techniques are especially useful for beginners because it removes the random trial and error typical of most beginners’ efforts.

The key point of the book is to be organized in the planning and writing of your stories, and it shows you precisely how to bring order out of the chaos of story creation. The text offers a concise overview of all the major aspects of story creation, including planning, character development, plot, point of view, etc. The flowcharts prompt you to consider specific story issues, which will help you avoid the situation of realizing you've left out or forgotten some aspect of your story.

If followed, Quense’s methods will help you develop good habits in the planning and writing of your story, and will result in rough drafts that are much closer to the final draft than they would otherwise be. Wayne Craun

Hank’s insight into writing and sound, easily understood advice on all the main issues of fiction writing, plus his very easy-to-follow character and plot maps is a highly recommended, writing tool.
I found his book easy to read and the work flows well, while he offers practical and sound advice. There is excellent insight into “reader” demands to good writing and good advice from character creation to plot planning with references to further reading in each chapter. Hank has summed up many of the new writer pitfalls. His advice will assist many writers with his structured methodology.
I find his dialogue building advice invaluable, and his structured information forms a really worthwhile investment.
This is a must-have on the shelf for assisting authors to up their game and avoid the many industry mistakes made by writers. Gavin Tonks

I found the work to be easily read and understood. The contents are fundamental yet critical to successful writing and I’ve seen many veteran authors neglect or forget some of the basic “rules” which you do such a thorough job of outlining. Of particular value to me were the following aspects;

  • The methodical or “process” mechanics you utilize in crafting a story

  • The consistent benchmarks one can employ to keep the plot on track along with all of the other elements

  • The personal glimpse of your methods used in creating entertaining fiction

  • Descriptions of potential software and related tools in streamlining the process of creating fiction writing

  • Reminders of what one needs to keep in mind for effective characterization and plot creation.

Chris Bauer

Nice book, I've really enjoyed it. I learned a lot in the past 10 years on Critters, but you succinctly applied MANY of those base building blocks into one place, reminding me of stuff that I've forgotten or ignored. Good job: Jason Hauser

"...A unique approach to creating a story. Written in plain English…" Jan Clark

"Hank Quense shares the design process for writing a book of fiction. Quense encourages writers to develop the idea for the story rather than jumping into the writing. I found his process fascinating. He recommends the author develop the characters, plot, setting and other elements of the story prior to starting the first draft."

Quense's process continues with flow charts, etc. His idea is to be organized. He continues his book by discussing motivation, patience, character development, etc. This book is thin but he covers it all. He even offers flow chart examples and how to use daytime TV to improve your writing.

I like to be organized, and I can readily see where Quense's design process would work.

The text is written in an easy to read and understand style. I can see how this book would benefit authors, especially new authors. I highly recommend this book to all writers." Readers Favorite

"Build a Better Story is the perfect companion for anyone looking to start writing fiction. The explanations are clear and to the point, and help to simplify the many complexities that are necessary to transform a good story into a great one. With hints and tips to prevent those ‘first-timer’ mistakes, this book is essential for new writers and old hands alike." Emma Walker

For GET IT IN GEAR (an earlier version)

After only one quick reading of Get It in Gear, Hank's advice helped me decide where and how to start to write my current book project, and proceed from there, systematically, rather than haphazardly. The book's suggestions also helped me organize my thoughts and materials better. I installed this e-book, on my computer desktop, and I refer to it, whenever I sit down to write, to organize my thoughts. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve his or her fiction or nonfiction writing. (J) C. Raymond

Thanks for the great ebook (”Get it in Gear”) — it
was well worth the $.
I’ve now read it for the second time, and it’s slowly sinking in. Louis L. Hemmi








© 2008 Hank Quense