Mastering the Process
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 novelFor 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 to a complete book?In these pages, award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George takes us behind the scenes and into 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 step of how she wrote her novel Careless in Red, from researching location to imagining plot to creating characters to the actual writing and revision process itself. George offers us an intimate look at the process she follows, while also providing invaluable advice for writers about what's worked for her--and what hasn't. Mastering the Process offers writers practical, prescriptive, and achievable tools to creating a novel, to editing a novel, and to problem solve when in the midst of a novel, from a master storyteller writing at the top of her game.

Mastering the Process Details

TitleMastering the Process
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 7th, 2020
PublisherViking
ISBN-139781984878311
Rating
GenreLanguage, Writing, Nonfiction

Mastering the Process Review

  • Elizabeth George
    January 1, 1970
    Ignore the stars. I put them in because I wanted to let everyone know about my book "Mastering the Process", which will be available on April 7. This is a book about writing, specifically about the process of putting together a novel. It's the process I have developed over the years since my first novel in 1988. Taking just one of my novels--"Careless in Red" published by HarperCollins--I deconstruct it in such a way as to show you how I put it all together, from the moment I began my research Ignore the stars. I put them in because I wanted to let everyone know about my book "Mastering the Process", which will be available on April 7. This is a book about writing, specifically about the process of putting together a novel. It's the process I have developed over the years since my first novel in 1988. Taking just one of my novels--"Careless in Red" published by HarperCollins--I deconstruct it in such a way as to show you how I put it all together, from the moment I began my research for the book (which is set in Cornwall on the west coast) to the moment it was set to be published. Throughout, I give you direct examples of my process, including photographs I took on location and sections from the novel itself that show you how those novels were used when I got to the writing. You will also find character analyses, along with scenes of those characters in action in the book. You'll see examples of the use of the various Cornish settings I found, as well as the use of interviews I conducted. You'll see how research gets buried into an ongoing narrative instead of having neon lights illuminating it for the reader. I explain what I mean when I say that I outline, and I show you not only what the outline looks like but also how things change along the way. If you're a reader who enjoys my novels, you'll probably find this an interesting look at how I work. If you're a neophyte writer who's feeling a bit lost, you'll have some options to explore. If you're a writing instructor, you'll find information and exercises to share with your students. Enjoy.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    An unusual and wonderful read that should appeal to anyone who loves books. I admit to being a huge George fan. I also have no intention of ever writing a novel so I read this more for insight into George than I did to learn how to do so. George is a master of the complex mystery and of characters who will resonate with you. She's also managed to worldbuild over the years so that readers, like me, look forward to what comes next (especially since there's always a cliff hanger of sorts). She's a An unusual and wonderful read that should appeal to anyone who loves books. I admit to being a huge George fan. I also have no intention of ever writing a novel so I read this more for insight into George than I did to learn how to do so. George is a master of the complex mystery and of characters who will resonate with you. She's also managed to worldbuild over the years so that readers, like me, look forward to what comes next (especially since there's always a cliff hanger of sorts). She's a terrific storyteller and that's what comes through in this as well. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. A real treat while you wait for the next Inspector Lynley.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    This book is an insightful look into the process of writing a novel. The examples that show the process from planning to execution are very wonderful, and the steps provided would be helpful for anyone interested in writing. Whether it's someone who is thinking about starting a novel and not knowing where to start, a writer who is knee deep in it already and feeling stuck, or even just someone wanting to build on their current process, there is something in the book for everyone. Thank you to This book is an insightful look into the process of writing a novel. The examples that show the process from planning to execution are very wonderful, and the steps provided would be helpful for anyone interested in writing. Whether it's someone who is thinking about starting a novel and not knowing where to start, a writer who is knee deep in it already and feeling stuck, or even just someone wanting to build on their current process, there is something in the book for everyone. Thank you to Viking Books for the advanced copy!
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  • Diane Hernandez
    January 1, 1970
    In Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel, the author of the Inspector Lynsey series reveals the process she uses to write her crime novels. How will her process help budding writers?By developing and utilizing a process, we eradicate our fears of the blank page and eliminate the chaos of the thoughts that are produced by our mental committee.The author notes that while this process may not be optimal for everyone, it works for her. In fact, she has reduced her editorial notes from nine pages In Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel, the author of the Inspector Lynsey series reveals the process she uses to write her crime novels. How will her process help budding writers?“By developing and utilizing a process, we eradicate our fears of the blank page and eliminate the chaos of the thoughts that are produced by our mental committee.”The author notes that while this process may not be optimal for everyone, it works for her. In fact, she has reduced her editorial notes from nine pages to zero on at least one past novel.So what are some of the author’s suggestions? Start with researching the setting extensively. Create the characters next by becoming their “psychologist, historian, medical doctor, guardian angel, omnipresent observer, parent, sibling, confidant, best friend, worst enemy, etc.” Essentially, be their god “creating them from nothing.” Unstated is the selection, or rejection, of a particular genre before beginning your research.The book digs deeply into the details of the author’s process for writing Careless in Red. She includes how particular photographs led to specific scenes, which are included in the text. In a later chapter, she explains the purpose of a dialogue scene from her book. Another chapter explains her THAD, or Talking Heads Avoidance Device. Another addresses point-of-view. And so on through the entire writing process of plotting, scene writing, and revising. In addition, each chapter contains two optional exercises for the reader to use to hone each new skill.I appreciate the usefulness of having a written recipe to move from idea to finished book. This book would be especially helpful for beginning writers. Even pantsers can learn a thing or two about using research to eliminate a long editorial process after their book is finished.However, as solely a reader myself, Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel is a peek behind the curtain at how a familiar, and best-selling, author’s decisions impact what I read on the printed page. I read Careless in Red when it came out twelve years ago. I have a new appreciation of how much work it took to write it. Or, really, how much work is unseen when reading any book. 4 stars!Thanks to Viking Books and Edelweiss+ for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Kathleen Flynn
    January 1, 1970
    This is neither the least helpful or the most helpful book of writing advice that I have ever come across. It's at many points sensible and practical, particularly about scene construction and the importance of dramatic questions. Definitely it helped to have just read Careless in Red, because reading long segments of that book (incorporated into this one) would have been senseless and tedious otherwise. But perhaps part of the problem I had with the writing advice presented here was my own This is neither the least helpful or the most helpful book of writing advice that I have ever come across. It's at many points sensible and practical, particularly about scene construction and the importance of dramatic questions. Definitely it helped to have just read Careless in Red, because reading long segments of that book (incorporated into this one) would have been senseless and tedious otherwise. But perhaps part of the problem I had with the writing advice presented here was my own lukewarm feeling about Careless in Red.
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  • June
    January 1, 1970
    This is a helpful guide to expanding your thinking and viewing your project from different angles. The author provides many substantial examples to illustrate her concepts. Would make a nice gift for an aspiring writer!
  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    Using passages from her mystery novel Careless in Red (spoilers for that novel if you haven't read it) George sets forth her writing process. How she approaches research, character development, plot ideas, outlining, THAD (Talking Head Avoidance Device), writing, and editing. I found her description of her process and the examples helpful in understanding how she works. I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher through the Goodreads First Reads giveaways.
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  • KathyNV
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fascinating book on one writer's process. Elizabeth George takes her novel Careless in Red and details how she put it together. She takes you step by step...from plot conception to character development, landscape, scene building, research and so much more! Included are pictures, notes and personal anecdotes that bring her technique to life. Mastering the Process is a great read for both writers and readers alike. I have read lots of books on writing but none with the attention to This is a fascinating book on one writer's process. Elizabeth George takes her novel “Careless in Red” and details how she put it together. She takes you step by step...from plot conception to character development, landscape, scene building, research and so much more! Included are pictures, notes and personal anecdotes that bring her technique to life. “Mastering the Process” is a great read for both writers and readers alike. I have read lots of books on writing but none with the attention to detail this book provides! I highly recommend it! Thank you to Viking Books and Goodreads!
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  • Renee Bradshaw
    January 1, 1970
    Packed full of useful information, I truly wish this book had been around years ago when I started writing seriously. As I work to get back into writing years after a fork in the road, I found much of this to be a helpful refresher. There are two chapters I particularly liked- The Thad and Step Outline. These were described for the first time Ive noticed in a writing book, and I will be turning back to these chapters at a later date to go over all those highlights again. Packed full of useful information, I truly wish this book had been around years ago when I started writing seriously. As I work to get back into writing years after a fork in the road, I found much of this to be a helpful refresher. There are two chapters I particularly liked- The Thad and Step Outline. These were described for the first time I’ve noticed in a writing book, and I will be turning back to these chapters at a later date to go over all those highlights again.
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  • Cari
    January 1, 1970
    I will be reviewing this one for Booklist!
  • LS
    January 1, 1970
    Whenever I finish one of Elizabeth George's Lynley novels, I always feel as though I've just like I've had a very full, satisfying meal. Her books are more than just mysteries; they are also profound character studies. Her language is sumptuous, her plots are intricate, and her themes are complex. When I learned she had written another book on writing, I instantly put it on my to-read list. You can imagine how pleased I was to win an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway.As someone who dabbles in Whenever I finish one of Elizabeth George's Lynley novels, I always feel as though I've just like I've had a very full, satisfying meal. Her books are more than just mysteries; they are also profound character studies. Her language is sumptuous, her plots are intricate, and her themes are complex. When I learned she had written another book on writing, I instantly put it on my to-read list. You can imagine how pleased I was to win an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway.As someone who dabbles in creative writing, I'm interested in learning about other writers' processes, especially when it's a writer I admire. Throughout this guide, George uses one of her recent novels as an example of how she approaches each part of her unique process, from her research to her character analyses, to her step outline and running plot outline, all the way to the rough draft and revisions. I have been working on a book of my own recently, and after many failed attempts, I finally started working on a plot outline that is very similar to what George described in her book. So far it seems to be working. It certainly seems to have worked well for Elizabeth George, who has written over 20 spectacular novels. She's one of the best in the genre. This is a thoughtful book than anyone interested in the writing process will enjoy.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    Makes me realize I am not and never will be a novelist, but informative as to what the process is like. Its still all about producing something that a publisher thinks the buying public will want to read. One surprise is that George finds an interesting place first, and the rest of the novel sort of evolves out of her locale research... Makes me realize I am not and never will be a novelist, but informative as to what the process is like. It’s still all about producing something that a publisher thinks the buying public will want to read. One surprise is that George finds an interesting place first, and the rest of the novel sort of “evolves” out of her locale research...
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  • Annarella
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a fan of Elizabeth George and I got this ARC because I wanted to read about the process of creating a novel.She's a talented storyteller and this is a very interesting and engrossing read.Highly recommended.Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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  • Carol Cronin
    January 1, 1970
    A deep dive into the process of writing a novel, by one of my favorite authors.
  • Steven Ridgely
    January 1, 1970
    Great information.
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