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Mastering the Process

On sale

23rd April 2020

Price: £20

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781529390810

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‘After a number of years teaching writing courses and appearing at writers’ conferences, I began to see that creating a process book utilising one of my novels as an example of each step of my process might prove useful to people who are interested in novel writing or in how this individual writer approaches the complicated task of putting together a British crime novel.’

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 a master class in the art and science of crafting a novel, sharing her wealth of experience with would-be novelists, and with crime fiction fans. Using her actual work to illustrate the various steps of novel writing that she explores in this book, she illustrates her points about plotting, characterisation and technique with great clarity and generosity.

Drawing from her personal photos, early notes, character analyses, and rough drafts for every stage of her novel Careless in Red, George offers us an intimate look at the procedures she follows, from researching location to imagining plot to creating characters to the actual writing and revision processes themselves. At the same time, she gives invaluable advice for writers about what has worked for her – and what hasn’t. Mastering the Process provides writers with 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 at the top of her game.

Elizabeth George has taught creative writing both nationally and internationally for over thirty years and is the author of Write Away, described as ‘one novelist’s approach to fiction and the writing life’.


Gail Tsukiyama, author of The Samurai's Garden and A Hundred Flowers
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 that has made her one of the most beloved writers of our time.
Jane Hamilton, author of A Map of the World
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 . . . 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.
Terry Brooks, author of The Sword of Shannara
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.
T. Jefferson Parker, author of The Last Good Guy
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 greatest mystery writers. Detailed and optimistic. You will love it.
Kirkus Reviews
An up-close and personal class in writing a novel.
Lisa See, author of The Island of Sea Women
I have never before read a book about writing that is so thorough, thoughtful, and most of all, helpful.
Rachel Hore, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Love Child
In this unusual and immersive book Elizabeth George generously shares the wealth of knowledge and experience she has gained from the creation of her hugely loved crime novels. There are nuggets here that will prove invaluable to fiction writers of any genre
SD Sykes, author of The Bone Fire (a Publishers Weekly Book of the Year)
Brimming with insight and advice, Mastering the Process deserves to become a classic on the craft of writing
My Weekly
Packed with tips on how to craft a novel