Why I bought it? I attended Card's writing class in the summer, and lots of students there had the book and kept referring to it thinking it was great.
Synopsis: This is one in a series of books on writing by different authors put out by Writer's Digest. Card goes into his theories about what makes characters compelling and the positives and negatives of different types of viewpoints.
What I thought? It was an excellent review of the course I took--more in depth with more examples. The thing that I especially liked about this book was how practical and down to earth it was. It has been incredibly helpful to me in evaluating what I'm doing right and wrong in my writing. The questions he tells us to ask ourselves have been invaluable in helping me make my work better. There were several times when I was reading a section on mistakes beginners make, and I saw my own work in his examples. In recognizing myself I could pinpoint some of my weaknesses. At least, I found the solutions along with the problems. So! Yea! Some of the examples are a bit dated, since it was written quite a few years ago, but they are still understandable (and I don't think it's just because I'm a bit older).
My daughter's thoughts--While I was reading it, Elizabeth kept looking at the book with longing. She'd ask, "You're still not finished with that?" I was taking my time, highlighting, reviewing, and processing/digesting. When I finished, I handed it over, and she jumped right in. She says it has been extremely helpful and is taking her time working through it just as I did. Her rating: 4-5 stars--she wouldn't commit, since she still hadn't finished when I asked.
My Rating: ***** out of 5, I went online to see what others thought for this one (I was afraid I might have been biased because I had taken his class), and on Amazon it has a 4 1/2 star average rating with 75 people weighing in. So there you have it. I suppose I'm not any more biased than other people.
Cleanness Score: 4 out of 10, There's a little bit of language but not much and not strong words, and there are a few examples that are fairly racy but not explicit.