How Not to Write A Novel

How Not to Write A Novel

200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them--a Misstep-by-misstep Guide

Book - 2008
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"What do you think of my fiction book writing?" the aspiring novelist extorted.

"Darn," the editor hectored, in turn. "I can not publish your novel! It is full of what we in the business call 'really awful writing.'"

"But how shall I absolve this dilemma? I have already read every tome available on how to write well and get published!" The writer tossed his head about, wildly.

"It might help," opined the blonde editor, helpfully, "to ponder how NOT to write a novel, so you might avoid the very thing!"

Many writing books offer sound advice on how to write well. This is not one of those books. On the contrary, this is a collection of terrible, awkward, and laughably unreadable excerpts that will teach you what to avoid--at all costs--if you ever want your novel published.

In How Not to Write a Novel, authors Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman distill their 30 years combined experience in teaching, editing, writing, and reviewing fiction to bring you real advice from the other side of the query letter. Rather than telling you how or what to write, they identify the 200 most common mistakes unconsciously made by writers and teach you to recognize, avoid, and amend them. With hilarious "mis-examples" to demonstrate each manuscript-mangling error, they'll help you troubleshoot your beginnings and endings, bad guys, love interests, style, jokes, perspective, voice, and more. As funny as it is useful, this essential how-NOT-to guide will help you get your manuscript out of the slush pile and into the bookstore.

Publisher: New York : Collins, c2008.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780061357954
0061357952
Branch Call Number: 808.3 MITTELMA
Characteristics: vii, 262 pages ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Newman, Sandra 1965-

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AbigailCurious Apr 20, 2015

Its a very informative book. However some of what they claim are mistakes are their personal opinions.

r
rixonkarla
Jul 28, 2012

I've read a few books on how to write, and this is the only one I remember anything from. Its worth checking out if you're an aspiring novelist.

s
Sevly
Mar 10, 2012

Hilarious AND informative. What more can you ask for?

c
Cepros
Aug 13, 2011

This was a great and very informative read, and I would recommend it to anyone considering a career/stint as a novelist. Some of the "examples" had me laughing out loud. At the very least, it is very effective at trumping up your self-esteem (as in: "I may not be Shakespeare, but by God, I never made THAT mistake"). You can sleep easier knowing that there are people in the world who think that it's not necessary to spell words correctly in their novels' final drafts. Or in their query letters. The authors also tackle subtler issues (like keeping a third-person limited omniscient narrator in line) that can sometimes creep into even published literature. The authors definitely focus on what NOT to do when writing a novel; however, I thought that some of the tips could have benefited from an example or two showcasing the right way to go about things. All in all, this book delivers what it promises - every author should avoid making any of these mistakes.

bidbid Mar 31, 2011

Great advise and full of laugh-of-loud humour; I highly recommend it.

s
Snakes
Oct 04, 2009

This is one book that all writers should look into. Very informative, though it's definitely not for younger readers.

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