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The Writer's ABC Checklist (Secrets to Success) [Paperback]

Lorraine Mace , Maureen Vincent-Northam
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

1 Jan 2010 Secrets to Success
Regardless of the writer's level or ability, there is something extremely daunting about putting together a submission. It doesn't matter if it is for an article for a magazine, or short story for a competition, a humorous anecdote, a play or TV script, a novel or non-fiction book, "The Writer's ABC Checklist" will provide answers to questions you didn't even know you should ask. With its A-Z format, references can be found quickly and effortlessly. Unfamiliar terms are explained and bullet points at the end of most sections provide a quick reminder of the main items covered. This unique book is packed with writing tips and is something no aspiring writer can afford to be without.

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The Writer's ABC Checklist (Secrets to Success) + How to Write and Sell Short Stories (Secrets to Success) + The Five-Minute Writer: Exercise and inspiration in creative writing in five minutes a day
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Accent Press Ltd; First Edition edition (1 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907016198
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907016196
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description


There is advice on every possible question you might ask. --Writing Magazine

About the Author

Lorraine Mace is a columnist with Writing Magazine, a writing judge, a tutor for the Writers Bureau and winner of an international poetry award. Maureen Vincent-Northam gained first place in a national children's book competition. An online tutor in genealogical writing, she is also a writing-competition judge.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful 10 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first time I flicked through this book I wondered what it provided which is different from other books about writing, but when I studied it more closely I decided it is really quite a useful publication. It is not the sort of book you would want to read through from cover as it is primarily a book of reference. You could find more detail about almost any subject covered from other books but if you just want a quick reference book this could suit the purpose.

All aspects of writing are covered in alphabetical order for the broad headings. The contents list is comprehensive and there is a useful index, together with a list of relevant addresses and websites as well as list of helpful books. Many of the sections contain a bullet point summary of the salient points. Subjects covered include: Layout and Formatting, Markets, Editors, Vanity Publishers, Agents and Abbreviations.

A useful book for both amateur and professional writers though it is not perhaps as useful as such publications as `The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook' or `The Writer's Handbook'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Of Pratical Use 23 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This good little book is of invaluable use to those who are in or are entering the world of publishing work. The title is very apt, as it says exactly what this book is. It isn't a guide on how to write, though it does contain sections on vocabulary and writing to a target audience, etc. With advice about copyright and submitting work there is loads of practical advice amongst the pages of this book.

This is a great little reference work as it is written in an easy to use index format and contains useful addresses, what to do if your work is accepted, and if it isn't, when to admit work for magazines and newspapers and where to seek an agent or getting help on signing contracts. If you want to get something published then you can't go wrong with this. There are things covered here that you probably haven't even considered and it is all written in a very easy to understand style.

All in all this is a must have for those interested in submitting work for publication.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, informative reference book 12 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is basically a book full of tips and things to think about before, during and after you've written your novel, short story or non-fiction article. It is written in a concise way where you can cross-reference easily as well as dipping in and out of the book as and when you want to. Because of this, and because it's not a heavy, cumbersome tome, you can imagine that it will be used often rather than being read once and then left on the shelf.

Having done a quick search I can't find any published novels by Lorraine Mace or Maureen Vincent-Northam (unless they use pseudonyms). This shouldn't really matter but I always like to think that the people writing books about writing should at least be successful in the field.

I liked the style of writing of this particular book which I felt was informative and friendly without trying too hard to be funny or coming across as condescending.

Obviously the advice in the book is just a starting off point as many publishers or magazines have house styles that they would prefer you to adhere to with regards to spellings, punctuation etc. But it's a good place to start and it does have a lot of information contained within it. There's advice/tips on everything from use of capital letters, competitions, grammar and indexing to marketing, serial rights, spelling, writer's groups and so much more besides.

My biggest annoyance with this book is that I felt that it could have been laid out in format that made it easier to read and easier to pick out the headings on each page. It does have a good contents and index but I would personally liked to have seen the sections spaced out a bit more so that it didn't look like huge chunks of imposing text wherever you opened the book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Tool for Writers 17 May 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I have this excellent resource on the shelf above my writing desk and I delve into it for advice and clarification on a regular basis. The book is laid out alphabetically so it's easy to find the section you need. You'll find advice on everything from characterisation to dialogue, from setting out your MS to finding a publisher. This volume should be on every serious writer's bookshelf. It's that good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and direct 18 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent book with short and concise guidelines what to do and what not to do; including useful hints. E.g. I now know how to format with my word program!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but didn't learn anything new 24 Aug 2012
By xenofan VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This was a nice resource, but I already have a dozen (at least) of these kinds of books, and this book didn't really offer me anything new. A nice resource for the beginner writer, but anyone that's read any of these "how to write" books probably won't find much use from what's in this one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a first draft 15 Mar 2010
By purpleheart TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Who is the audience for this book? It seems to be written for the aspiring novelist or feature writer, or travel writer....or any amateur writer in any field having a go at being professional. That's ok but that's quite a range and so the book is all over the place in terms of subject matter, level and depth.

It would have been better if the authors hadn't got into content and had restricted themselves to the process of becoming a published writer...Apparently, if you're writing a novel you must have a hook at the start of every chapter and a cliff hanger at the end. Somebody better tell Virgina Woolf or Hilary Mantel or Philip Roth.

Then again some of their top tips are incredibly basic - You must keep a copy if you're sending a manuscript out, oh yes and a covering letter too. Again, fine but because of all the other stuff - including grammar and puncuation - there is very litle of real use here. The A to Z style tends to exacerbate this further.

It wouldn't make it to my reference library but dipping into it in the library is probably the way to go.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book. Very useful for any budding writer
Brilliant book. Very useful for any budding writer.
Published 23 days ago by Jaleva
5.0 out of 5 stars very helpful
This book was recommended by my teacher and it has turned out to be very useful. Lots of good easy to read information. It is one of those books you will keep coming back to.
Published 11 months ago by DRJ London
1.0 out of 5 stars The Writer's abc Checklist.
I found this guide to be a very poor distillation of information found in many more noteworthy books on the subject of writing.
Published 17 months ago by C. F. J. Bratchell-hunt
3.0 out of 5 stars Purely a dictionary rather than a guide.
To be honest I expected this to be more of a how to book than a dictionary but it certainly carries a lot of information from styles of writing to agents and of course its all easy... Read more
Published on 24 Feb 2011 by Mr. Darren P. Hammond
2.0 out of 5 stars Easy as ABC ?
Rather general "checklist" of how to approach publication that is a bit light on hard factual advice and a bit heavy on airy generalisation. Read more
Published on 23 Nov 2010 by Rotgut
3.0 out of 5 stars Good info, hate the ABC format
The publisher's blurb says "With its A-Z format, finding those references and unusual explanations has never been easier."

I disagree. Read more
Published on 26 Oct 2010 by S. Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have
Everything you need to know about writing is answered in this book,except the actual writing, you have to do that yourselves. A must have.
Published on 22 April 2010 by M. Hirst
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful, But...
Of course, any book of advice is only of limited utility. However, this book does contain invaluable hints, especially on matters such as punctuation, which simply aren't taught... Read more
Published on 25 Mar 2010 by Mr. Gtj Charmley
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