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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 August 2012
..more battle-hardened wordslinger's epistles from the front-line.

This is a collection of Chuck Wendig's writing advice blog posts from his [...] site. But don't be thinking "hey, i'll just read the blog and save myself a few squids", because you'd be doing Chuck out of a sale (and the resulting 1/5th of a bottle of booze), plus you'd miss out on the addenda gracing many of the more popular entries.

This isn't advice from the sterile environment of the classroom, where a smartly dressed teacher patiently explains the finer points of simile and metaphor. This is advice shouted at you by an ink-stained proto-human, living next to the presses and wearing only a loin cloth made from rejection letters. It's not about sentence construction or grammar - Chuck assumes that you know the English language - its about sitting down to write, finishing work, getting it edited and having skin thicker than a whale omelette when it comes to being knocked back.

What I love most about this book, and its unholy older sister "Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey", is:

a) Chuck's inventive use of profanity to get his point across. And therein lies the first warning: Should you find word-filth offensive or off-putting, under no circumstances buy this book. If
however, in your day-to-day life, you find yourself inventing new swear-words because the official portfolio just doesn't say what you feel, then Chuck will be a kindred spirit.

b) The implicit lesson that, by and large, a writers worst enemy is him/herself. They're lazy, drunken and will do anything to avoid actually sitting down and putting pen to paper or
fingers to keyboard. They whine and whinge when rejected, they start new projects before finishing current ones and, because they're a special snowflake set free from a cloud of pure
creativity, base activities such as being paid are an affront to their 'art'. Second warning - if you have a problem with someone repeatedly handing you a verbal arse-kicking - again, you
might want to reconsider your purchase.

c) I've actually read Chuck's fiction. So many writing books come from authors I've never heard of or read. I got into Chuck's fiction (Blackbirds: (Angry Robot): 1)
before realising he had a blog or writing advice books. As a result - these are lessons from someone I actually respect as being an accomplished author. Ok - he may not be for everyone, but
he gets two thumbs up from this corner.

It's funny, practical, uncompromising and in many places brutal. I'm not an author - but I enjoyed it immensely.

NOTE: This review is pretty much the same as the review I wrote for the first book. There's a reason for that - they are the same. Yes, the posts are different posts from his website, but it's the same style and tone. The review is as relevant to this book as the previous.
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on 20 September 2011
I'm reading this at the moment and I love it. It's so honest and interesting but also very, very funny. It's inspired me to get writing. I'll now read everything else I can get my hands on by this man.
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on 11 March 2013
Really smart writing from a guy who honestly wants you to write better. The book (a collection of blogs) comes across like the mad rantings of some dude at the end of the bar yelling 'and another thing ..' before weeping uncontrollably, smashing the whiskey bottle, and contemplating self harm. And it's all the funnier, smarter - and, crucially - more helpful - for all that.

Is it telling you stuff you already know? Well, as someone buying a 'How To Write' book, then, yes, it probably is. But that's somewhat the point, re-stating some truths (including the relief-to-hear You Will Write Crap Sometimes) manages to reinvest you with a great deal of energy and a reminder why you even considered writing in the first place.
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on 20 January 2013
Chuck's book isn't just about beating down the self built walls of the precious 'blocked writer' with his bloodied fists, nah. The man is smart, and manages to mix high brow references with popular culture in a hilarious mix. I have never laughed so much as when reading his work. It has also made me more productive and less of a 'special flower' waiting for the muse to come and wave her magic fairy wand. Also, his writer descriptions are terrifyingly exact, causing me to search about the room for the hidden webcam spying on me. All in all, this book is a kind of therapy, but avoid if easily offended. I have learned a lot from Chuck Wendig, and enjoyed myself immensely during the process.
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on 23 September 2014
Chuck Wendig's books are all informative and inspirational. His style of writing advice is unique. Buy this if you're losing steam on a project, don't feel like writing, or think that you're 'blocked'. It'll help.
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