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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How NOT to do it, 31 May 2010
This review is from: How NOT to Write a Novel: 200 Mistakes to avoid at All Costs if You Ever Want to Get Published (Paperback)
Well into the second draft of my second novel, I rather dreaded picking this book up. But I enjoyed it: it is funny, and hammers its points home with excruciating detail of misused descriptions, absurd characterisation, arcane words and appalling clichés. It made me consider whether all my characters were necessary, whether I was using the right words for the right things, and also feel faintly guilty about some of my metaphors. Good stuff, but maybe not for unpublished novelists at all, as self consciousness is the last thing they need to get the words flowing. If you are writing like any of the examples or even most of them, then maybe writing isn't for you. But frankly there are published novels that contain many of these faults as well - particularly the use of obscure words and clichéd characters. The best piece of advice in this or any other book is to read widely and eclectically (probably a banned word); immersing your mind in great prose so that you absorb the good organically. And that includes learning to spell. And never forget the man who thought 'hirsute' meant 'nevertheless'.
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