How NOT to Write a Novel: 200 Mistakes to avoid at All Costs if You Ever Want to Get Published Paperback – 29 Jan 2009
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
This writing how-to should carry a warning: it's the kind of book one reads at the expense of all other responsibilities. (Library Journal)
A great resource and a fun read with a lot of solid advice for would-be novelists. (Publishers Weekly)
'[a] hilarious, wickedly observed and deeply useful guide'
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
I found it intermittently very funny, and usually helpful; some of the recommendations will be familiar to anyone who's read anything similar before, but it's mostly fresh and zippy enough. You'll get through it in a single sitting, but it would make a useful pre-flight checklist for any fiction manuscript.
Certain Amazon reviewers seem to have found this book personally offensive, and the examples of mistakes insulting to unpublished writers. On the other hand, one of those reviewers doesn't know that a 'straw man' is a deliberate misrepresentation of an opponent's position, designed to be easily refuted, and not a deliberate exaggeration designed to make a salient point clearer, which is what the parodic examples in this book are. I'd say they're made so comically awful partly in order to *avoid* offending or discouraging unpublished writers.
The implicit 201st piece of advice here is probably: if you're dreadful enough to find the examples insulting, and you can't see how bad you are even after it's pointed out to you, give up.
I bought this book as a writing guide and in this respect found it quite useful. In the first few pages I managed to spot some of the areas where I had been going wrong in my own writing. The book as a whole contains a mixture of tips, some that you may think are obvious and others not, but all of them are insightful in some way.
The book is very, very sarcastic which certainly appeals to my sense of humour. At a few places I did laugh out loud and one particular part did cause a few minutes of chuckling. There is also a distinct dislike for the author Ayn Rand running through these pages which I can but applaud loudly.
If there is a downside to the book it is that now I am reading fiction through the lens of Mittlemark and Newman. I've started seeing some really obvious mistakes in the work of famous and respected authors, and I have to try not to make this prevent me from enjoying their work. Oh well, I suppose if published authors aren't perfect then there is hope for us all.
Full of gold nuggets? There are some - hey, not everyone strikes it rich. This is a great little remember-the-obvious-how-to-book, but then again, I guess the obvious mistakes are also the most recurrent mistakes.
All in all, this is a humorous little book, but not the book that will be dog-eared and underlined and used time and time again in my writing endeavours.
How NOT to Write a Novel takes a different tack. Rather than soothing platitudes and worthy opinions regarding the overuse of adverbs, this book explodes into the aspiring author's face with countless examples of (deliberately) bad writing, followed by serious deconstruction of the same.
Anyone who's ever written fiction will recognise their earliest efforts in at least some of these extracts, whether it's painfully crude exposition or deeply unpleasant characters. And anyone who's serious about writing fiction should take a look at this - the examples are harsh, and often hilarious, but the accompanying commentary is often practical and sensible. Even if you don't agree with all of the tips and advice presented in this book, you're confronted with examples that will challenge your ideas, and at least force you to justify your own habits and get to know your own writing a little better.
Not only does my copy sit proudly on my shelf, but I've bought several copies of this for writer friends over the years.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book, but very cynical / critical, which is good if you are super confident, but by the end of it I wasn't sure if I had any confidence or skills left! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kamikazi
Hilarious book. I re-read it from time to time to remind myself what not to do, because sometimes this really is the best way to learn. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ricardohos
Apart from being a genuinely useful manual for writers, this is also one of the most hilarious books I've read in a very long time. Highly recommend it!Published 3 months ago by Nina Vodstrup Andersen
Very funny and squirm making especially when you have already done the 'do not do'. Great for writing spoofs.Published 3 months ago by missismac
This book is hillarious. It does exactly what it promises. It tells you how not to do things! It covers beginnings, endings, protagonists, villains and many more. I reccomend it!Published 4 months ago by Marilia
Very engaging - read this effortlessly and quickly. The most entertaining 'self-help' book I've ever read - and also genuinely useful. Read morePublished 4 months ago by JRW
GIVE THIS ONE A MISS - IT'S NOT AWFUL BUT THERE ARE MUCH BETTER BOOKS AVAILABLE i.e.
SHOW AND TELL,
STORY STRUCTURE ARCHITECT - - IF YOU BUY THESE... Read more