"Comes a point in the career of any aspiring novelist--when you find yourself in the second decade of revising your opus, for instance--that you may wonder why you ever bothered. This how-not-to by British novelist David Armstrong (Night's Black Agents) will either give you the strength to soldier on or inspire you to get out the lighter fluid and torch your manuscript before evil publishing types get the chance. Every chapter--on agents, advances, discipline and all the other joyful components of the writing biz--offers useful anecdotes and advice and ends with a cheerful list of tips (number one is usually "Don't do it!"): "Especially when you are young, do as wide a variety of jobs as you can. They'll often be low paid and involve long hours and tedium. Perfect for fostering the writing spirit."---The Washington Post
Reading a self-help book for would be authors can give you the impression that becoming an author is a simple and lucrative process. But for the vast majority of published authors the bestseller lists are something to dream about and writing is not their main source of income. David Armstrong is a typical mid-list author: his books are well received but have failed to make a commercial breakthrough, his work sells solidly but unspectacularly, he's well known within the writing community but the majority of book buyers, will never have heard his name. And it is from this position that he has produced an antidote to the vast number of overly optimistic writers' guides. How Not to Write a Novel is a comprehensive guide to becoming a published author. Subjects covered range from agents to vanity publishing, the slush pile to prizes and contracts to marketing. Brutally honest and thoroughly refreshing - finally a writers' guide that tells it like it really is!