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Wannabe a Writer? (Secrets to Success) Paperback – 1 May 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Accent Press Ltd; Reprint edition (1 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905170815
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905170814
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 437,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Excellent. A must-have book for every budding writer --New Writing Magazine

Practical and funny... packed with information and advice for new writers. --Woman's Weekly

I wish it had been on the shelves when I started out. --Katie Fforde - bestselling author

About the Author

Jane Wenham-Jones is the author of four novels and three non-fiction titles. Jane also writes a monthly column for several newspapers and magazines including Writing Magazine

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've just finished reading this book - literally couldn't put it down. As well as being a really good book about writing, this is also very funny. I woke my husband by snorting out loud at her descriptions of genres. I loved the fact that the book is broken in to short sections so you can dip in and out if you want to. There is also really good practical advice about how to start, how to keep going, how other writers do it. But it's not just about writing, it's also about the writing business. Much as I've dabbled for years, I've decided now to apply my posterior to the chair and get on with it but I'd never even thought about what happens once the deal is made (dear God the thought of a promotional tour - must take the advice to get fit now!). The most important thing is that it has inspired me to actually do it and keep going. I'm going to read this again along with Stephen King's 'On Writing' whenever I'm lacking inspiration or direction. Plus if Jane's fiction writing is as funny as this book, I'm off to buy her other stuff.
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Format: Paperback
Like many authors, the path to publication has been a long one for me. I only wish Jane's book had been around when I first started out - it would have made the whole process quicker, easier and less angst-ridden!

Wannabe a Writer is packed with information - and unlike many books in this field it's honest and up-to-date rather than vague and waffley. From getting started to getting an agent, this book will be like having an experienced, funny, helpful friend at your side. Buy it!
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Format: Paperback
First off, credit where credit's due. The first third of the book (around 100 pages) that deals with planning, motivation, how to generate ideas, and that feeling all beginners get of "where the hell do I start?" is excellent. Indeed, it is very comforting to discover that many writers (even accomplished ones) are in the same boat when it comes to dealing with the dreaded writers block, finding things to write about, research, and a myriad of other problems that a writer must overcome to succeed. The author does a good job in making you realise this.

However...

Once you move into the middle part, the book seems to take on a whole new agenda. The author develops a penchant for RELENTLESSLY plugging her other books at every given opportunity. I guess this is fairly amusing for the first few instances, until it becomes apparent that she frequently makes reference to almost everything she's ever written, why you should read it, and where it is available to purchase etc.

You also get the impression that her relationship with the books external contributors (i.e. friends, fellow writers, agents, publishers, and general contacts) amounts to nothing more than a matey (I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine') love-in that becomes increasingly nauseating from the readers point of view. It's as if the author has agreed to advertise work of these contributors in exchange for their (often not so enlightening) tips and advice, whilst singing their praises from the rafters and telling the reader what great work he/she has accomplished (followed by the inevitable plugging of their books, magazine columns and websites etc).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every now and again there comes along a book that I wish I'd written. Wannabe a Writer by Jane Wenham-Jones is one of those books. Now I may be slightly biased because two members of my writing group, several fellow Sexy Shorts contributors (I write as Sally Quilford) and my favourite thriller writer of all time, Freddie Forsyth (how jealous am I that Jane got to speak to him?) grace its pages with words of wisdom. But I think I can be objective about a book that will do new writers a load of good.

First of all I like it because Jane Wenham-Jones is obviously one of us. By 'one of us' I mean an unpretentious writer who knows that you have to work bloody hard and not be too snobby about putting your work around or where you send it. What's more she sounds as though she's a good night out! I laughed out loud more than once, yet still learned a lot.

Jane has a great witty style, but amongst the jokes is solid advice about how to become a writer, how to behave when you are one, and how to survive the trials and tribulations. She mixes her own, often hilarious, experiences with those of other writers, including how to get an agent (and how not to, though I fear people without Jane's natural charm and vivacity might now try her way), how to submit a manuscript and how to behave with editors and agents when they have your tome. There are also chapters on writers' bum, and the other stresses that go with writing. Yes, there are stresses. It isn't all just sitting in front of a computer and putting your dreams down. You have to be prepared for those dreams to be trampled on. Jane does not gild the lily and neither do the dozens of writers who have contributed to this book.
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