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Not a 'Guide book' on how to, but a comic illustration of 'How Not'
on 24 September 2016
I had high hopes for this book because this is a great title, and the write-up and recommendations. 'Heavens - what a joy!' Sunday Times. were all great, but on reading the book I was extremely disappointed.
The basic structure is good covering Plot, Character, Style part 1 & 2, Worldbuilding and special effects. So I opened up the first chapter on Plot Beginnings. The authors then set out to illustrate how not to begin a novel. For instance: The Waiting Room, where the story is too long delayed. There then follows a section of a fictional novel where the opening involved a long description of a train journey before the action begins. The chapter then proceeds to take the same approach for other faults such as The Long Runway, The Lost Sock, The vacation Slide Show. In each case, the author explains why this is the wrong approach and then illustrates the fault with a fictional opening.
Each fault is dealt with in the same way, there appears to be no evidence that any author actually makes these faults, and unlike most 'self-help' book there is no checklist of errors, or positive list of what to do.
And so it continues, chapter after chapter of mistakes each one 'lovingly' illustrated by fictional excerpts. After about 15 chapters I was really none the wiser, the authors continued to list things that could go wrong.No checklists. No summaries. No 'how - to' advice.
This is not really a 'guide book' for writers, but a 'comic book' of failed writing