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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars

on 9 December 2012
NaNo is to literature what The X Factor is to music: an entertaining novelty competition that is now threatening to undermine a whole artform because it offers a quick solution to something that demands years of hard work and practice. It's a decent writing exercise that might, if you're lucky, allow you to turn out half of a decent first draft. It's never going to produce the next Tolstoy, although there's a growing number of people who think that the literary world has been waiting on tenterhooks for what they knocked out one November.

Tara Maya has done something of a service to the world by writing this book. She quite deliberately undermines the core ethos of NaNo ("No plot? No problem!") by encouraging writers to actually put some thought into their writing. Most of the other tips - concerning plot, character, setting, genre, pacing and other things that are anathema on the NaNo forums - are things that will be familiar to anyone who's read lots of other writer's guide. That in itself is another neat thing about what Maya does: she takes all the best tips and boils them down into simple, unpatronising, easy-to-follow instructions. She also backs them up with stories of her own writing experiences, which is bloody rare in this type of book, and constantly drills in the message that you just need to keep working at it.

Ultimately, that's the only advice that's ever helped any writer. Write lots, read lots, edit, edit, edit, listen to feedback, and write lots more. NaNo is a great way to practice but being a writer is an all year round job. Maya's book is sneakily encouraging NaNoers to do just that. Well played.
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on 10 March 2013
This is an insightful addition to any armory of a budding author and for that reason, I recommend it to any writers out there that wish to hone their craft.
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on 26 October 2014
This was recommended to me and I'm very glad I read it - a quick, practical, humorous and sensible set of tips for writers of all levels.
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