I’m in the middle of HOW NOT TO WRITE A NOVEL by Howard Mittlemark and Sandra Newman and have been giggling on almost every page. This book is hilarious and so insightful when it comes to what not to do in your writing. It teaches by way of example and as the blurb from Amazon.com below illustrates, the examples are worth reading:

    “What do you think of my fiction book writing?” the aspiring novelist extorted.

    “Darn,” the editor hectored, in turn. “I can not publish your novel! It is full of what we in the business call ‘really awful writing.'”

    “But how shall I absolve this dilemma? I have already read every tome available on how to write well and get published!” The writer tossed his head about, wildly.

    “It might help,” opined the blonde editor, helpfully, “to ponder how NOT to write a novel, so you might avoid the very thing!”

Many writing books offer sound advice on how to write well. This is not one of those books. On the contrary, this is a collection of terrible, awkward, and laughably unreadable excerpts that will teach you what to avoid—at all costs—if you ever want your novel published.
The names of the characters alone are cringeworthy. My favorite is Synthia, the unfortunate female lead in a drama that unfolds throughout the book.  I love reading books on writing and craft.

Have you read any that were especially helpful or interesting?

About the Author Corinne

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  1. Sometimes The Magic Works by Terry Brooks is one of my favorite books on writing. He’s funny, and has a great perspective on writing, publishing and a deep respect for readers that I love. This is one of my favorite lines. (Not exact, since I can’t put my hands on the book right now.”

    “Readers might not be experienced enough to know what exactly is wrong, but they are plenty savvy enough to know when they are being dissed. And nothing disses readers like boring them.”


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