Sunday, June 19, 2011

Self-Published Author: How Not To Write A Novel

There a gazillion, bajillion, writing resources out there telling you how to write a novel. But what about one that tells you what NOT to write? I found this at, and love it. 

How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them--A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide
  • by
  • Howard Mittelmark

Not only is the book hilarious, but it gives perfect examples of what NOT to write. The sections are divided by the major sections of a novel: plot, characters, sub-plots, endings, beginnings, etc. This makes the book a perfect last-minute checklist for any manuscript. I was thrilled to find I happened to avoid some of the popular mistakes simply because I can't stand them in books I read either. For example, the classic "character looks in a mirror and gives a full description of themselves." I didn't use this device because I know when *I* look in a mirror it's to either: A) check for a specific issues, like a pimple that hurts or B) make sure a specific aspect of my appearance is correct, i.e. hair, makeup (if I'm wearing any). 

As long as a self-publishing author can take a mostly objective look at his or her work, this book is great for polishing and editing your own manuscript. Not all of us can afford a professional editor on our first novel, or even our second. There are many techniques a self-published author can use to overcome the look of an amateurish manuscript, such as taking significant time away before tackling line edits. Using How Not To Write a Novel should be another one!

"Cancelled" arriving Late Summer 2011A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby.

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