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 TheCreativePenn.com, and love it.
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 2011. A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby.