How Not to Write a Novel
200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them--A Misstep-By-Misstep Guide
Publication Date: April 2008
List Price: $15.99*
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"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.
In How Not to Write a Novel, authors Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman distill their 30 years combined experience in teaching, editing, writing, and reviewing fiction to bring you real advice from the other side of the query letter. Rather than telling you how or what to write, they identify the 200 most common mistakes unconsciously made by writers and teach you to recognize, avoid, and amend them. With hilarious "mis-examples" to demonstrate each manuscript-mangling error, they'll help you troubleshoot your beginnings and endings, bad guys, love interests, style, jokes, perspective, voice, and more. As funny as it is useful, this essential how-NOT-to guide will help you get your manuscript out of the slush pile and into the bookstore.
Sandra Newman is the author of The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done, which was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. She is also the author of the novel Cake; the memoir Changeling; How Not to Write a Novel, an irreverent how-to guide (with Howard Mittelmark); and The Western Lit Survival Kit. She lives in New York.