Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Writing Book review - Teach Yourself How to Write a Blockbuster

Teach Yourself publish a wide range of books on a huge number of topics from foreign languages to writing to web design to whatever. They claim to have 750 subjects covered by their books.

They have at least two on novel writing - both of which I own.

Today I'm going to review "Teach Yourself How to Write a Blockbuster" by Lee Weatherly and Helen Corner.

Like the authors of the previously reviewed "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" these two are professional editors, and Lee Weatherly also has a background in agenting. It's fair to say that they both know their stuff.

The book is split into two parts. Part one deals with the mechanics of writing a novel while part two deals with getting into print. Throughout both parts are sprinkled gems of wisdom from published authors.

While many of the writing tips found in part one are explained better in "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" this book covers more than just editing, and is thus more comprehensive. It also understands that not everyone writes the same way and acts more like a map than a 'write this way' kind of book.

Part two is where it really shines with advice on finding an agent and how to submit you work to them. It also has a walkthrough of the publishing process once you get accepted, and even a section on self-publishing that isn't negative (though it does warn you that it's not going to make you rich - but that's not news to anyone who thinks about it).

My one criticism would be that it possibly tries to fit too much in, so certain areas don't get the attention they deserve. I suspect that for any section of this book there is a book that does it better. I doubt there is any book that covers them all this well.

It's inexpensive as well which is always a plus.

This is another book I'd recommend, though perhaps not as highly as I do "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers". If you can only afford one I'd suggest buying "Self-Editing" before this one.

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