Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Writing Book Review - The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes

The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them) by Jack M Birkham is a slim little book full of good advice. Each of the short chapters is named for a mistake and the author then goes onto to explain them and give examples of how to avoid making them. (My favourite title in the book is Chapter 23 - Don't Drop Alligators Through The Transom).

But this is the thing - all the advice in this book is good, and it's engagingly written. But it is very slim (116 pages including the index) and that makes it expensive at £9.99 (and even at £7.49 as at Amazon). What's more there are other writing books out there that give the same advice just as engagingly and in more detail that are better value for money.

It might be good as a quick reference, but I certainly wouldn't put it top of your list of writing books to buy should you have such a list.

This makes rating it a little difficult - the quality of the advice and the enging writing deserve a high rating but the lightweight nature of it drags it down. So after due consideration I'm giving it 3 stars.

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