Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Writing Book Review - Successful Novel Plotting

There's one thing I find frustrating. Well actually I find many things frustrating, but "Successful Novel Plotting" by Jean Saunders only hits on one of them. What is this thing? Books that are jam packed with good advice, but which I find the tone too dry to absorb properly.

And that's exactly what I find with this book. It's annoying because in many ways it does everything right. It's well organised, exhaustive and the writer acknowledges that everyone writes differently and attempts to deal with that. Taken as a road map to organising your plot it can only help.

But to me it was also boring. The tone did not engage me at all, so I had to keep stopping. Even now I feel like I haven't properly got to grips with all the advice in it simply because I found it hard to focus on. There's nothing wrong with the way it's written per se, it just didn't suit me. Even with the problems I have with it I'm sure it's going to be very useful to me. I suspect many other people would find the tone and style fine - it's a matter of taste.
This is a book that I'd suggest find in a bricks and mortar store if you're considering it. That way you can look and see if you get on with the tone.

It's also a hard one to rank because of this. It's a good book that I don't like due to what i can see are taste issues. I'm giving it 3 stars because of this.


Stacey Cochran said...

Hey Becky, I hope everything's alright... you have posted in a few weeks.

Your lurkers are hungry for more!

Anonymous said...

I actually really enjoyed "How Not To Write A Novel" which is very tongue-in-cheek, witty yet full of good advice.

And "A Novel In A Year" was pretty good, too.

But a lot of writing advice books out there are just dull.

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