How NOT to Write a Novel: 200 Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs If You Ever Want to Get Published

How NOT to Write a Novel: 200 Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs If You Ever Want to Get Published

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Howard Mittelmark, By (author) Sandra Newman

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 16mm | 201g
  • Publication date: 1 June 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141038543
  • ISBN 13: 9780141038544
  • Illustrations note: no illustrations
  • Sales rank: 12,833

Product description

There are many ways prospective authors routinely sabotage their own work. But why leave it to guesswork? Misstep by misstep, "How Not to Write a Novel" shows how you can ensure that your manuscript never rises above the level of unpublishable drivel; that your characters are unpleasant, dimensionless versions of yourself; that your plot is digressive, tedious and unconvincing; and that your style is reliant on mangled cliches and sesquipedalian malapropisms. Alternatively, you can use it to identify the most common mistakes, avoid them and actually write a book that works. Guardian Award shortlisted novelist Sandra Newman and veteran editor Howard Mittelmark have distilled 30 years of teaching, editing, writing and reviewing fiction into a hilarious and liberating guide that is the perfect read for anyone who's ever laughed at a badly written piece of prose and for anyone who's ever penned one - and doesn't want to do it again.

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Author information

Howard Mittelmark is the author of Age of Consent. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and other publications. Sandra Newman is the author of the novels Cake and The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done. Her writing has appeared in Harper's and Granta, amongst others.

Customer reviews

By Elizabeth 21 Jul 2009 4

If you've already done some writing this book will make you both laugh and cringe as you read about some of the silly things writers so, scoff at them, and then run across the ones you know you've done or still do. Whoops!

This book teaches its valuable lessons through humour and as well as reading right through this will be one I'll keep to hand to dip into for reminders.

Review quote

This writing how-to should carry a warning: it's the kind of book one reads at the expense of all other responsibilities. Library Journal A great resource and a fun read with a lot of solid advice for would-be novelists. Publishers Weekly