Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Thanks, But This isn't For Us" by Jessica Page Morrell

I love the cover of this book-- the coffee cup stain, the red pen edits. I found this book at my local library and picked it up out of curiosity. It's a great reference book for beginning writers (though we seasoned ones could use its suggestions too!). The author includes chapters on first beginnings, overall structure, plot usage, suspense, tragedy, sensory writing, creating memorable characters, finding emotion, etc. I get the feeling her work is a lot more "edgy" than other reference books and probably won't be nearly as dull as some of those "how to write better" reference books we've all read at one time or another!

So if you want a new take on good writing advice, check out "Thanks, but this isn't for us."

Here's an Amazon link to the book.

Here's the Product Description from Amazon:

A fun, practical guide that reveals the essentials of good fiction and memoir writing by exposing the most common mistakes literary writers make.

All great works of fiction and memoir are unique-but most bad novels, stories, and memoirs have a lot in common. From clunky dialogue to poorly sketched out characters, sagging pacing to exaggerated prose, these beginners' mistakes drive any agent or editor to their stock rejection letter, telling the aspiring writer "Thanks, but this isn't for us," and leaving many to wonder what exactly it is that they're doing wrong.

Veteran writing coach, developmental editor, and writing instructor Jessica Page Morrell will fill in the gaps in every rejection letter you've ever received. In Thanks, But This Isn't for Us, Morrell uses her years of experience to isolate the specific errors beginners make, including the pitfalls of unrealistic dialogue, failing to "show, not tell," and over-the-top plot twists. These are just a few of the problems that keep writers from breaking through with their work. Sympathetic and humane, but pulling no punches, Thanks, But This Isn't for Us shows writers precisely where they've gone wrong and how to get on the right track. In sixteen to-the-point chapters, with checklists, exercises, takeaway tips, and a glossary, Morrell helps readers transcend these mistakes so that they don't have to learn the hard way: with another rejection letter. "

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