Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Complete Handbook Of Novel Writing by Meg Leder

Today I finished reading The Complete Handbook Of Novel Writing by Meg Leder, Jack Heffron, ed., and the editors of Writer’s Digest. This is a big book. Four hundred fifty two pages divided into fifty-five chapters. Each chapter is written by a “named” author. I recognized a lot of the names. I’m clueless about some.  I read it in one day, in part, because it is an easy read and, in part, because I didn't feel the need to stop and highlight or underline a lot of passages for emphasis upon later review.

The articles are organized into sections: The Craft; The Art; The Process; The Genres; The Market Place; and The Interviews. While most of the articles contain gems of wisdom, some fall flat. I found the first three sections to be the most interesting to me, a newbie.

There are interviews with several household names and a couple of my favorite authors.  But I was disappointed.  I found most to be just filler, occupying several pages without saying anything important. 

While it may be a Complete Handbook, it certainly is not a how-to book. I think it will be useful as a source of ideas on how to make my manuscript better after it is written.

I give The Complete Handbook Of Novel Writing two stars.

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