26 March 2013

Your First Novel, a review

Here's a review of Your First Novel by Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitberg.

This is a freebie, because honestly there's not much content that you can't get faster and better and with less "positive thinking"/"visualization"/"dreams can come true" bullshit from another book on craft.  Now, I'm on a bit of an anti-positive thinking kick,  because I'm reading Bright-Sided: How the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich.  If you're as tired of hearing "think it and it will come true" stories from Joel Osteen and his ilk, then this is a book that will be actually useful for you.

Your First Novel opens with a great foreword by Dennis Lehane and his overnight/ten year success that emphasizes the hard work it takes to be a writer, while the next two chapters encourage you to dream about your success, and it will be sure to come to you.  That is a load of bollocks.  Any writer worth their salt will try to tell you to steer clear of writing, to run while you still have a chance, but if you're reading this review and looking for books on craft, then it's already too late.

If you actually want something worth reading that's still inspirational, I'd recommend the NYT Writer's on Writing volumes I and II.  Essays about writing by writers, it's hard to beat.

Cheers, and write on, dear readers.

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