52 books: Writing the Killer Mystery

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over 52 weeks. The initial year has sailed on by, and my last post was so long ago I couldn’t find it on my dashboard. I want to finish the project, though, and only have 6 books left. So I’ve renamed it simply 52 Books, and here is book 47 … well, when I say book … there are actually 5 of them in this series. BUT … […]

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52 books: Goal Setting for Writers

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over 52 weeks. The initial year has sailed on by, and my last post was so long ago I couldn’t find it on my dashboard. I want to finish the project, though, and only have 7 books left. So I’ve renamed it simply 52 Books, and here is book 46. Goal Setting for Writers by Sandra Gerth is really the first book in a short series of writers’ […]

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52 books: Time Management for Writers

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over 52 weeks. The initial year has sailed on by, and my last post was so long ago I couldn’t find it on my dashboard. I want to finish the project, though, and only have 8 books left. So I’ve renamed it simply 52 Books, and here is book 45. Time Management for Writers by Sandra Gerth is book 2 in a short series of writers’ guides.  I […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 44. Save the Cat! has been the last book on screenwriting that screenwriters will ever need since 2005, and then there was another, and another … until there were five books using this tried and tested method of writing, including … the last book on novel writing that novel writers will ever need. I wanted Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: How to Plan, Outline and Write Your Novel in 30 Days

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. It’s actually taking two years, but here is book 43 anyway. How to Plan, Outline, and Write Your Novel in 30 Days is the latest guide from Amy Deardon. And I have to say … it’s possibly the best book on writing I’ve read in a very long while. Not only is it a great writer’s guide, it’s also an excellent resource if you’re planning […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Writing Without Rules

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 42. Thanks to NetGalley and to F&W Media for an advance copy of Writing Without Rules by Jeff Somers. I wasn’t approved to review the book at my first try, but when I asked again on a “wish for it” button, my “wish” was granted – and I’m very glad it was. I don’t know if it’s just the proof copy or […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Writing & Selling your Mystery Novel

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 41. I bought the paperback of Writing & Selling your Mystery Novel by Hallie Ephron very soon after it came out. I loved it so much that, when I saw an electronic version was now available, I bought that one too. The electronic version has been updated and now includes more recent working examples as well as tips and advice on self publishing. […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Write a Novel in Ten Minutes a Day

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 40. Write a Novel in Ten Minutes a Day is a book I once promised myself as soon as the next person paid me. When that first payment came in on a Monday, I bought it. And I’m very glad I did. From the Teach Yourself stable, it’s a useful little book, but not so much about “write a novel in ten […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: The Business of Writing

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 39, which is also courtesy of NetGalley and Pendragon Cove Press. Thanks to NetGalley and to Pendragon Cove Press for an advance copy of The Business of Writing: Practical Insights for Independent, Hybrid, and Traditionally Published Authors by Kim Iverson Headlee. First of all, this is not strictly a book on the business of *writing* per se. It’s actually a book on […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Story Starters

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 38. Story Starters is a book of fiction writing prompts from Fiction Attic Press – or New York Times award winning author Michelle Richmond. Michelle has been teaching creative writing for a lot of years, and she’s a widely published author. Therefore I wasn’t surprised at how good this book is. It’s a book that does exactly what it says it does – […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 37. The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing by Angela Castillo and Jamie Foley, is the first in a series of (currently) three writers’ guides. Later this year, all three books will be available in a boxset, so it might be worth hanging on until then before buying it. The “busy mom’s” part of this is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, the authors […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: How to Write a Novel step-by-step

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 36. How to Write a Novel step-by-step is part of a series from Sandy Marsh, and several of the box-sets are free. The subheading for this one is:  Essential romance novel, mystery novel and fantasy novel writing tricks any writer can learn. However, the book doesn’t seem to lean specifically towards any of these and can be applied to the initial planning work […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: How to Write Fiction Without the Fuss

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 35. How to Write Fiction Without the Fuss by Lucy McCarraher is another of those that does exactly what it says on the cover. I loved this book so much that I even bought the non-fiction title. Instead of having loads of different worksheets to download or photocopy, this book just tells you to start a notebook and keep everything in there. It […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: The Author Blog

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 34. The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors is by Anne R Allen. It was mentioned in a Facebook group recently, so I thought I’d take a look. It didn’t take me very long to read it from cover to cover, so it’s a quick read with lots of short, punchy chapters – twenty-eight of them. And it’s a very good place […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: How to Write Pulp Fiction

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 33. How to Write Pulp Fiction by James Scott Bell is probably my favourite how-to-write book from this author. Before the end I was already making notes, trying out the random plot generator and thinking up characters and seedy settings. The author starts with a history of pulp fiction before going into how the same techniques can be applied to today’s ebook […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Blockbuster

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 32. I thought it was going to be another of those make-a-fortune-using-my-tried-and-tested-method books by an author who hasn’t actually had (m)any books published, and I admit I resisted buying it for some time. However, I’m glad I gave in eventually, because Blockbuster: How to Write $1million by an Author Who’s Actually Done it by Dean Crawford is a great read at just under […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: How to Write a Novel the Easy Way

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the course of a year. Here is book 31. I first bought* How to Write a Novel the Easy Way! Using the Pulp Fiction Method … to write better novels by Jim Driver & Jack Davies in December 2014. However, I’ve only recently got around to reading it … and I wish I’d read it sooner. Much sooner. I loved this book, I really did. I found it refreshing, […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: The Emotion Thesaurus

I’ve got myself a little behind on this. I’ve been reading the books, I’ve just not found the time to write them up. In a bid to catch up, here we go again … I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the course of a year. Here is book 30. The Emotion Thesaurus: a Writer’s Guide to Character Expression is one of a series from Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. All of the books can […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Jill Mansell’s A-Z of Happiness

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 29. I didn’t know this one was on my Kindle until it popped up one day during NaNoWriMo and I spent several minutes making sure it hadn’t slipped on there un-ordered by myself. However, the Amazon page told me that I’d actually “bought” it on 6 November 2014 … ho-hum … Jill Mansell’s A-Z of Happiness: a glimpse into the surprising and […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Stop Worrying, Start Writing

A brief interlude from NaNoWriMo … I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 28. Stop Worrying; Start Writing: How to Overcome Fear, Self-Doubt and Procrastination by Sarah Painter is one of those that does exactly what it says on the cover. It’s not a how-to-write book, there are no exercises. It’s a self-help book for authors who worry. A lot. As does the author. And the author does, in fact, […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Be a Travel Writer, Live Your Dreams, Sell Your Features

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 27. I have to say I loved this book. And I don’t even aspire to be a travel writer – too much hard work for too little remuneration (unless you make it really big, really quickly, or travel a lot already). But Be a Travel Writer, Live Your Dreams, Sell Your Features by Solange Hando made me want to get up and […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: How to Start a Travel Blog and Make Money

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 26. First of all, How to Start a Travel Blog and Make Money by Kirsty Stuart is not a book on how to write travel. It’s how to set up the blog and then make real, tangible money from it. So if you’re looking for topics to include on your new travel blog, or how to write blog posts, this isn’t the […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: How to Write a Novel

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 25. I was a tad disappointed with How to Write a Novel by Jonathan Reid. The sub-title reads: “a blueprint for fiction writing & how to outline your novel using the snowflake method“. The snowflake method is still a mystery to me. I’ve read one or two books that mention it and started to read one that covers it in more detail. But […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Diary of a Scaredy Cat

*** shameless self-plug alert *** I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 24. I couldn’t complete a series on writers’ guides without at least including a plug for my own. Especially as it’s the first in a series, and especially as I’ve been getting some really good feedback. Diary of a Scaredy Cat: a year in the life of a frightened writer by Diane Wordsworth is a collection of […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 23. If there’s only one book on your shelf or ebook and you want to target UK markets, make it this one (although there are some overseas markets too). Even older versions contain loads of useful material. You need to check the listings for the most recent information anyway, but the articles and advice remain the same. The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: The Author Organizer

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 22. The Author Organizer: How to anticipate, survive and master the whirlpool of your publishing career by Ella Medler is one of a set of (currently) seven from Paper Gold Publishing. That’s quite typical of me, arriving late to the party. But I was so impressed with this book, I bought another one and then joined the forum. Incidentally, if you join Paper […]

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Why I read books about writing

Lots of writers advise other writers to stop reading books on writing and just crack on with the writing. But I love to read books on writing. I love to see how other writers work and I like to find out new things to try. My husband has been a coarse fisherman for more than fifty years. He learned to fish at his father’s knee and is now a very experienced match angler. Yet he still loves to watch vlogs […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Start Writing Your Book Today

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 21. Start Writing Your book Today by Morgan Gist MacDonald is one of the reasons I refuse to stop reading books about writing. If I did that, I wouldn’t be trying out two new things this coming week – one of which comes out of this book on writing! I really enjoyed the no-nonsense approach of this book and the good advice […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: How to Write a Mystery Without Plotting it to Death

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 20. I’m a plotter. When starting to write a book for the first time, I can plan for England. I love the planning process. I’ve tried writing by the seat of my pants, but I often run out of steam by about chapter 6. And so I was looking for something in between. Being a planner is great, but the novelty often […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Writing your non-fiction book

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 19. Alex Gazzola is already very well-known by many of us writers for his Mistakes Writers Make website, and here, to add to his gems of wisdom, is the third in his series of books that go hand-in-hand with the website. Writing Your Non-fiction Book is a delightful, short little read, taking me less than half-an-hour to complete over a lunch break. […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: The Literary Agent’s Guide to Writing a Non-Fiction Book Proposal

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 18. The Literary Agent’s Guide to Writing a Non-Fiction Book Proposal by Andy Ross does exactly what it says on the cover. An American book, written by an American literary agent for the American market means that it’s very thorough, and possibly goes a little more deeply than our UK markets require. Nevertheless, I like to start with the way the Americans […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: Blogging just for Writers

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 17. When I started blogging, the only people who I knew that blogged were writers. I wasn’t aware of any other kind of blog – or even vlog, as seems to be the rage by now. I recently read an article that said writers who blog shouldn’t be blogging for other writers but for their readers. I didn’t really understand what that […]

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52 books in 52 weeks: How to Write a Book from Outline to Finish Line

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the year. Here is book 16. I bought How to Write a Book From Outline to Finish Line: 10 simple ways to outline your nonfiction book by Shelley Hitz because I wanted to refresh my memory on writing a book proposal. What I should have looked for was a book on writing book proposals rather than a book on outlines, as it wasn’t really what I was looking […]

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