How Not to Write a Novel 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them--A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide

ISBN-10: 0061357952

ISBN-13: 9780061357954

Edition: 2008

Authors: Sandra Newman, Howard Mittelmark

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Description:

"What do you think of my fiction book writing?" the aspiring novelist extorted. "Darn," the editor hectored, in turn. "I can not publish your novel! It is full of what we in the business call 'really awful writing.'" "But how shall I absolve this dilemma? I have already read every tome available on how to write well and get published!" The writer tossed his head about, wildly. "It might help," opined the blonde editor, helpfully, "to ponder how NOT to write a novel, so you might avoid the very thing!" Many writing books offer sound advice on how to write well. This is not one of those books. On the contrary, this is a collection of terrible, awkward, and laughably unreadable excerpts that will teach you what to avoid-at all costs-if you ever want your novel published. In How Not to Write a Novel, authors Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman distill their 30 years combined experience in teaching, editing, writing, and reviewing fiction to bring you real advice from the other side of the query letter. Rather than telling you how or what to write, they identify the 200 most common mistakes unconsciously made by writers and teach you to recognize, avoid, and amend them. With hilarious "mis-examples" to demonstrate each manuscript-mangling error, they'll help you troubleshoot your beginnings and endings, bad guys, love interests, style, jokes, perspective, voice, and more. As funny as it is useful, this essential how-NOT-to guide will help you get your manuscript out of the slush pile and into the bookstore.
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Book details

List price: $15.99
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 4/1/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

Sandra Newman was born in America but also lived in England for 20 years. Her professions have ranged from academia to professional gambling. Her first novel, The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. Her second novel, Cake, was published in 2007, and her memoir, Changeling, in 2010. She co-wrote How NOT to Write a Novel, an irreverent how-to guide. In 2012 she wrote The Western Lit Survival Kit: How to Read the Classics Without Fear. She lives in New York.

Introduction
Plot
Beginnings and Setups
Complications and Pacing
Endings
Character
Character Essentials
Getting to Know Your Hero
Sidekicks and Significant Others
Bad Guys
Style-The Basics
Words and Phrases
Sentences and Paragraphs
Dialogue
Style-Perspective and Voice
Narrative Stance
Interior Monologue
The World of the Bad Novel
Setting
Research and Historical Background
Theme
Special Effects and Novelty Acts-Do Not Try this at Home
How Not to Sell a Novel
Afterword
Index
About the Authors
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