Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Write This, Not That! Suz deMello's first writing manual (#MFRWHooks #writingcraft #writing #kindle)

I'm departing today from discussing fiction to talk about a writing manual I'm rather proud of. Write This, Not That! had its genesis one summer when I hadn't attended the RWA national conference, and a bunch of us were lazily discussing nothing at all on one of the RWA yahoogroups. I decided to find out what turned people on or off about books. 

Why or how does a book merit a spot on the keeper shelf instead of a trip to the local Goodwill, or worse, your recycling bin? (Yes, I have been known to recycle books so bad I couldn't bear to torment another human being with them. I have no great desire to watch someone else's eyeballs bleed or see their head explode).

I have another writing manual to unleash upon the world in a few weeks, so I thought I'd re-introduce this one. Here's a snippet about info dumps--if you are a writer and don't know what they are, chances are that you're committing this dull-as-dirt error and absolutely should buy this book.

The most annoying and insulting info dumps occur in romance series or miniseries and will often include a saccharine scene in which the heroines of the previous books get together for a lunch or a coffee. The girl chat will include showing off their adorable babies and recounting the plots of past series books.

This recounting is the info dump, and it is insulting in the extreme due to its lack of disguise. “Remember when Trey fought the bear? Oh, I was so scared that I went straight into his arms! And that was the night that Adora, here, was conceived.” Heroine bounces baby on her knee. Baby coos. Reader barfs. Book hits wall.

You can buy the book for a mere $2.99. Okay, that’s probably more than you’re used to paying for a book of less than 10K words, but you’ll learn a lot. And c'mon, you spend more on a latte.

And, by the way, this book reached #2 on Amazon's list for writing manuals, surpassed only by a big-name, multi-author anthology. So I was very pleased by that and hope you'll be pleased by this little manual. It's got a lot of good tips.

If you're a reader, and can't quite define why you love or hate a book, this quick little read will help you out. It will help refine your taste and analytical skills. Anyone can whine about a book, but fewer can give a writer a meaningful review or critique. And believe me, we want to know when we're screwing up. We all want to make our books the best they can be, and sometimes it takes a discerning reviewer to tell us where we're going wrong. 

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