Saturday, September 9, 2017

I Should be Writing by Mur Lafferty

Are you a beginning writer? This book may be for you.

Let’s begin with the summary:

Don't just dream it, write it! I Should Be Writing is a writing workshop in a journal, full of helpful advice and encouragement for the person who wants to finally write the story they've always dreamed of creating. Let award-winning podcaster Mur Lafferty, who in the past has interviewed authors including John Scalzi, Neil Gaiman, Gail Carriger, Adam Christopher, and Kameron Hurley, guide you through the nuts-and-bolts process of honing your craft, including which writing myths to ignore, how to refine your creative process, listening to your inner muse while ignoring your inner bully, and more. 
This book also contains writing exercises that will help the blossoming writer strengthen the writer’s muscle of writing every day. These include everything from situational writer's prompts to lists of ideas writers should try to jot down between writing sessions.

With this helpful guide, you can make the phrase, "I've always wanted to write a story..." a thing of the past. Because you should be writing!

And now, my review:

Written with an encouraging, wholesome tone, this writerly how-to is perfect for beginners. You’ll find a pep talk in every chapter. The author encourages readers to embrace their passion for writing, own the title of writer. Some writing non-fiction books include graphic language and/or excerpts that include violence—not this one.

It’s a fast read, with the basics of plotting, setting, editing, and definitions of traditional publishing versus indie (self-publishing). Plus, as promised, there are tons of writing exercises in the back to get you writing.

Lafferty includes his advice to follow “only one rule.” You’ll have to read the book to discover what that rule is.

For the right audience, this book is a great tool. If writers are on a trajectory of 10,000 hours plus, with 1 hour to 3,000 hours being a beginner and the "plus" being someone who has achieved at least some success in publishing and who is consistently writing and publishing, then this book is for those in the 1 hour to 3,000-hour folks who are learning the basics and who could use encouragement to push on.

I recommend it.

I recommend it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tips for Writing Book Reviews

person typing on laptop*

Here are some quick tips for writing reviews:


Tell readers of your review what you liked about the book. Perhaps it was the interactions between the characters or a certain thread. Say the book is about airline pilots. Perhaps you enjoyed the air show scene. Whatever is fitting. 

If you give a low score, tell readers why.

Remember the author is a human being with feelings, so take those into account. You could make their day (i.e. encourage them) or ruin their drive for the day by raining on their hard-earned project. 

Try to be as positive as possible. 

For those posting on a blog, please include the buy link with your blog post and the book's cover image. You can often find the cover image (unmarred by Amazon's "Look Inside" graphic) by Googling the book's cover image or visiting the author's website. 

There is no word count limit for how length of reviews, but remember that readers of your review are probably looking for a few notes, not a two-page essay. :) Simply leaving a review benefits authors. Thank you!

Try to avoid:

Please don’t give spoilers. Let readers discover the story for themselves. Please don’t give away plot points or reveal the novel's secrets. 

Please avoid simply restating the summary or back cover description. You can include a summary, but please also share your own thoughts separately. (see reviews on this site for an example) When posting to Amazon, leave off the book's summary and just post your thoughts.

Don’t write your review if you’re in a bad mood. 😊

To get ideas and see examples of book reviews, check the reviews here on Net’s Book Notes, or read others on Amazon, B&N, etc. If you're writing a review for one of my books, thank you! I'm also grateful if you're writing a review for a fellow author. I love supporting other authors, which is why I have this blog full of book reviews, so thank you for reviewing for other writers as well.

Happy reading, and writing, friends! 


Photo credit: Pixabay