As a librarian and lover of books, the first thing that caught my attention was the great layout of the book, The Twelve Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing, by a team of great writers. Whether you are an established writer, a wanna-be-writer, a teacher or just someone who loves reading, this book brings something to the table, so to speak.
The twelve flaws discussed can truly make or break a book, even if the storyline is good. These flaws are:
Nothin’ Happenin’ (Describing nothing that moves the story)
Too Much Backstory
Point of View (POV) Violations
Telling Instead of Showing
Lack of Pacing and Tension
Flawed Dialogue Construction
Description Deficiencies and Excesses
Pesky Adverbs and Weasel Words
Flawed Writing Mechanics
For me, this book is timely as I am determined to complete a book I have been working on for a few years. The information provided will no doubt help me to make it so much better if I apply what I have learned from this book. Of course it will take me some time to fully grasp all the mechanics of writing covered in this book, but it will be a nice companion piece to Lakin’s “Say What? The Fiction Writer’s Handy Guide to Grammar, Punctuation, and Word Usage.”
I found the examples of good and bad writing, and reviews given at the end of each chapter very useful. More than one editor share their thoughts and knowledge, giving you different approaches and perspectives for handling various writing flaws that are common to fiction writing. As a lover of words, I particularly enjoyed this quote from the book, “Slow down and taste words; roll them around in your mouth.”
The only thing missing is an index, which would make it easier for repeat users to quickly jump to a reference they want to find. However, the Table of Contents is comprehensive and serves as a good guide.