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Archive for July, 2012


I’m wrestling with some plot demons at the moment, so I’ve been reading lots of books on writing.  The latest is Write to be Published by Nicola Morgan, the ‘Crabbit Old Bat’ of lore (and of the blog Help! I Need a Publisher!).  I hesitate to say how long I’ve been reading Ms Morgan’s blog as it would reveal I’m not as youthful as I might appear, but suffice to say it’s been many years, and she’s long given brilliant, honest advice in her own, eminently readable style.

I buy quite a lot of books (there’s no space on the bookshelves anymore, but I don’t let that stop me!), though I don’t always review them on Amazon.  However, I so loved reading Ms Morgan’s and have been such a long-time fan, I decided to write a short review, which might be helpful if you’re trying to decide from the so very many writing books out there …

Excellent Advice, Given With Humour

As the title of this review suggests, this book gives excellent advice on a broad overview of topics that will help any writer understand just what it is agents and editors are looking for. What’s more, Nicola Morgan (the Crabbit Old Bat herself) gives that advice with humour, honesty and a wealth of experience. She had to learn the hard way, but she happily passes on her hard-won knowledge to the rest of us.

This book is a great starting point for writers to give them a taste of what the industry’s about and to help them think about the elements that go towards making a publishable book. Ms Morgan touches on those elements and points the reader towards other sources that cover them in more depth (such as genre-specific resources). I can imagine using this book as a useful diagnostic tool for a work-in-progress to help the writer discern what isn’t working – perhaps the plot peters out or there’s not enough conflict – and look into that area in more detail.

I strongly recommend this book for anyone looking to get their writing published, be it fiction or non-fiction, romance or sci-fi – you won’t regret it!

5/5 stars

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Pitching the 18th Century to HBO


Wow, I hope HBO listens to The Onion’s open letter pitching an 18th century TV show!  (Via the good Comtesse Olympe!)

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