04/05/2014

The Craft of Novel-Writing (by Dianne Doubtfire)

This is one of those books that has appeared on my shelves at some point - although I've no idea where it came from. I don't think I had ever previously read it, but in my determination to plough through several of my books about writing this year, I picked it up a couple of weeks ago and have read a chapter or two each day.

'The Craft of Novel-writing' is a short book, less than 100 pages in all. It's clearly and succinctly written, giving some essential suggestions and guidelines for writers who want to embark on a novel. Each chapter manages to cover one aspect - such as viewpoint, dialogue, plot, construction, and so on - in just a few pages.

There's nothing which stood out as new or particularly inspirational to me, but then I've read a lot of books, magazines and websites about writing over the years. Even so, there were plenty of useful reminders. I liked the style very much; the tone is friendly, and while the advice about typewriters is obviously out-of-date in the 21st century, the majority of the contents is still relevant, thirty-five years after publication.

Recommended to anyone considering novel-writing, as a great introduction that covers just about everything necessary to know, other than what is related to technology. Several more recent editions have been produced and it's often available second-hand, though not currently in print.

Review by copyright 2014 Sue's Book Reviews

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