The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing Book Review

This book is on my list of 13 Books I Want to Read in 2021 and I am so happy I got around to reading it (though it took me longer than I had hoped to finish).

I’ll be honest- A lot of the writers who gave advice in this book I’ve either never heard of or I’ve never read their books. This might sound weird, but I found that to be a good thing because it means I can take their wisdom without any sort of bias (because let’s be honest, we all have some bias with authors we either love or hate). I’ve also known that there was a lot that went into writing a story, pitching it, and then hopefully getting it published, but this book goes in-depth with all of these themes. As a writer who is still working their way through their novel (which I am beginning to get frustrated at myself for), this book has given me somewhere to start as I work my way through trying to get my novel to a better place.

Though I found the entire book helpful, the sections I found most helpful to where I’m at in my personal novel writing journey is Part Two: The Writing Process and Part Four: Finding and Cultivating a Market for Your Work. With everything I’ve experienced this year, the writing process has become very difficult for me… and I’ve let my novel, my blog, even my personal journal writing all fall to the wayside, something I am very ashamed of. The whole purpose of this blog was to share my love of books, reading, writing, etc with others while building up an audience who might be interested in my novels once they’re done and ready to be released into the world… but I’ve been so bad at that and this book really highlighted to me where I’m falling short. I know that isn’t the purpose of the book at all, but that’s the purpose it served for me.

The most entertaining part of the book was Part Five: Interviews With Novelists. So I’m probably the last to know this piece of information, but apparently the author Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. I found his interview to be quite interesting, but imagine my shock when I found out who his father is! I also didn’t know he wrote Horns or that he wrote the Locke & Key series, which is one of my current favorite Netflix shows! Also, I’ve only seen Horns the movie starring Daniel Radcliffe, but I’ll definitely get around to reading the book one day.

There was also an interview with Stephen King and Jerry B. Jenkins, which was amusing. My favorite part of the interview was when they were asked what compels them to write and they both replied with “I write because I can’t do anything else.” If that isn’t the most relatable thing I’ve ever heard a writer say, I don’t know what is! My other favorite interviews were with George R.R. Martin and Anne and Christopher Rice.

Overall, this is a book I highly recommend for writers. Even if you only read it once and never go back to it (although I definitely think this a multiple read book because there’s a lot of information to absorb), I think it’s worth the time it takes to read it. I found my copy at Books-A-Million, so you should be able to find it at your local bookstore and if not, there is always Amazon.

Have you read any good books on writing recently? If so, what was your favorite part? And if you haven’t read any good books on writing recently, what is a book you’ve read recently? I’m starting to compile my list of 13 Books I Want to Read in 2022, so I’m definitely open to suggestions! I hope everyone has a great week!

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