How Not To Write A Novel

We’ve referred to this book in a previous post, but it’s worth another outing for those of you who weren’t here in the early days of this blog. A very amusing, and surprisingly helpful, book. Now if only more writers took notice!

There are many ways prospective authors routinely sabotage their own work. But why leave it to guesswork? Misstep by misstep, ‘How Not to Write a Novel’shows how you can ensure that your manuscript never rises above the level of unpublishable drivel; that your characters are unpleasant, dimensionless versions of yourself; that your plot is digressive, tedious and unconvincing; and that your style is reliant on mangled cliches and sesquipedalian malapropisms. Alternatively, you can use it to identify the most common mistakes, avoid them and actually write a book that works.

* Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman, How not to write a novel: 200 mistakes to avoid at all costs if you ever want to get published (2009):


6 thoughts on “How Not To Write A Novel

  1. I’ve been rereading Maugham’s Mrs Craddock. There’s a scene when Bertha listens to her husband’s political speech which hits every old tired cliche. She’s mortified but then realizes that everyone loves it!

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