FAQS for ambitious writers | Reviews
'Some of the questions are quite intriguing, their answers helpful and practical'
'Jenkins draws on his wide experience of writers and writing to provide sensible, brisk and helpful answers.'
'All in all, this is a valuable resource, especially for the new writer, but also for anyone who has tried to work their way through the writing jungle.'
This book by the former editor of Writers’s Forum, our columnist John Jenkins, is absolutely packed with answers to all the questions you have ever thought of asking. Starting with ‘Three secrets to get you started’ and ending with ‘Books and websites to help you’, the bulk of the book is more than 100 questions and answers.
Some of the questions are quite intriguing, their answers helpful and practical:
‘You may think I am mad but this is a genuine question. I am halfway through a crime novel but I cannot remember how it ends. What should I do?’
‘We are putting together an anthology of work produced by our writing circle. Who owns the copyright and does the editor have the right to change our work? And what is a copyholder?’
‘Is there really such a thing as creative non-fiction?’
‘I didn’t have a very good record at school and I’m afraid that my grammar will let me down when I submit stories for competition. Can I get a quick fix?’
And so on.
Jenkins draws on his wide experience of writers and writing to provide sensible, brisk and helpful answers. Writers are often quite isolated and don’t always know much about how to proceed, so the good advice in this book is its most valuable characteristic.
The last 90-odd pages of the book are taken up with a series of useful articles, such as ‘Where most stories fail’ and ‘How to write great dialogue’ and there are also chapters on grammar and improving your style, as well as some useful resource material.
All in all, this is a valuable resource, especially for the new writer, but also for anyone who has tried to work their way through the writing jungle.
|Reviewed by Chris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage.|