Top critical review
234 people found this helpful
A bit disappointed...
on June 15, 2011
I bought this book based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews. I have to say, based on what I expected, I'm a bit disappointed.
This book is great in terms of presenting some really thought-provoking ideas about writing a novel. I thought that the discussion of dilemma and conflict was interesting, and the overview of novel structure and structure questions were also very helpful.
However, as far as a guided workshop-in-a-book, I feel like this book failed. In his attempt to provide a tidbit of information each day, useful information was awkwardly broken up that might have been better organized into more solid chapters. The overall process felt a bit loosey-goosey, with constant reminders to "hold it all loosely" and not to lock yourself in. Honestly, I felt myself getting bored with the pre-writing exercises and just skipping around and reading the book to glean what useful tidbits I could, and coming up with my own process to complete my draft.
I also thought it was a bit strange that you're urged within the book to read Watt's novel, Diamond Dogs, which is used to illustrate many of the points made within this book. That along with the dozens of 5-star reviews from Amazon members without much in the way of a reviewer history leaves me feeling a bit taken.