Top positive review
42 people found this helpful
One of my best purchases this year!
on April 25, 2009
I'm a recent college graduate with a degree in English Literature who, very recently, came to the conclusion that if I could spend the rest of my life writing romance novels, I'd be a happy camper.
Without the time (or money) to enroll in a creative writing MFA program, or even an in-person writing workshop, I've had to "educate" myself with books on writing style.
I've read and skimmed several over the past several months--books on dialogue, scene/plot development, characterization, etc--but Leigh Michaels' "On Writing" is the ONLY style book I've been literally compelled to read cover-to-cover. Usually, I start these types of books with the best laid plans, then end up skimming or skipping to the pertinent parts (i.e., what I need help with at that moment), but THIS book is so well-structured, it pulls you along.
Aimed at the beginning romance writer (like me!), Michaels' clearly outlines common pitfalls and cliches to avoid, gives extremely helpful tips on how to write "from a male POV" or "a female POV", and goes so far as to explain the structure, layout and general guidelines for several types of romance fiction (inspiration, sweet, short contemporary, long contemporary, chick-lit AND erotica). Basically, no matter why type of romance you're trying to write, there are helpful tips for you!
It's also chock-full of excerpts from published romance novels, which helps Michaels illustrate the topics she's discussing (there's one section where she points out how silly the overusage of dialogue tags can be that made me laugh out loud).
I just bought this book yesterday and, despite the fact that it's really just a style book, I've read almost the entire 250-some pages. I'm about halfway through my first novel attempt and I can already see where the tips in this book will help me improve when it's time to go back and revise.
As some have said, this definitely isn't a book for the more experienced/advanced writer (even as a beginner, there were some things discussed that just seemed overly obvious), but it's definitely going to be a valuable resource on my bookshelf as I advance my writing skills.