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The Writer's Mentor: Secrets of Success from the World's Great Writers Paperback – April 13, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The Writer's Mentor brings together the most practical and inspiring writing advice ever given by famous writers. Passages and quotations are drawn from essays, interviews, autobiographies, and other sources, and organized topically in short chapters. Through anecdotes and straightforward instruction, all writers will benefit from the masters' secrets of success.

·Advice in the words of the most successful writers ever, presented in thematic chapters for easy reference
·Entertaining?learn while reading fascinating autobiographical tidbits
·Features tips and quotes set apart in the page design
·For all writers and aspiring writers?novelists, journalists, travel writers, magazine columnists, and others

About the Author

Ian Jackman is a freelance writer. Among his collaborations are the New York Times bestseller Stickin', with James Carville, and Con Men, with the staff of 60 Minutes. Mr. Jackman has a BA from University College, Oxford, and an MA from the University of London.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Reference; 1st Printing edition (April 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375720618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375720611
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,070,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
I expected this to be simply a compendium of quotes about writing, but it's actually a clear and well-thought-out book full of advice and inspiration for anyone who writes -- or aspires to write.
From philosophical points about writing to nitty-gritty how-to details for all genres, I found this useful and fascinating, not to mention entertaining. I especially enjoyed the chapter on "Publishers and Publishing."
The book is shaped very well, but also populated with what you'd have to call "intimate" revelations by famous writers (and editors) about writing. If you could have a drink with Yeats or Stephen King (or the poetry editor of the New Yorker or a literary agent), this is what you'd get.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Smith on July 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
With his usual good humor, insight and wit, Jackman serves as an able guide through the writing and publishing process and his own experience of it. Experienced writers and strivers alike will find much to enjoy in this volume. I particularly liked how the author draws on his encyclopedic knowledge of writers biographies in illustrating his points. Keep this book with your dictionary and thesaurus.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rachel C. on September 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a collection of things to put on sticky-notes over your desk, this is it. Unfortunately, if you actually want some advice and to learn to write better, this is not the book to pick.

Mainly, it's quite a lot of quotes from famous and semi-famous authors on writing. All very well and good in moderation, but a whole bleeding book on this is just a tad bit much. Not the sort of thing one wants to read all the way through-- and after a while, it's not the thing you want to read at all.

One of the things is, it attempts to cover too many subjects. It covers, I think, play-writing, screenwriting, poems, short stories, and novels. This just was madly over-ambitious, as there are entire books on each subject. Thus, the advice is vauge, unspecific, repetitive, and nothing new or enlightening at all.

The 'author', who really did little actual writing for thing book-- he admits this in a sluggish introduction-- often contradicts himself and, in an effort to include the most quotes in the book never includes his own opinion. How can one write a book on writing and manage to do this? The other writing books I've come across are mostly lumps of opinion, and this book felt weak for the lack of it. Like it was trying to be inoffensive.

Don't bother spending the money on this, I would say. Subscribe to Writers' Digest instead, or buy Anne Lammott's Bird by Bird-- those are more than vauge ramblings on the craft, and worth the money. I'm glad this is only a library book.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on May 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
Mr. Jackman's The Writer's Mentor is extraordinarily helpful for anyone who needs a bit of push to get words onto paper, but more than that it is an absolute delight to read. It is wonderfully entertaining and informative. Anyone who enjoys any aspect of language, literature or the written word will find joy between these pages.
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