~ Jim Cox, Midwest Book Review, Sept. 2016
Captivate Your Readers (An Editor's Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction) by Jodie Renner is an informative and valuable guide for all fiction writers. The author goes beyond the notion of just writing a great story and gaining instant readers. She gets really meticulous and lets writers know all of the "nitty gritty" details of writing compelling fiction, starting with the most important aspect of any book - the characters. Renner discusses what makes an interesting character, how to introduce new characters, and what information to include so readers are invested in the characters' journey. The book goes on to discuss riveting openings, points of view, style, story flow, the importance of "show don't tell," as well as how to write realistic and engaging dialogue. Renner concludes with three appendix exercises: Spot the POV Gaffes, What's In a Name? Naming Your Characters, and Sketching In Your Characters to give writers a chance to apply what they've learned to their own writing.
I found Captivate Your Readers to be a very thorough and informative read. Renner covers a wide variety of topics and does so in a logical and easy-to-follow format. I like how she introduces a topic and then gets really detailed, looking at it from every angle. For instance, in part three of the book, she discusses point of view. Renner introduces the subject, explains it, gives the pros and cons of different types of point of view, how to use it effectively, and even goes into using the character's thoughts to enhance the story. I would recommend this book to all fiction writers looking to learn more about the individual, detailed components of a compelling read.
By Charity Tober for READERS' FAVORITEBook Awards and Reviews
From the Inside Flap
"A handy compendium of techniques that will also serve as a checklist for authors who aspire to write page-turning fiction."
- James Scott Bell, author of Super Structure: The Key to Unlocking thePower of Story
"Jodie Renner's books are packed with practical writing and editing advice. Get ready to improve your manuscript today."
- Steven James, author of Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules
"Want to write solid, marketable fiction? Read this book. Regardless of your experience level, Captivate Your Readers gives you clear and concise tools that will help you create a believable story world and spin a good yarn."
- DP Lyle, award-winning author of the Dub Walker and Samantha Cody thriller series
"Jodie Renner nails it! Captivate Your Readers should be at the top of every new and experienced writer's arsenal, as well as a preferred resource for every teacher of writing. Her no-nonsense, easy-to-understand approach is perfect. Bravo, Jodie Renner!"
- Lynn Sholes, bestselling author of the Cotten Stone series and The Shield