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Showing 1-10 of 67 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 84 reviews
on September 28, 2015
I just finished this book and it was exactly what I was looking for - specific, helpful guidance on the craft of writing without any fluff. The book is full of great insights and helpful tips that I can put to work immediately. If you are combing the web looking for advice on writing (which is what I was doing), stop what you're doing and just buy this book. It will save you tons of time and energy, as it has the whole process laid out in a clear and concise format. As a bonus, Mary Kole's voice is fun and engaging and helps move the book along nicely. And to Ms. Kole, thank you for writing this book!
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on October 20, 2014
Quite simply, THE BEST "how to" book on novel-writing I've ever read and probably ever will read in my life--and I've read plenty. If I find a good book on this subject, it normally means I came away somewhat encouraged to stop procrastinating, face my fears and, as Nike said, "Just do it." But Mary Kole teaches techniques and subtleties about craft and process that made it imperative that I sit my butt down and apply what I learned to my manuscript--immediately! It's not just about writing kidlit: This'll clear out the cobwebs for experienced novelists for all ages and genres. And newbies will benefit by knowing more just starting out than do many with advanced degrees (and the student loan bills to prove it). I keep this book next to my keyboard while I write. If my book sells, I'm gonna build it it's own little shelf.
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on February 6, 2016
Good guide to the middle grade (MG) / young adult (YA) writing scene, with solid advice on craft. I like that the author puts more focus on craft rather than how to sell the book - and warns people from writing what's trendy now. There's also plenty of good examples drawn from current kidlit. There is basic info on query letters and selling, but the author focuses on how to write the book first.
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on January 6, 2017
This is a very good book to add to your library and to refer back to occasionally. So many self-help books are somewhat disappointing; not this one. It's a keeper!
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on January 27, 2014
Unlike many books of this type Mary Kole is not writing from the perspective of someone who writes. She wrote this book, of course, but she does not make her living as an author. Which is exactly what is necessary for a book such as this. Because you, as a perspective writer. Need to know what to do to get published. And it just so happens Mary, being a literary agent is in a position to let you in on some of the things people like her look for. This is an incredible book with lots of great advice. But better still it is arranged in a such a way that the reader can highlight passages and quickly and easily get back to them for a quick refresher.
Truly this book is required reading for anyone who wants to write in the genres of Middle Grade or Young Adult fiction of any kind.
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on July 17, 2015
I have read a lot of books on writing and none compare to this - even Stephen King's On Writing - this is the best writing book ever. The drills she sets out have improved and pushed my writing more than any class or teacher or editor I've ever had. This book has helped me understand my readers better and find my own style of writing within the frameworks that work for the Middle Grade market.
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on February 13, 2014
I met Mary Cole at a Writer's Digest convention--she had a seminar and I also pitched my MG novel to her--and she had this book on sale. I wish I had bought it then instead of two years later, because this book is full of good advice. A good bit I've picked up over the years through other sources as well, but Mary writes in a clear, easy to understand, and amusing way, which is hard to do with anything nonfiction.

I bought the book because I wanted to learn more about plot and pacing, and I learned a ton of useful tidbits from this novel. Not only that, but character development, voice, what middle grade and YA readers really want, the list goes on. Great book. I recommend it to everyone who wants to break into the YA/MG market.
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on November 18, 2012
I've never tried writing kids' books; mostly I write non-fiction books or article for adults. However, writing a kid's book has been in the back of my mind for most of my life so when I saw this book I grabbed it. And I'm glad I did. It covers a tremendous amount of information - not only for those who want to write for children, but for writers of most genres - it's simply a good all-round book. I especially liked the chapter on writing a Series. Like adult fiction (I'm thinking mostly about mysteries) - I know that as a reader I love a good series. And, I can see why a series for children would be such a good idea. If this is a market you've been thinking about cracking - or at least trying your hand at - this is the book to buy.
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on December 26, 2013
Full disclosure: I haven't finished reading the entire book yet. The reason I am rating now is that I have already made significant improvements to my book (not my first book, but my first Kidlit book) based on the advice in _Writing Irresistible Kidlit_. After each chapter, I have taken the suggestions that Kole makes and applied them to my book. I have completely rewritten the first chapter, tightened up a lot of language, and made some good character enhancements. I have found excellent advice to better tailor the story to my 9-12 year old audience. The improvement I see in my story is incredible. And I am much more confident that agents/publishers will like it as well.
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on October 11, 2013
I recommend this guide to all aspiring Young Adult or Middle Grade authors. Mary Kole's writing style is clear and concise. She dedicates 79 pages on "character development" alone and almost the same on "plot development". I've read many books on how to craft fiction and this is by far one of the best. I also recommend this book to published authors who are looking for a fresh take from an industry insider.
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