Writing the Bestseller II: Romance and Commercial Fiction, Jane Porter


Writing the Bestseller II: Romance and Commercial Fiction,  Jane Porter
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Non-Fiction, Adult
I love to read, always have, and always have my kindle with me – everywhere and anywhere, even took it to the dentist this morning. Loving stories though and writing them…well, its a whole different ball game.
How many people say “ I’m going to write a book” and it’;s always One Day or When there’s time etc…Many years ago when my kids were toddlers I tried writing short stories – and found making them interesting was a real problem for me..it’s one of those things I reckon where the simpler it looks the harder it is ;- ) and I felt I just hadn’t got it.
After reading my way through this though, advice from real authors on everything from where to start, how to plan characters and plots, how to hook the reader early on, ( and as a reader I know if a story doesn’t get me quickly I’ll drop it)  how to balance writing time with the other things in your life, how to deal with editors and a host of other incredibly useful advice from people who have done all this themselves I feel inspired to give it another shot. Some people have a kind of compulsion to write, they sacrifice other things in their life to do it, and to me those are natural authors but there’s others for whom it’s a way of making money more than an inbuilt compulsion that can’t be left alone. Does it matter which you are? who knows. for me I think its more a personal challenge, can I really do this, make something others would want to read? I know as an artist how good it feels when someone buys something I’ve created…though I hate marketing and I suspect writing successfully needs just as much time spent on that as selling artwork does. there’s a chapter devoted to building an online presence, something in todays media savvy generation that’s so important. whereas we’d go to a book shop or ,library before now it’s the web and big sellers such as amazon that’s first port of call. Social media helps spread the word about your work to reach those readers who look online for books. I read blogs, look at what they recommend and as a (small time ) blogger myself I search out new and upcoming release to read and review.
Something covered that I feel is incredibly important is editing, the Writer/Editor relationship. I’ve started and abandoned books that just don’t have a free flow of words, have bad grammar, spelling issues etc Not just a few typos but an error ridden novel, no one wants to read that, and even if you make it free then reader time is precious – never forget that. In the early eBook/self-publishing days I abandoned probably at least ten per cent of free novels as too difficult to read. I’d see disclaimers – this book is free so…I’m dyslexic so…I can’t afford an editor so…Well, to me if you’re putting work out there with the hope someone wants to read it you have to do all you can to make it as good as you can. Get beta readers to look at plot issues, friends to critique – though they need to be honest and you must take it if you want to remain friends!! Then there’s spellcheck and grammar software if you really really don’t want the expense of an editor but really, its an essential expense IMO.
Its a fascinating read, from the how to of plotting and characterisation, to the nuts and blots of editing and finally  marketing. When I look at a painting the artist part of me wants to look at how its actually done, how the paint layers were set out, whether what looks like detail from a distance is the same close up, how the artist has worked out getting the viewers eye to drift round, taking in the story told by the image. With a book is the same kind of thing – I want to know How its constructed, how to set out the plots and make them work, how to make characters realistic, even if they’re vampires and werewolves! After reading this I feel I’ve been given a huge insight into the practicalities of writing and I’ve really enjoyed it….now to put some of that into practice…maybe :- )
Stars: Five. It’s a great read, full of helpful situations and uncovering so much useful, but not necessarily known, advice.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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About jeanniezelos

I'm an avid reader, love my kindle and I have my head in a novel for hours daily : ) Mum used to say I'd read toilet paper if it was printed- it wasn't, so i had to contend myself with the back and sides of the cereal packets. I've always Needed to read and we had few books when i was a child hence my penchant for reading anything including adverts then... I review mainly contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance books though dystopian and urban fantasy also appeal. I'm currently rated around the 300 mark on amazon.co.uk for my reviews. I try to keep them structured and to say what I do and don't like about a book so other readers can use my review as a guide to whether they may enjoy the book.

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