Sunday, 1 March 2015

Blockbuster Books Broken Down by Kristen James

Book Review by Chris Longmuir

This simple guide is described as something to help authors with novel ideas, planning, plotting and writing, so I added it to my extensive library of writer’s guides.

It was an interesting and easy read, probably more suited to a writer at an early stage of their career, although there were snippets that would be useful to the more experienced writer as well.
What makes this book useful is the way it compares the different elements of story telling with best selling novels, paticularly those which have gone on to be made into films, and all the novels used are modern best sellers rather than classics. For example in the chapter which covers hooks, it not only describes what a hook is but it gives examples from novels such as Twilight, The Help, and The Hunger Games.
The book also includes exercises, an idea checklist, and a simple seven point novel map which a reader can compile to aid their writing. It illustrates each point with several examples from best selling fiction, which is helpful towards an understanding of the concept.
The main message of the book is that a writer can become a better writer by studying how best sellers work and breaking them down into their component parts. I know this is not a new idea, but the simple way it is demonstrated in this guide is bound to be useful to writers starting out on their journey to publication.
Chris Longmuir