Thursday, 17 November 2011

Book Review: The Craft of Writing Romance by Jean Saunders

The Craft of Writing Romance (Writers' Guides)The Craft of Writing Romance by Jean Saunders

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was donated to my writing group, Wordsmiths of Weston, by Jean Saunders' family. So thanks to them, we have a little library of writing advice books etc.

I read the third edition, but it is still a bit dated. (I think it was published around 1995). It talks of mailing submissions, whereas nowadays most are done by email, and things like that.

However, the general content about writing romance and the advice it gives is still useful. Jean had a lovely style, and you could hear her voice throughout. You can imagine her chatting to you.

One thing that really stuck out for me was her advice on editing, and not to overdo it. You can remove some of the spontaneity of your initial first draft writing, and even your voice. It was nice to read this from a professional.  

The last chapter, 'Further Help', talks of writing classes and finding writing friends to help with critiques etc. I can't help but think how lucky we are with the age of social networking, forums, and emailing, how much easier it is for a writer to make 'friends' with fellow writers. But remember, and Jean even shares this advice too, it's important for a writer to get out and about, not sit indoors all day every day hidden away. It can be a lonely career - although not that lonely as we quite enjoy talking to the characters inside our heads - and to get away from our manuscript and interact with real life, meeting real people helps the plot bunnies to breed.

So when you're sharing a glass of wine or a cup of coffee with a friend, never feel guilty that you should be writing. You need to live a little too.

Thank you Jean for your words of encouragement and some wonderful advice.

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(Gosh - I needed to update my blog. So glad I finished this book!)