The opening introduction sums up its purpose…
This is a guide to practical craft not cerebral art. It is aimed at the ambitious budding author more interested in finishing a book than allowing it to linger in the purgatory of a never-ending work in progress. Success and failure in any writing project frequently depend upon matters deemed too mundane to be worthy of discussion in authorial circles.Yet the real-world challenges – how to approach a manuscript, to manage research, to fix the right point of view – represent important and recurring obstacles every writer, novice or professional, must overcome.
These are some of the questions the book investigates as it takes the reader through a step-by-step approach from first concept to finished synopsis. It begins by looking at some of the necessary prerequisites for starting a novel, moves through the essential planning stage and then to the development of a sample story from rudimentary idea to finished full-length synopsis.
This is not, as David emphasises in the book, a ‘how-to’ book defining the ‘rules’ of writing. There are no rules, and you will be challenged to question every piece of advice in this book and ask: but would that work for me?
Instead it’s designed as a potential toolbox full of the kinds of tricks and strategies professional writers use to overcome the many obstacles we all face when writing a novel, rank beginner or seasoned pro.
The foreword is by Lee Child who writes…
There are blind alleys, and ways to avoid them.There are elephant traps, and ways to sidestep them. There’s praise, and ways to parse it. There’s criticism, and ways to respond to it. And ways not to. Once the words are on the page, you step out of the office and into the jungle. You need a guide.
You need David Hewson.