I have to admit my experience of “writing guides” by authors has been hit and miss, but Harmony Kent pulls it out of the bag with this one. It’s written simply, clearly and informally. This helps get straight to the importance stuff and isn’t bogged down by reams of text or lengthy extracts.
Part 1 of the book covers the most common grammatical and stylistic errors made my authors. I’m not too proud to admit that I’ve made a few of these myself in the past and wholeheartedly endorse the message that a good editor is crucial, that said, budget doesn’t always allow this. You may also disagree with yours or find that the quality you hoped for isn’t forthcoming. Whatever your situation though, as a writer you will want to get your manuscript in tip top shape as soon as possible, even if you are then going to send it to Betas or an editor.
What I really like here is the illustration of what she means. For example, Harmony provides an example of a sentence that could benefit from reworking, then goes on to give two or three ways in which it can be improved. The section on adverbs is always a welcome reminder, as is the chapter on points of view. There are plenty of practice exercises for you to try if that’s your preferred learning style and I found these quite helpful. They’re not formally set, more a case of ” why not try this” which actually encouraged me to do them.
Part 2 of the book covers a lot of grammar basics including spilt infinitives and contractions, as well as punctuation basics. There’s a whole section on common spelling errors and a very useful chart of common American vs British phases. I will definitely be referring back to that in the future!
Part 3 contains more general advice for writers, including dealing with negative reviews and nifty little checklist that pulls all the lessons in the book together.
This gets a big thumbs up from me.
This book is currently available as an ebook and paperback. Free downloads available for Kindle Unlimited customers. Get your copy here :