©2024 Fable Group Inc.
3.0 

How Not to Write a Novel

By Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman
How Not to Write a Novel by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

"What do you think of my fiction book writing?" the aspiring novelist extorted.

"Darn," the editor hectored, in turn. "I can not publish your novel! It is full of what we in the business call 'really awful writing.'"

"But how shall I absolve this dilemma? I have already read every tome available on how to write well and get published!" The writer tossed his head about, wildly.

"It might help," opined the blonde editor, helpfully, "to ponder how NOT to write a novel, so you might avoid the very thing!"

Many writing books offer sound advice on how to write well. This is not one of those books. On the contrary, this is a collection of terrible, awkward, and laughably unreadable excerpts that will teach you what to avoid—at all costs—if you ever want your novel published.

In How Not to Write a Novel, authors Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman distill their 30 years combined experience in teaching, editing, writing, and reviewing fiction to bring you real advice from the other side of the query letter. Rather than telling you how or what to write, they identify the 200 most common mistakes unconsciously made by writers and teach you to recognize, avoid, and amend them. With hilarious "mis-examples" to demonstrate each manuscript-mangling error, they'll help you troubleshoot your beginnings and endings, bad guys, love interests, style, jokes, perspective, voice, and more. As funny as it is useful, this essential how-NOT-to guide will help you get your manuscript out of the slush pile and into the bookstore.

Download the free Fable app

app book lists

Stay organized

Keep track of what you’re reading, what you’ve finished, and what’s next.
app book recommendations

Build a better TBR

Swipe, skip, and save with our smart list-building tool
app book reviews

Rate and review

Share your take with other readers with half stars, emojis, and tags
app comments

Curate your feed

Meet readers like you in the Fable For You feed, designed to build bookish communities
app book lists

Stay organized

Keep track of what you’re reading, what you’ve finished, and what’s next.
app book recommendations

Build a better TBR

Swipe, skip, and save with our smart list-building tool
app book reviews

Rate and review

Share your take with other readers with half stars, emojis, and tags
app comments

Curate your feed

Meet readers like you in the Fable For You feed, designed to build bookish communities

17 Reviews

3.0
“obviously, since this is categorised as non-fiction and a guidebook, I'll have to rate it by its level of helpfulness rather than interestingness. i did learn somethings i didn't know before, but not that much and I'm always looking to improve my writing so it wasn't a complete waste of time. three stars it is.”
“Somehow Newman and Mittelmark have managed to make a (not) rule book enjoyable, entertaining, and downright funny. This is the best kind of textbook because you don’t even realise you’re learning. You’re so busy reading for the comedy that all these tips and tricks are being added to your brain completely under the radar. They did it. They really did it, the mad lads. An engaging ‘how (not) to’. They actually made it.”
“I have to say the idea behind this book is pretty smart. It's very hard to articulate what makes a good book, but very easy to articulate what makes a bad one. The best things to avoid in your writing are listed here, along with humourous examples. Reading it through as close together as I did, I recognized the recurring "characters" and situational references, which makes it even more humorous. The tone is almost passive aggressive, and a little accusatory, but in a not-belittling way if that makes any sense. It's a really fun read, and very useful. I'm sure I'm guilty of a few things in this book still (and was definitely guilty of a LOT of them just a few years ago).”

About Howard Mittelmark

Writer and editor Howard Mittelmark's book reviews and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Hollywood Reporter, Writer's Digest, and other publications. He is the author of the novel Age of Consent.

Sandra Newman

Sandra Newman is the author of the novels The Men, The Heavens (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year), and The Country of Ice Cream Star, longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post and NPR, as well as several other works of fiction and nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s and Granta, among other publications. She lives in New York City.

Start a Book Club

Start a public or private book club with this book on the Fable app today!

FAQ

Do I have to buy the ebook to participate in a book club?

Why can’t I buy the ebook on the app?

How is Fable’s reader different from Kindle?

Do you sell physical books too?

Are book clubs free to join on Fable?

How do I start a book club with this book on Fable?

Error Icon
Save to a list
0
/
30
0
/
100
Private List
Private lists are not visible to other Fable users on your public profile.
Notification Icon