Sunday, 10 May 2009

Guest Review: The Writer's Springboard, by Margaret Graham

My thanks to Kate Kelly for this review: I'd not come across this book before she submitted her review, and it's a real delight.

Margaret Graham is a bestselling author with twelve novels to her credit. She is also an excellent writing tutor and mentor who runs a number of workshops and writing classes, so she is well positioned to produce a handbook like this on the craft of writing.

The Writer's Springboard contains much of the content of her classes covering a broad spectrum of writing skills from the basics of Point of View and Show not Tell, to the more complex topics of structure and voice. She also gives clear examples, in a ‘before and after’ format, to clarify these points.

This little book has a huge amount of information crammed into its pages, maybe too much. It’s not a book that can be read cover to cover in one sitting, but is more a book to be taken a chunk at a time in order to fully absorb the wealth of advice and information it contains. But for this very reason it makes an excellent reference book that you will revisit again and again and still find something new. It is well laid out in a logical way, and it is therefore easy to find your way around.

I’ve read a number of books of this ilk and there are others, perhaps, that would be better suited for beginners than this one. But if you are a writer with a bit of experience who is looking to develop and hone your craft, then this is a book that you will keep coming back to.

Kate Kelly is a UK-based science fiction writer. By day she works as a marine scientist, but at night she returns to her first love—writing. Her short fiction has been published in a number of SF and horror magazines and anthologies, and she was winner of the 2008 Western Gazette Award for a local writer in the Yeovil Prize, being shortlisted in both the novel and short story categories. She is currently working of a couple of children’s novels, and hunting for an agent.


Sally Zigmond said...

Thanks for the review. Another book that passed me by--until now.

Maggie Dana said...

Sounds like a very useful resource. Thanks, Kate, for the review. Another book that's quite popular in the US (where I live) is SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS by Renni Browne and Dave King. I found it invaluable after getting my first draft down and then wondering where to begin fixing it. It was full of common beginner mistakes such as way too many adverbs, inappropriate speaker attributions, and dangling participles that I didn't know were dangling till Renni's book pointed out how very silly some of them were.

Jane Smith said...

Maggie, I like the Browne/King book too. If someone were to write me a review of it, I'd be certain to post it here eventually...!