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VOYAUltimately all the advice to would-be writers of any age comes down to this command: Write. Hirschi spells it out in the introduction-the point of this book is to get writing. By establishing a writing practice and putting words to paper-the easy part-the writer can develop the required skills. The first few chapters advocate sound techniques, including setting aside time to write every day, journaling, and free writing (continuously writing for a set period of time). There are writing practice and journal exercises for each topic, from descriptive writing to characterization. Once the basics are covered, however, the book quickly bogs down in an incongruous mix of practical writing advice, academic literary theory, and pithy quotes. The chapter on novel writing focuses on the history of the novel and offers little concrete advice. The section on romance discusses the gender theory of feminine desire and subjectivity but glosses over the structure and formula of genre romance novels in two sentences. Although there are some excellent quotations on writing, the context is often irrelevant. Many sample texts used-including material by Virginia Woolf, Octavia Butler, and James Joyce-are too complex to accurately illustrate basic characterization or point of view. Although the first third of this book provides some solid advice and techniques, the remainder, with its lapses into academia and heavy reliance on literary classics, will likely lack relevance to all but the most literary-minded teen readers. VOYA CODES: 2Q 2P J S (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High,defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Barron's, 168p.; Index. Biblio. Further Reading., Trade pb. Ages 12 to 18.