Thanks, But This Isn't for Us: A (Sort Of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing Is Being Rejected

Overview

A fun, practical guide that reveals the essentials of good fiction and memoir writing by exposing the most common mistakes literary writers make.

All great works of fiction and memoir are unique-but most bad novels, stories, and memoirs have a lot in common. From clunky dialogue to poorly sketchedout characters, sagging pacing to exaggerated prose, these beginners' mistakes drive any agent or editor to their stock rejection letter, telling the aspiring writer "Thanks, but this ...

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Thanks, But This Isn't for Us: A (Sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected

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Overview

A fun, practical guide that reveals the essentials of good fiction and memoir writing by exposing the most common mistakes literary writers make.

All great works of fiction and memoir are unique-but most bad novels, stories, and memoirs have a lot in common. From clunky dialogue to poorly sketchedout characters, sagging pacing to exaggerated prose, these beginners' mistakes drive any agent or editor to their stock rejection letter, telling the aspiring writer "Thanks, but this isn't for us," and leaving many to wonder what exactly it is that they're doing wrong.

Veteran writing coach, developmental editor, and writing instructor Jessica Page Morrell will fill in the gaps in every rejection letter you've ever received. In Thanks, But This Isn't for Us, Morrell uses her years of experience to isolate the specific errors beginners make, including the pitfalls of unrealistic dialogue, failing to "show, not tell," and over-the-top plot twists. These are just a few of the problems that keep writers from breaking through with their work. Sympathetic and humane, but pulling no punches, Thanks, But This Isn't for Us shows writers precisely where they've gone wrong and how to get on the right track. In sixteen to-the-point chapters, with checklists, exercises, takeaway tips, and a glossary, Morrell helps readers transcend these mistakes so that they don't have to learn the hard way: with another rejection letter.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Morrell (writing, Evergreen State Coll.; The Writer's I Ching) takes us through the school of hard knocks faced by writers who are struggling to get published. Without removing the creativity from creative writing, Morrell convincingly portrays the craft of writing for publication as no accident of fate by revealing the "trade secrets" of the publishing industry through the eyes of that all-important gatekeeper, the editor. Having seen too many writers making the same mistakes, Morrell examines what makes a book publishable and what makes a story suck. She goes over dozens of common writing mistakes—from character, to plot, to dialog—and helps the would-be author find the ways in which to fine-tune a manuscript to avoid another rejection letter. VERDICT From beginning to end, whether novel, short story, or memoir, each element of a narrative is reviewed, with each chapter ending with quick tips to improve one's writing. This is one to add to any library shelf—it won't gather dust there.—Ann Schade, Sun Prairie, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585427215
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/20/2009
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 687,777
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Jessica Page Morrell is the author of Bullies, Bastards & Bitches: How to Write the Bad Guys in Fiction and The Writer's I Ching: Wisdom for the Creative Life . She works as a developmental editor and was formerly the writing expert at an online magazine. She has contributed articles to The Writer and Writer's Digest magazines, as well as several newspapers. Morrell teaches writing at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and leads a series of workshops in the Northwest.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This book was informative, insightful, and very helpful.

    I've been reading many books on writing, some were recommended to me by others, some I researched extensively before buying, and then this one, newly released, just happened to catch my eye on the store shelf.

    Buying it was a wise decision.

    Anyone researching how to write a novel, edit and refine a novel, or pick up the pieces after a rejection letter - or several! - can benefit from this book.

    The author really highlighted the reasons your hard work gets rejected, and what to do to fine tune, or start over. Yes, the truth hurts, but unless your intention is to be a writer no one else ever has a chance to read, the truth is necessary.

    This book is definitely one I will keep on my shelf and refer to again and again. And if you are serious about getting published, it deserves a place on your shelf too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

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