Book Review: Write it Right – Tips for Authors by Mary Deal

Write It Right: Tips For AuthorsWrite It Right: Tips For Authors by Mary Deal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading seven novels by Mary Deal, I ordered her non-fiction book, ‘Write it Right: Tips for Authors,’ last week, as I wanted to understand how this author approaches her work. All her novels and short stories are 5-star reads for me, so what’s the secret? Perhaps if you read this book, you’ll find out. I devoured it over two days because it’s easy and organized in small chunks, making it something I could peruse throughout the weekend whenever I had thirty minutes available. It’s the kind of instructional guide that you can refer to many times in the future, so it’ll be kept on my Kindle in an easy-to-access collection.

The book is an overall approach to the writing craft and publishing processes. Divided into sections pertaining to topics such as self-publishing, editing, story creation, and marketing, you’ll find short chapters with bulleted hints and narrative that offer suggestions for the newbie or the seasoned professional. Not everything in the book is meant for every writer, unless you are completely new to the craft. It’s meant to provide reminders and tips for authors who need a shove from time to time, too. Perhaps you struggle with when to use ‘had’ in writing past tense when talking about something from a long time ago. Maybe you forget that Americans don’t often use the ‘s’ in toward / towards or backward / backwards. It’s the little things that get us authors, and this book is one that will help make your writing even stronger.

Although I read every word, I plan to re-read certain sections. Some of the components take a while to sink in. If you read something and move on too quickly, you might miss the value Deal’s provided in her advice. Writers often think they’ve perfected something after enough edits, but you will always find more in another round. How do you know when you’re truly done? Read that section… and you’ll walk away with great advice and a new approach. I plan to flip through this again when I am in the editing phase of my next novel. I’m confident this will help me fix a few additional issues I hadn’t noticed. I also plan to re-review the marketing section next month, as there were some fantastic ideas I plan to test soon.

Many writers write a book about how to write. (Try saying that too quickly!) The difference with Deal’s book is that she knows how much to say about each topic. It’s never preachy. It’s always straightforward. It’s options to consider, not hard and fast rules in all instances, e.g. the use of a prologue. Personally, I love them. Deal points out why these might not be so good. I understand her points and will take those into consideration when I write one, as she’s not saying “Don’t do it!” She’s saying “Do it properly!”

The other fun part about the book is that Deal provides examples from writers we all know (the good and the bad). She points out her own mistakes. She provides samples of her work to show us how she’s included her tips, including a full-length story from one of her collections. I highly recommend this book as the kind you keep on the shelf or handy in your Kindle… you’ll find yourself re-visiting it frequently, and this is the sign of a very worthy and finely produced tool.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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14 comments

  1. Thank you, James, for reading my Write It Right – Tips for Authors – and for your spectacular review. Your reviews are spot-on because you take the time to explain your likes and dislikes. Doing so helps others understand a book. If you liked this one – which includes a lot of publishing and promotion etiquette – then you may like the next volume, which will be only articles to clarify writing dilemmas. Thank you so much for reading and reviews my book. Your efforts are so appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

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