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The Literary Handyman: Tips on Writing From Someone Who's Been there

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Have a Dream of Being An Author? Frustrated with Banging Your Head Against the Publishing Wall? (Let's Face It...Why Else Would You Be Reading This?) Don't Worry. You Are By No Means Alone! Success in publishing is equal parts skill, determination, knowledge, and pure, dumb luck. If you have the drive, and you have the skill, but you're missing that little bit of insight i Have a Dream of Being An Author? Frustrated with Banging Your Head Against the Publishing Wall? (Let's Face It...Why Else Would You Be Reading This?) Don't Worry. You Are By No Means Alone! Success in publishing is equal parts skill, determination, knowledge, and pure, dumb luck. If you have the drive, and you have the skill, but you're missing that little bit of insight into the industry, this book might just be the edge you're looking for. (For the luck...you're on your own.) Crack the cover to learn more about effective dialogue, the difference between the major publishers and small press, self-promoting, naming characters, avoiding procrastination... and so many other demons that haunt the aspiring author. The Literary Handyman also includes a series of writing exercises tailored toward helping you to apply the information gained in the book."


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Have a Dream of Being An Author? Frustrated with Banging Your Head Against the Publishing Wall? (Let's Face It...Why Else Would You Be Reading This?) Don't Worry. You Are By No Means Alone! Success in publishing is equal parts skill, determination, knowledge, and pure, dumb luck. If you have the drive, and you have the skill, but you're missing that little bit of insight i Have a Dream of Being An Author? Frustrated with Banging Your Head Against the Publishing Wall? (Let's Face It...Why Else Would You Be Reading This?) Don't Worry. You Are By No Means Alone! Success in publishing is equal parts skill, determination, knowledge, and pure, dumb luck. If you have the drive, and you have the skill, but you're missing that little bit of insight into the industry, this book might just be the edge you're looking for. (For the luck...you're on your own.) Crack the cover to learn more about effective dialogue, the difference between the major publishers and small press, self-promoting, naming characters, avoiding procrastination... and so many other demons that haunt the aspiring author. The Literary Handyman also includes a series of writing exercises tailored toward helping you to apply the information gained in the book."

54 review for The Literary Handyman: Tips on Writing From Someone Who's Been there

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    In The Literary Handyman: Tips on Writing From Someone Who's Been there author Danielle Ackley-McPhail shares hints and tips on a wide range of topics of interest to any aspiring writer. I especially liked the sections on naming characters and writing dialogue, which include some very insightful suggestions. At first glance, much of the information included in this volume might be a bit basic for more accomplished or connected authors, but I think this could be a handy reference guide for just ab In The Literary Handyman: Tips on Writing From Someone Who's Been there author Danielle Ackley-McPhail shares hints and tips on a wide range of topics of interest to any aspiring writer. I especially liked the sections on naming characters and writing dialogue, which include some very insightful suggestions. At first glance, much of the information included in this volume might be a bit basic for more accomplished or connected authors, but I think this could be a handy reference guide for just about anyone -- sometimes it's easy to forget the basics when you're stuck in a rut. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    JAnn Bowers

    Danielle's teaches a great path for any stage of writer. She reaches out to the writer/reader and pulls them in to really question and put in process their own writing with great analysis with questions such as these... "Where do I start?" and "How should your story be told?" She covers these and more tricks and tips throughout her book. Danielle's teaches a great path for any stage of writer. She reaches out to the writer/reader and pulls them in to really question and put in process their own writing with great analysis with questions such as these... "Where do I start?" and "How should your story be told?" She covers these and more tricks and tips throughout her book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beckyloohoo Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ aka Mrs. Acheron Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

    OMG, what a great book! Danielle Ackley-McPhail keeps her tone funny and light-hearted (and I always love some good snark!) while giving out some great tips and ideas. It has the feel of a friend giving advice over coffee, not a teacher delivering a lecture on writing formulas. She covers what to do if inspiration fails, how changing a few words in a sentence can change an entire page, how to better define your characters, and how to deal with the fear of rejection. The book is filled with analo OMG, what a great book! Danielle Ackley-McPhail keeps her tone funny and light-hearted (and I always love some good snark!) while giving out some great tips and ideas. It has the feel of a friend giving advice over coffee, not a teacher delivering a lecture on writing formulas. She covers what to do if inspiration fails, how changing a few words in a sentence can change an entire page, how to better define your characters, and how to deal with the fear of rejection. The book is filled with analogies and tips to get your brain (and pencil) going.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paul Franco

    A monthly column called The Writer’s Toolbox gets collected and transformed into the Literary Handyman. Actually, the title’s kinda clever, if you stop to think about it. There’s a moment that made me love this book: the author’s talking about how writing is a solitary endeavor, “just you and your computer. . . or typewriter. . . or clay tablet. . .” Nice. There’s advice that’s for the most part common sense, though I’m sure most beginning writers don’t think of this stuff. (Warning: on the cover A monthly column called The Writer’s Toolbox gets collected and transformed into the Literary Handyman. Actually, the title’s kinda clever, if you stop to think about it. There’s a moment that made me love this book: the author’s talking about how writing is a solitary endeavor, “just you and your computer. . . or typewriter. . . or clay tablet. . .” Nice. There’s advice that’s for the most part common sense, though I’m sure most beginning writers don’t think of this stuff. (Warning: on the cover it says “for beginners,” so don’t expect anything in depth if you’ve got some years under your. . . fingers.) The important parts for me were the droplets of humor sprinkled throughout, transforming what might otherwise had been a dry read into something more memorable. It is important to remember that these were originally in a once a week or month format; it’s a lot different reading them all at once. 3.5 pushed up to 4/5

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Why would a published author need tips on writing? Like sharpening the tools in your toolbox, honing one skills is an ongoing process. The Literary Handyman (besides being a woman) provides bite-sized tips for the craft of writing, as well as the business end. And while no book is going to guarantee sales, I did review the sections on good dialogue right before I submitted a piece that was accepted for publication. The middle of the book is filled with writing prompts, with plenty of space to jot Why would a published author need tips on writing? Like sharpening the tools in your toolbox, honing one skills is an ongoing process. The Literary Handyman (besides being a woman) provides bite-sized tips for the craft of writing, as well as the business end. And while no book is going to guarantee sales, I did review the sections on good dialogue right before I submitted a piece that was accepted for publication. The middle of the book is filled with writing prompts, with plenty of space to jot down your thougths and ideas... unless you're like me and can't write in a book even if it was made for that purpose. But I can use a journal or a blog because I love my writing prompts.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Darcysmom

    I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review. The Literary Handyman suffers from trying to be everything for everyone. The tips are incredibly broad, which means many of them are common sense. A significant percentage of the content is reprinted from the author's contributions to a writing website. The conversational tone is appealing and accessible. This book is worth reading as a very broad overview of the writing and publishing process. I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review. The Literary Handyman suffers from trying to be everything for everyone. The tips are incredibly broad, which means many of them are common sense. A significant percentage of the content is reprinted from the author's contributions to a writing website. The conversational tone is appealing and accessible. This book is worth reading as a very broad overview of the writing and publishing process.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)

    The Literary Handyman by Danielle Ackely-McPhail is filled with great advises for aspiring writers. The book is structured in small articles and very easy to read. Danielle is a fantasy and science fiction author and shares her experience freely (if you do not count the price of the book itself) and offers substantial insights on how to select your book storyline and characters and the different avenues where you can submit your work. She also provides perspicacious warnings on what not to do.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    The Literary Handyman is not a linear how-to-write book-it doesn't take you from A to Z in ten easy steps. It's more like a book full of classic recipes-open it to any page and get a single tasty delicacy, full of layered flavors and satisfying combinations. The Literary Handyman is a collection of articles, some published before in at various diverse times and venues, each a thoughtful look at a single aspect of writing. From "The Naming of Names" through "Coming to Your Senses" and finally to " The Literary Handyman is not a linear how-to-write book-it doesn't take you from A to Z in ten easy steps. It's more like a book full of classic recipes-open it to any page and get a single tasty delicacy, full of layered flavors and satisfying combinations. The Literary Handyman is a collection of articles, some published before in at various diverse times and venues, each a thoughtful look at a single aspect of writing. From "The Naming of Names" through "Coming to Your Senses" and finally to "Promoting for the Beginner", each essay takes a fresh look at the topic, giving insights in a light conversational tone that is comfortable to read. The book is divided into two main sections, the first on the craft of writing, the second covering aspects of the business of writing. Separating the two sections are some writing exercises to keep the reader on their toes! One of the most intriguing articles is "Spend Your Words Wisely," a very careful analysis of how changing just a few words can totally alter the meaning of a paragraph. The super value here is in the analysis of each variation, the why of the differences. It's a clever exercise, and one I enjoyed immensely. Overall, this is a valuable collection to add to your literary reference shelf and one I recommend. It's a part of my library.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nellie

    This is a great book whether you are a pro or new in the writing field. Ms. Ackley-Mcphail speaks in a easy going and humorous tone. As both a writer and a publisher, she sees both sides of the fence. I definitely found this helpful and there are fun exercises at sections in the book. It isn't ponderous or full of technical details. The Literary Handyman is an easy read on an afternoon. This is a great book whether you are a pro or new in the writing field. Ms. Ackley-Mcphail speaks in a easy going and humorous tone. As both a writer and a publisher, she sees both sides of the fence. I definitely found this helpful and there are fun exercises at sections in the book. It isn't ponderous or full of technical details. The Literary Handyman is an easy read on an afternoon.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ixris

    So... I devour books like this. Seek them out periodically, just because it's a friendly voice to nudge my own writing in the right direction. I don't think I've so drastically wanted to throttle an author of one of these 'how to write! :D' books nearly so much as I did Ackley-McPhail. Yes, she offers the been-there, done-that of how to write basic fiction, but the 'advice' is mediocre at best, kind of wishy-washy, and very much laden with moments of shameless self-promotion. The entire first hal So... I devour books like this. Seek them out periodically, just because it's a friendly voice to nudge my own writing in the right direction. I don't think I've so drastically wanted to throttle an author of one of these 'how to write! :D' books nearly so much as I did Ackley-McPhail. Yes, she offers the been-there, done-that of how to write basic fiction, but the 'advice' is mediocre at best, kind of wishy-washy, and very much laden with moments of shameless self-promotion. The entire first half of this book is kind of ".....ugh, come on!" The second half is better. Definitely adds insight to the publishing world (something rarely touched on in books like this), which is where this gets its second star. Could have earned a whole third star, too, if the text didn't repeat itself repeatedly for the sake of repeating itself, and that it didn't just drag on and on and on and on and on about the same topic (anthologies! they're the new magazine!). Honestly, I could have forgiven this book a LOT of things. The self-promotion was the biggest turn-off. The redundancy of the text was the second. The third? The third was totally the blatant homonym abuse, the tense shifts, the bad copyediting that was done (whether it's in the print copy, I don't know. It certainly was prevalent in the kindle version). It makes the whole book look lazy and slapped together. Not the best how-to-write book I've ever read, not by a long shot.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elektra

    The Literary Handyman is not a linear how-to-write book–it doesn’t take you from A to Z in ten easy steps. It’s more like a book full of classic recipes–open it to any page and get a single tasty delicacy, full of layered flavors and satisfying combinations. The Literary Handyman is a collection of articles, some published before in at various diverse times and venues, each a thoughtful look at a single aspect of writing. From “The Naming of Names” through “Coming to Your Senses” and finally to “ The Literary Handyman is not a linear how-to-write book–it doesn’t take you from A to Z in ten easy steps. It’s more like a book full of classic recipes–open it to any page and get a single tasty delicacy, full of layered flavors and satisfying combinations. The Literary Handyman is a collection of articles, some published before in at various diverse times and venues, each a thoughtful look at a single aspect of writing. From “The Naming of Names” through “Coming to Your Senses” and finally to “Promoting for the Beginner”, each essay takes a fresh look at the topic, giving insights in a light conversational tone that is comfortable to read. The book is divided into two main sections, the first on the craft of writing, the second covering aspects of the business of writing. Separating the two sections are some writing exercises to keep the reader on their toes! One of the most intriguing articles is “Spend Your Words Wisely,” a very careful analysis of how changing just a few words can totally alter the meaning of a paragraph. The super value here is in the analysis of each variation, the why of the differences. It’s a clever exercise, and one I enjoyed immensely. Overall, this is a valuable collection to add to your literary reference shelf and one I recommend. It’s a part of my library.

  12. 5 out of 5

    K.T.

    Well-paced, funny, thoughtful look at the writing and publishing process. Danielle has a great voice and she provides the reader with wonderful little chapters on various topics. I especially likes the chapter on anthologies - one of those little things no one tells you about but everyone expects you to know how they work and how you can find them.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Ward

  15. 5 out of 5

    James

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dark Quest Books

  17. 4 out of 5

    MysteryRide

  18. 4 out of 5

    Vonnie Crist

  19. 5 out of 5

    eSpec Books

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bill Hicks

  21. 5 out of 5

    Beth Ann

  22. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Thomas

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ly David

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Breaux

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  27. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dave Olsher

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mike Rogers

  30. 5 out of 5

    The Rainbow Zebra

  31. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

  32. 4 out of 5

    Destiny

  33. 4 out of 5

    Antonia Baxter

  34. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Kennedy

  35. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

  36. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  37. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

  38. 4 out of 5

    Debby Stephan

  39. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

  40. 5 out of 5

    Rena

  41. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

  42. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Weippert

  43. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  44. 5 out of 5

    Winter Hansen

  45. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  46. 5 out of 5

    Mara

  47. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  48. 5 out of 5

    Norma

  49. 4 out of 5

    Shawna

  50. 4 out of 5

    Fountaingirl

  51. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  52. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  53. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn Pumarejo

  54. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Marston

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