5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing

Dear Fellow Readers,

J. Lynn Sheridan is a guest on my blog this week.  She has a review of a book about writing.  I am thrilled that she wanted to post here and I hope you enjoy her review.

5 Editors Tackle

My Review of 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing – 

It’s not a secret that writers love to read about writing and editors love to write about writing.  So when I was offered to review 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing, I jumped at the chance.

S. Lakin, Linda S. Clare, Christy Distler, Robin Patchen, Rachel Starr Thomson have written a complete, fun, instructional manual from the point of view of editors who are also writers.

This how-to-write book is different from the myriad other writing how-to books on the market in that these editors SHOW rather than just TELL. (And then they SHOW why the mantra: “Show. Don’t Tell” is not always the correct advice. They reiterate that you need to know the rules in order to break the rules.)

Each of the twelve fatal flaws are contained in their own chapter. Flaws such as: overwriting and lack of pacing and tension. Each contributing editor instructs the reader in a non-condescending manner expanding upon the previous editor’s insight and instruction illustrating the chapter’s fatal flaw with personal samples from their own writing. They demonstrate how to strengthen scenes by fixing the fatal flaw in those segments. This book caters to writers and editors who love examples. ME!

You’ll learn about the Rule of Three for all the writing elements and you’ll learn how to search for Word Weasels, Talking Heads, and Floating Body Parts, in addition to the fatal “Cold Mashed Potato Rule.”

I love the chapter ending checklists. You’ll want to print them out and keep them handy as you write or edit. Look for the quotable nuggets of writing wisdom under the “In Conclusion” sections.

Coming off a NaNoWriMo fail, I appreciate Lakins’s final advice to slow down. To “show words the honor they deserve and work with them respectfully.”

Think of this book as your personal writing coach that you’ll return to often for reference.


J. Lynn Sheridan professes to be a literary thief – you can  go to her web site to find her definition of the term.  She is a writer, a poet, and an editor.  She has a poetry blog , Writing on the Sun and a blog about Alzheimer’s called The Slow Forget.



About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
This entry was posted in Talking Books, Writing about Writing/Working and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing

  1. Julia Tomiak says:

    I enjoyed this review on Janice’s blog as well and have added this book to my TBR list. (I’m currently enjoying King’s “On Writing”.). By the way, Janice, your site looks great! 😉
    Thanks ladies!

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