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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Write Is a Verb: Sit Down, Start Writing, No Excuses

Write Is a Verb: Sit Down, Start Writing, No Excuses - Bill O'Hanlon An aspiring author, a publisher, and a psychotherapist walk into a writer's convention together...I tend to be attracted to books written for writers by those in the mental health field. These people know what they're talking about. Take for instance Dr. Linda Edelstein's Writer's Guide to Character Traits. Who better to identify the inner workings of my characters than someone who has been in their heads for over 20 years? Likewise, who better to understand my woes of writing than a therapist who has written nearly 30 books? Without ever having talked to me, Bill O'Hanlon knows exactly why I don't write.The neverending theme of Write is a Verb is simple: if you want to write, then write and don't let others tell you how to do it. O'Hanlon is right. Most books on the subject tell the reader when, where, and how to write. O'Hanlon's advice is to ignore all this and do what works best for you. Along the way, he offers the typical barrage of definitive "dos" and "don'ts" to break through the normal barriers, but these do not detract from the primary message.Write is a Verb starts strong with great advice and wonderful anecdotes from writers who have succeeded. By midway, however, the book looses steam and begins to sound repetitive. By the end, there is too much focus on publishing and the writing of non-fiction titles that the "fiction writer just needing a kick in the pants" can become discouraged.O'Hanlon has an engaging voice and has written one of the best books on the subject, but unfortunately he takes it too far and for too long. As a self-proclaimed expert on publishing, he likely knew that anything shorter would have a tough time making it to bookstore shelves. Unfortunately, O'Hanlon shared no tips regarding quantity versus quality in this title; perhaps he is saving that for the sequel.From The Literary Snob.