I met Lucy McCarraher at a writing conference in London last autumn and was immediately taken by her pleasant manner and obvious vast knowledge and experience of writing and publishing. We did a book swap, exchanging a copy of my book marketing handbook Sell Your Books!, for her equally sensibly titled How To Write Fiction Without The Fuss. The covers of both are in a beautiful shade of blue – another indicator that we were on the same wavelength.
By the time I was half way through reading her book, I’d already dubbed her “Lucid Lucy” for the clarity of her writing. Her advice will be easily understood and absorbed by any fiction author, from newbie to old hand.
Her book is highly structured, offering a workable, realistic formula in a simple, calm and logical order. Following her guidelines will ensure your own work of fiction will meet professional standards of both writing and editing. I’d add a second subheading after “Without the Fuss” which would be “Without the Fear”. Following Lucy’s advice will give you confidence and assurance, as well as a firm understanding of the essential ingredients of effective fiction.
That’s not to say that your fiction will turn out to be formulaic: Lucy’s advice will not constrain you in any way. Indeed, it’s adaptable for any length, type or style of fiction, not just for novels of standard market length. She also stresses the importance of finding your own voice and writing what’s right for you, as any good writing tutor will.
Adding authority (ho ho) to the text are powerful quotes from best-selling authors – not that Lucy isn’t sufficiently authoritative in her own right, as you’ll see from the impressive CV at the back of the book. This includes having her debut novel shortlisted from an astonishing 47,000+ (gosh!) entries for a prestigious national writing award. She has also worked in many other aspects of publishing, including editing, journalism and business writing, which accounts for her rounded perspective and unemotional, businesslike manner.
We all know there are plenty of other how-to books for writers on the market, and everyone has their favourites – but to my mind, there is always room for more, especially of this calibre. Old hands as well as beginners will find this a useful addition to their shelf of essential writing handbooks. Highly recommended. But then I think you’d probably already guessed that.
Find out more about Lucy McCarraher and her company Rethink Press at their website: www.rethinkpress.com.