Saturday, 25 February 2017

REVIEW:: How to Success! A Writer's Guide to Fame and Fortune

How to Success!: A Writer's Guide to Fame and FortuneThis parody self-help book for writers is filled with hilariously misguided tips, factual-looking charts, and other advice that knowingly pokes fun at writerly foibles while still cheering would-be authors on. With this book, struggling writers can find suggestions for effective paragraph shapes, tips on where to find inspiration (in your reflection, in the shapes of gum stuck to the ground, in a consultation with your doctor), thoughtful poses for author photos, pull-out procrastination excuses, and much more. How to Success! is filled with enough almost-helpful advice to keep aspiring writers amused, unblocked, and on their way to literary fame.


Bursting with sarcasm and satire, this is the perfect pocket read for the struggling writer in dire need of a pick-me-up.

I've always loved writing. In primary school, when we were asked to do creative writing pieces, those would always be the samples of my work presented to my parents on Parent's Evening. And, at age 12, I dived into Harry Potter for the first time and decided that I wanted to eventually become an author. Now six years on and many a story idea later, I'm not exactly nearer to seeing my debut in bookstores, but I'm making steps towards ensuring that when I finally do hit "send" on that manuscript, I'll have a little faith in myself: starting with the fact that I've applied to do a part-Creative Writing degree.

But here's the reality: writing is hard. Writing is bloody hard. 

Anyone who desires to write for a living will know this. It's the surging ennui; it's the folder on the laptop labelled "Writing" that has incompleted ideas inside from years ago. It's the feeling that no matter how hard you try, you will never see the day that your work is accepted by people beyond friends and family. And, of course, it's the dreaded writer's block.  In How to Success! A Writer's Guide to Fame and Fortune, Corinne Caputo not only addresses these trials and tribulations, but makes them acceptable, embraces them, and welcomes them into our day to day lives.

It's hard to be jovial about flaws, especially when those of us who pick up this book silently pray that there won't be any in our inevitably error-laced, plot-hole-consumed works, and yet Caputo somehow still does it. I could read this book at a time when I had a complete belief in the inadequacy of my writing, and emerge from the pages thoroughly humoured and ready to get back to work. This is meant to just be a joking book, mocking the rituals of the typical struggling writer, and yet A Writer's Guide to Fame and Fortune makes it feel wholly acceptable to - as a writer - have days where you want to just curl up in a ball under your desk and eat cake. Not only did I resurface from the depths of these pages laughing to the point of hiccups, but I had a newfound knowledge that I'm not the only one who suffers from some of the writerly life problems that I considered too weird beforehand to ever be possessed by someone else.

Brilliant, quick-witted, and not so carefully smothered in dry humour, this is the perfect read for the struggling writer. Need a little faith in your work? Buy this book! Know a friend who has an all-encompassing love for writing? Buy them this book!

Just buy this book. You won't regret it. 


Many thanks to Abrams and Chronicle for sending me How to Success! A Writer's Guide to Fame and Fortune for review. You can buy the book here and here from 28th February 2017.

1 comment:

  1. I used to be a writer but then writing became a chore as my English teacher dished out essays and essays as if our lives depended on it. Brainstorming about things I had no interest in really put me off this hobby that I once loved. Now that English Class is something of the past I'm thinking off getting back into it. This book sounds like an amusing way to spark my interest again!

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