Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Review: Just Write: Here's How by Walter Dean Myers

This is the first time I have ever written a review for a non fiction book. I hope that I do a good job.

In the seventh grade, my reading teacher Ms. Cobbs assigned us to read Hoops by Walter Dean Myers. Since then, I have been drawn to his books despite the fact that most of his books have male protagonists and talk about sports.  From time to time, you need a change of pace.

Just Write: Here's How has been on my Goodreads to-read list for awhile. Earlier this summer, I found out that Walter Dean Myers had died.  I have been eager to read this book and see what his thoughts are about the craft of writing.

I don't read a lot of non fiction unless it is something I am really interested in.  However, I think that is important for me to read something beneficial-especially if it has to do with writing.  I call myself a writer.  I have published a number of web articles on various content sites, write for my personal blogs, and self published some of my short fiction on Smashwords.  However, I am not always taken seriously.

Just Write: Here's How is geared towards young adults, but older readers like myself can read it too.  Mr. Myers talks about his journey as a writer and writing tips to help readers become a better writer.  I appreciated these tips.

  • Create an outline:  For some reason, creating an outline for fiction is hard for me. When I write my consumer reports for, my outline consists of talking points I want to focus on in my report. This keeps me on track.  So why can't I do this for fiction?  There have been countless times I have bought notebooks with the intention of writing out my novel, but it didn't happen. Also, I have abandoned a particular project several times.
  • Character timeline: I never considered writing out a timeline for your characters.  This can help keep your character's life events in order and on track.
  • Cut out pictures of what you think your character will look like: Here is something I will have to try. Usually what I think my characters will look like stays in my head.
Just Write: Here's How is a quick read and I finished it in a week.  After reading this book, I feel inspired to start writing again.  

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