Book Review: ‘Go Teen Writers’ by Morrill + Williamson

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway. I am always fascinated to read ‘advice on writing’ books, and this one is aimed at teenagers who are strongly interested in pursuing creative writing projects. However, it’s a useful reference book for anybody who is interested in exploring this area or looking for a refresher/reminder on the various stages of the writing process.

Building upon a community-based website that encourages young writers, it’s an amalgamation and condensing of the hints, techniques and help that is offered online as part of the authors’ group. At 290 pages, it’s packed full of useful information and insights.

Covering a host of interesting and important areas, the book’s authors draw from their own successes and offer useful insights across a range of genres, styles and formats – including: story structure, writing strong characters, contemporary and mythical settings, themes, research, flashbacks, points of view, dialogue, description, showing vs telling, format, punctuation, the publishing industry, genre, book proposals, literary agents, and much more. There’s even sections on self-doubt and procrastination, so it’s fair to say that the authors have covered all of the bases.

It’s written in an easy, inviting and approachable manner that allows the reader to relax and explore the ideas discussed easily. The book is divided into separate sections that clearly set out, explore and navigate the different elements of composing a new work. Illustrating various examples with diagrams and charts, the authors present technical formatting and writing techniques in an easy to identify and easy to implement manner and show how they already work across popular contemporary fiction.

It’s a good foundation work that both encourages and supports new writers seeking to develop their own projects. It gently guides the reader through the writing process, offering useful guides and working references to demonstrate with ease the various techniques and suggestions. Further, it explores the ‘after-writing’ side of writing – the editing, rewriting, querying, and dealing with outside agents and agencies, explaining clearly what to expect when aiming to self-publish/have work accepted for publication.

This is an excellent reference tool for young, new writers as well as for those looking to explore the writing process. It’s an interesting read as a cover-to-cover book, but it’s also very useful to dip into from time to time as each new section becomes relevant.

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