Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Book review - Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey, by Chuck Wendig

Packed with useful advice for writers, Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey is a collection of articles taken from the author's blog, terrible minds.

Wendig's off-the-wall, foul-mouthed ranting style is, as always, highly entertaining. He doesn't pull punches, and is the literary equivalent of Gordon Ramsay.

In the instant book, each article is backed up by a calmer, saner, commentary, which I found good, as Wendig's blog style, while lovable in the extreme when one's reading a short article, became, for me, rather tedious when maintained through a whole book, rather as half-hour comedy shows are when germinated from a three minute sketch. Vide Kingswood Country, Fawlty Towers. Be that as it may, most of the content is, when you scrape off the hyperbole about goat-shagging robot aardvarks, deeply sensible. I didn't agree with all of it - we all have our own ways of working - but I could respect all of it, and even found a few ideas I will probably try out.

What made me sad, though, and the reason I've only given the book three stars instead of the four it would otherwise have earned from me, was Wendig's careless approach to the presentation of his work. Despite fulminating about the importance of editing, of multiple drafts and of quality generally, this writer, writing a book about how to be a better writer, used 'lay' intransitively, 'you're' where 'your' was required, and 'effects' instead of 'affects'.

As a working writer myself, I didn't allow this sloppiness to take away from the value of the content, but given the subject matter, I do feel it is bound to affect (NOT 'effect') the author's credibility.

Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey is available from AMAZON.

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