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Reviewed by Charity Tober for Readers' Favorite
Captivate Your Readers (An Editor's Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction) by Jodie Renner is an informative and valuable guide for all fiction writers. The author goes beyond the notion of just writing a great story and gaining instant readers. She gets really meticulous and lets writers know all of the “nitty gritty” details of writing compelling fiction, starting with the most important aspect of any book – the characters. Renner discusses what makes an interesting character, how to introduce new characters, and what information to include so readers are invested in the characters' journey. The book goes on to discuss riveting openings, points of view, style, story flow, the importance of “show don’t tell,” as well as how to write realistic and engaging dialogue. Renner concludes with three appendix exercises: Spot the POV Gaffes, What’s In a Name? Naming Your Characters, and Sketching In Your Characters to give writers a chance to apply what they’ve learned to their own writing.
I found Captivate Your Readers (An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction) to be a very thorough and informative read. Renner covers a wide variety of topics and does so in a logical and easy-to-follow format. I like how she introduces a topic and then gets really detailed, looking at it from every angle. For instance, in part three of the book, she discusses point of view. Renner introduces the subject, explains it, gives the pros and cons of different types of point of view, how to use it effectively, and even goes into using the character’s thoughts to enhance the story. I would recommend this book to all fiction writers looking to learn more about the individual, detailed components of a compelling read.