The Linchpin Writer: Crafting Your Novel’s Key Moments by John Matthew Fox is the best book I have received from the Library Thing Early Reviewers Program. I am so glad I can share this book with you to finish up this year. I highly recommend it for writers and everyone who enjoys reading.
Why I picked it up: I received an e-book copy from the author as part of the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.
From previous experience, I expected a bunch of blog posts thrown together, and imagined one or two possible insights at best. However, I liked the cover and hoped the writing would be as sharp.
At first glance, this book appears to be intended for novelists interested in traditional publishing. However, this book is full of actionable information for all writers and storytellers of all kinds, and the anecdotes may be interesting for all readers.
What I liked:
I am happy to say I like almost everything about this book. I like how the metaphor and theme are illustrated on the cover, clearly explained right at the beginning of the book, and continued through out. This is a craft book for people who think they have read all of the craft books. It’s inspiring, has fresh ideas, and makes you want to get to work. It lays out a writing rule, and then instantly shows examples of impressive ways to break it. It offers useful “Writing Challenges” at the end of each chapter to get you reading as a writer, and applying what you learn. I really like the approach to character description which I find challenging. He even brought up the game of Clue (which I had recently bought a modernized version of at the thrift store) when talking about surprise and mystery.
What I didn’t like:
I don’t like that he uses Google as a verb, instructing the reader to search certain phrases to find things on his website, when he could just as easily directed the reader to his blog and stated which category to click. The blog is well designed and full of interesting posts. The only reason to tell people to Google things is because he believes it will improve his SEO (listing position on the Google search engine). I feel like it cheapens the merits of the book itself. Which brings me to the only other thing I didn’t like about the book which was that it was too obvious that the book was trying to sell online classes and direct traffic to the website instead of the other way around.
Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ 5 out of 5
Overall, I highly recommend this book to absolutely everyone. It’s an inspiring craft book for writers and a great read for everyone. I am so glad I stuck with the Early Reviewers program through all the bad reads to get to such a good read, and get to share a great book with my readers. Treat yourself to a Happy New Year and get this book!