179 Ways to Save a Novel
By Peter Selgin
Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books
Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This is the Place and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered and The Frugal Book Promoter
What Writer Doesn’t Want Just One Great Way to Save A Novel?
Peter Selgin offers you 179 of them!
Novelists are going to love this author. He dedicates his book 179 Ways to Save a Novel to “Walter Cummins. And to my students, especially those who argue with me.” As a teacher myself, I know that students who argue offer the best opportunities for learning for everyone from the rest of the class to the teacher herself.
Selgin also knows that “no artist should ever be afraid to make mistakes.” Another core learning principle.
With an introduction that shouldn’t be overlooked, Selgin launches into a small book, dense with ideas for writers of fiction. Writers everywhere will be inspired to write a great new character or improve on an old one, reexamine the deaths that occur in our stories and on and on. Subjects I’ve never seen covered in a book (and I read a lot of books for writers!).
I also appreciate the design of this book. Writer’s Digest assigned Claudean Wheeler to the task and what she does with this book feels right. It’s creative and caring.
Writer’s Digest and Selgin (and Wheeler, too!) should be proud of this one. I hope it lands on the suggested reading list of any teacher who makes it her business to guide students to better-crafted fiction. It’s certainly going on mine!