Howard Mittelmark




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Howard Mittelmark

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The United States
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male

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member since
February 2008


About this author

I moved to NYC in the eighties to be where they made books, and I've been working in publishing, either writing or editing, pretty much ever since. About ten years ago, I took everything I figured out reading hundreds, possibly thousands, of published and unpublished novels, and wrote How Not To Write A Novel with Sandra Newman. It's sort of an encyclopedia of mistakes every beginning writer makes. It's very funny. Really. You should take my word for it. However, if you're just not that kind of person, you can read some excerpts at the website. I can't guarantee you'll write a good novel if you read it, but it would be very hard not to write a better novel.

I've written some other books too, but frankly, How Not To Write A Novel is my favor...more


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Average rating: 3.96 · 2,402 ratings · 473 reviews · 6 distinct works · Similar authors
How Not to Write a Novel: 2...
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 1,454 ratings — published 2008 — 15 editions
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Read This Next: 500 of the ...
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3.53 of 5 stars 3.53 avg rating — 215 ratings — published 2010 — 5 editions
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Age of Consent
3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 41 ratings — published 2007 — 3 editions
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The Mysterious Stranger and...
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 808 ratings — published 1916 — 41 editions
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Travels of Marco Polo
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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 1,982 ratings — published 1298 — 174 editions
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Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux
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"If you're one of the many people who often find themselves thinking "I wish somebody would write a scary story about multifunction printers," the wait...more "
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"I saw a sign recently that insisted that AMERICANS DO NOT EAT HORSES. "
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"Yes, that got a smile too. "
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"I've just recommended a book to you by another Canadian author, Barbara Gowdy. Never having used that feature, I sent it before I added a note.

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Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman
Between Two Fires
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More of Howard's books…
“...This particular blunder is known as deus ex machina, which is French for "Are you fucking kidding me?”
Howard Mittelmark, How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them--A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide

“Giving a reader a sex scene that is only half right is like giving her half of a kitten. It is not half as cute as a whole kitten; it is a bloody, godawful mess.”
Howard Mittelmark, How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them--A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide

“...This type of ending is a special instance of deus ex machina, known as the folie adieu, which is French for "Are you FUCKING kidding me?”
Howard Mittelmark, How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them--A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide

“I have known some horses and a good many more pigs who I believe harbored evil intent in their hearts. I will go further and say all cats are wicked, though often useful. Who has not seen Satan in their sly faces?”
Charles Portis

“Examining the actual contents of my crying, I found a quailing sludge emotion, with a foul insecticide taste. If it was a peanut, you would spit it out. Yet I was indulging this toxic goo, giving it its head and letting it dictate my actions. People had every good reason to despise me. ”
Sandra Newman, The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done: A Novel

“That sense of the world being the lack of something dogged him for years, and when it stopped dogging him, he felt unmoored. ”
Sandra Newman, The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done: A Novel

“He says nothing, vehemently. I falter away and we sit, mutually staring into the fouled water. ...


With time to kill, I ponder dismally the possible derivation of the zombie myth from people like my boyfriend. I picture Ralph blackened, semi-fingered, with bright bone peeking through his flesh. The odd small worm clings, festively wiggling. In my image, Ralph's really upset about decaying, and I feel for him sorrowfully. I want to tell him I would still love him, if he were decomposed. Of course in practice there is no predicting what I'd feel, and besides which, it's a wild associative leap.


I ponder dismally how I've alienated people, all my life, with my bizarre associative leaps. ”
Sandra Newman, The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done: A Novel

“You need to read more science fiction. Nobody who reads science fiction comes out with this crap about the end of history”
Iain Banks

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74876 The Hidden Reviews Club — 149 members — last activity Oct 27, 2013 12:47PM
This is a place where reviewers can post links to their hidden reviews, and where GoodReads users can come to find hidden reviews from reviewers they...more



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message 15: by Howard

Howard If you're one of the many people who often find themselves thinking "I wish somebody would write a scary story about multifunction printers," the wait is over:

http://www.theawl.com/2013/10/a-scary...


message 14: by Alan

Alan Howard wrote: "Oh, I've got that writing without much success thing down, so if you need any tips..."

I think I've forgotten everything there is to forget.


message 13: by Howard

Howard Oh, I've got that writing without much success thing down, so if you need any tips...


message 12: by Alan

Alan Howard wrote: "Hey, Alan. Things are okay. I admit to being a tiny bit jealous of Sandy’s article, but she deserved it. I wrote a little of the book (embarrassingly, the list of authors I covered—Conrad, Melville..."

I'm good thanks. Trying to write without much success, but otherwise good.
It was a big two page article! I might buy the book so I can pretend to have read everything too..


message 11: by Howard

Howard Hey, Alan. Things are okay. I admit to being a tiny bit jealous of Sandy’s article, but she deserved it. I wrote a little of the book (embarrassingly, the list of authors I covered—Conrad, Melville, Twain, Fitzgerald, Defoe, Beowulf, Roland, etc.—looks like A Boy’s First Book of Literary Heroes), but after watching her read everything from the Odyssey to Ulysses, and enjoy it, it was obvious this was going to be more her book than mine. Besides, I've made it this far without reading Milton, Dante, or the Cavalier poets, and I wasn’t going to throw that away now.

And how are you?


message 10: by Alan

Alan Hi Howard,
just to say I saw an article about Sandra Newman's Western Lit survival Kit yesterday (in the Sunday Times) which gave you a mention. (said it was your idea but you backed off..) Anyway how's things?
Alan


Jessica Howard, thanks for letting me know!
that may be thanks to karen of goodreads fame
I shall have to get down there to see for myself...


message 8: by Emily

Emily Mittelmark gave the novel 5 stars. sorry for the short review, but... you know how it is.


message 7: by Kirk

Kirk Hey Howard, thanks for the friend invite! I've always enjoyed your posts, though I'm pretty sure we've never dated either. There might have been a drunken night or two in Tijuana, but those don't count. Congrats on the books! I'm gonna get Age of Consent. How's the new one coming?


Charissa I don't remember having dated you either, Howard. Hmm...


Howard We might have dated. My experience is that the women I go out with tend to suppress the memory, so if you don't remember having gone out with me, that's a good indication that you did.


Amanda You're creepy? Goody! (Are you sure we never dated???)

Hey, are you gonna enter the Haiku contest in Mini Am? It's possible that I'm the only one psyched about it. But DAMN, I'm psyched! :)


Howard Nah, it's not really that scary. More creepy than scary. Like me.




message 2: by Amanda (last edited May 05, 2008 08:12AM)

Amanda Age of Consent is en route to mi casa. Amazon is shipping it to me at an exorbitantly high cost. Sweethearts. :)

PS. Am I gonna be scared and have to hide under my blankets???


message 1: by Kiala

Kiala Kazebee Hi Howard! MFK Fisher is (was) actually my best friend's grandmother. Neat, right?

I also like spinach.


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