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The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  768 ratings  ·  159 reviews
Paperback, 281 pages
Published November 14th 2013 by Writer's Digest Books (first published October 17th 2013)
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Start your review of The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience
Dan Schwent
This is the fifth book in my Kindle Unlimited Experiment. For the 30 day trial, I'm only reading books that are part of the program and keeping track what the total cost of the books would have been.

The Kick-Ass Writer is a collection of 1001 writing tips, broken down into 31 lists of 25 items each. I do realize that doesn't quite add up to 1001 but it's still a lot tips.

Here are the contents:
- 25 things you should know about being a writer
- 25 questions to ask as you write
- 25 things I want t
Mar 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Reading this book is like being cornered in a bar by some scary biker dude who is babbling advice at you in numbered bullet points. His language is filthy, his breath reeks and he is scaring the hell out of you, but you are stunned to realize that what he's saying makes sense.

It's like that.
Aerin O'Reilly
Feb 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
I dithered a bit between three and four stars on this. Oh half-star, how I long for your elusive, intermediate embrace.

Here's the thing: Chuck Wendig is undoubtedly a fantastic writer, one of my favorite people working today. He has a fantastic gift for language, and a refreshingly clear-eyed and honest view of the industry. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, he Knows His Stuff.

My issue is the format. The book mainly consists of various 25 Things pieces taken from his blog at The li
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Toby by: Dan Schwent
Shelves: non-fiction
Chuck Wendig dispenses 1001 tips on how to write stuff and not be a dick online. I've not read any of his other work, not even been intrigued by it but he's one of these new, interesting authors (self described as a hybrid) who function in multiple mediums and aren't afraid to self-publish, give stuff away for free or interact with the world as somebody who loves to put words on the page and as such he seemed like somebody whose pennyworth was worth a few hours of my time. AND THEY WERE! If only ...more
Melanie R Meadors
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This writing book is prophetic!!

You can use this book in many different ways. First, the normal way. Read it from cover to cover. You'll definitely want to do that because this baby is FULL of excellent writing advice presented in an entertaining yet oddly motivating fashion. I love Chuck's voice. He seems to say the things I need to hear in the way I need to hear them. Every aspect of writing that I could think of (inspiration, plot, theme, character, querying, websites, marketing...) is cover
Wayne Marinovich
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Kick-ass indeed.

One of the best writers / publishing guides I have read in the last 24 months. Great little tit-bits of information laced with a clearly disturbed sense of humour

If you don't like a little cursing or references to your pink naughty bits. You might get sidetracked from the insightful advice Mr Wendig shares. Shelve your prudishness and learn with a laugh..
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In addition to being a fine author of urban fantasy and near-future YA dystopian epics, Chuck Wendig offers advice on writing via his blog ( His posts on "25 Things"--covering topics from 25 things to know about protagonists to 25 ways to keep your death-spiraling novel from hitting a city full of innocent citizens (okay, I made that one up)-- are pithy, insightful and sometimes NSFW.

That said, they are some of the best writing advice out there. THE KICK-ASS WRITER collect
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
If you read his blog, you know what you'll be getting. If adolescent male humor isn't your thing, you should avoid. (I myself like the occasional **** joke, so that wasn't my complaint with it.)

The problem is, it's just not very useful information. I compare it to my favorite how-to writing books (Swain, Bickham, McKee), and it looks like pretty weak tea in comparison. I'm not disagreeing with the advice, which is largely correct. (Yes, do write every day.) It's just not precise advice. This boo
May 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction

also, a book published in the year of our lord 2k13 should not have a reference to an "alien squaw" in it. nope nope nope
Nick Wisseman
Feb 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
Chuck Wendig’s The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, & Earn Your Audience won’t change your writing life. But there are some useful tips inside, and at some point, he’ll make you laugh out loud.

As the subtitle suggests, The Kick-Ass Writer is written in list format: each chapter (originally a blog post) contains 25 rapid-fire pieces of advice about a given topic. This approach results in some repetition, and prevents Wendig from doing deep dives or providing detai
Jorge Rodighiero
I was surprised about how little useful information I got from this book. It has some good tips, maybe 10, but all the countless others are repetitive and redundant.
As someone else said in the reviews, this may be caused because he forced himself to find 25 things to talk about in each section, when fewer would have been ok for that particular section.
What it quickly got repetitive too was the humor, that tried to be "radical" or something, but it got teenager-y very quickly.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
There are some useful points in this book and plenty of good advice, but the format of the book means it doesn't work well as a cover-to-cover read. Reading endless lists can get tedious, especially since the entire book is formatted that way.

Each section of the book is split into a list of 25 writing tips, each one pertaining to a certain aspect of writing - worldbuilding, for example, or publishing, or writing for particular genres, such as Horror. The lists are also interspersed with Chuck's
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Chuck Wendig is the guy I turn to on Twitter to make me laugh. He always, always, always has a funny antidote, or a way to keep me motivated to write. Or makes fun of himself by illustrating how hard writing can be on a daily basis. This book is just a longer version of that.....very funny antidotes, references to aliens or otherwise, that points out various ways writers fall into traps while attempting a novel or other pieces of writing.

Case in point: One of his recent TWEETs: "Writing and mak
Nicolás Pinto
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Useful advises, writing with an entertaining voice. Although they are not so new if you already read some 'more famous' book about writing. As I said on the updates, is not the WHAT but the HOW the advises are given: is like a soccer coach just bumping you out with enthusiasm and decision about write and care about what you are doing.

The key part is about The Hybrid Author: the one who can save the worl... No, that's not it. Oh, I know! The one who can do everything and everywhere: self publish,
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I always take the same attitude toward books on business and/or writing. Take what you like and leave the rest. The same advice applies here.

Chuck Wendig clearly knows what he's talking about. His advice is sound, couched in humor (sometimes of a more R-rated variety), and actionable ... even if I don't care for his digs at Smashwords (which is one of those things I'll be ignoring).

Anyway, authors at any level of production will find something useful here, but the book is clearly aimed at those
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
3.5 Stars
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not really a book to sit down and read cover to cover. This collection of lists of "25 Things" is a good kick in the pants when you need a quick bit of inspiration on a specific topic.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I don't remember when I read this, but apparently I never rated it on goodreads!
Kate Lowell
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing-books
I'm kind of disappointed in this. Don't get me wrong--I love Chuck. He has a way of cutting right to the meat of things, but it didn't work in this book.

There's a pile of good information in here. Great reminders and lots of encouragement, and a strong slant towards 'do your own thing', which I believe in very much (even if I often let myself be swayed by the 'one true way' crew).

But the format of the book hampered Chuck's message. It was obvious in some sections that he was working hard, trying
Tiger Gray
Jul 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing

I've read a number of Wendig's books on writing so this is a rehash of old material for me, or so I find. Nonetheless it also contained many helpful tidbits that I as a writer really needed to hear at this stage in the game. I think that the book best serves writers, in fact, because Wendig doesn't give nuts and bolts examples of how to accomplish a particular thing (like how to make characters interesting, for example. he just says you ought to strive towards making your characters interesti
Tobin Elliott
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars, hard-copy
I love this book. I love Wendig's insane, irreverent writing style. I love his advice. Oh, sure, he's obsessed with animals and poopholes and animals' poopholes, but the man is engaging as all shit.

Now, having said that...I got ripped off. This book is subtitled "1001 ways..." Well, yeah...there's only 801 ways, so, Wendig, you foul mouthed pumper humper, you owe me either 200 more tips or a refund of 20%. Don't make me sic my rabid, genetically-modified, cybernetically-enhanced turtle/kangaroo
Gus Sanchez
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm done with books on writing craft, but I'll read anything Chuck Wendig has to say. This collection of foul-mouthed yet soul-nourishing essays may or may not improve your writing style, but they'll constantly serve to remind you that you want to write, goddamn it, so here's how you fucking get to get at it.

If you're reading Chuck's blogs at Terrible Minds, then you're already familiar with his essays.
Noura Noman
It's good advice. Needs to be less rambly though

There's a lot of great advice in this book. For novice writers and more experienced writers.

Just one thing: 1001 could easily be reduced to 300 and still be fantastic.
Bryce Calderwood
Absolutely fucking indispensable thoughts, ideas, attitudes, and practices about being a successful professional writer. I don't think I'll ever cease reading in this; I can always open it up to a spot, dive in, and come away with something useful or motivational.
M. Brian Gardner
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There is only one place for this book after finishing it; on my desk and right next to my copies of On Writing by Stephen King and The Elements of Style by William Strunk.
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Loved it. Lots of tips, some common sense and some I hadn't thought of.
Alicia Smock
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Novelist and screenwriter Chuck Wendig has succeeded at entertaining and informing writers of all types with his latest book on writing, The Kick-Ass Writer (published in 2013). For a book that is comprised of lists of advice for writers, here is a list of twelve and a half reasons why any writer should read Wendig’s book.

#1) Contains advice that may or may not work
Wendig openly admits that “nothing in the book is true” on the first page. Everything he has written down is simply just advice that
Glen Krisch
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Funny and full of knowledge about the writing craft. What's not to like?
Larissa Lee
[First Glance]
I'd seen Pinterest pins of various quotes from this book, particularly during the NaNoWriMo season. Considering his mouth (foul words and verbal slaps in the face), I knew I'd likely be both amused and annoyed with Wendig's style.

[Positive Bits]
I love lists! A list forces a writer to be concise and to really make sense of their thoughts. Listmaking is one of my favorite writing tools, both for vague story outlines and for stretching my creative writing muscles.

Between the jokes and
Justine Manzano
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was two things for me.

1) It is a comprehensive collection of tips and tricks of the writing trade, told by an author I generally enjoy, who works in genres I find interesting. No offense to those wonderful writing books out there that are written by literary fiction writers. They are usually very helpful as well, but there is something more enjoyable about someone who loves to write in Science Fiction/Fantasy, discussing the best ways to make it in that field, because that's my jam.

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Chuck Wendig is a novelist, a screenwriter, and a freelance penmonkey.
He has contributed over two million words to the roleplaying game industry, and was the developer of the popular Hunter: The Vigil game line (White Wolf Game Studios / CCP).

He, along with writing partner Lance Weiler, is a fellow of the Sundance Film Festival Screenwriter's Lab (2010). Their short film, Pandemic, will show at th

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