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How to Write Your Blockbuster

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A practical and inspirational guide on how to become a professional author of genre fiction

lmost everybody thinks they have a book in them, or dreams of seeing their name on the cover of a book. And while there are many resources out there on the "craft" of writing or how to find your creative voice as an "artist," there is little by way of practical advice on how to actu
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 27th 2015 by Penguin Random House Australia (first published January 1st 2015)
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4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Even though I am one of the very few book bloggers with no real ambition to write, I can appreciate the wisdom Fiona McIntosh imparts in 'How To Write Your Blockbuster', offering practical, no nonsense advice for aspiring writers.

McIntosh insists discipline is an essential skill for a writer. She encourages dabblers to set themselves up to succeed by developing good working habits and understanding what it is they want to write.

Whether you are a 'plotter' or a 'pantser' she has practical advice
Thomas Edmund
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-on-writing
The first thing I liked about this book was its unashamed stance on discussing commercial fiction, McIntosh isn't discussing 'writing' per say but the ins and outs of successful popular books. So if you're looking for advice on the art of poetry and prose etc, this wouldn't be the book for you.

Where the book excels however, is explaining skillful exposition, characterization and plot. McIntosh has a relatively laid back style, and provides a good plain language overview for each topic. I would r
Tegan Ang
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fiona McIntosh's masterclass was recommended to me, and because I don't have that kind of money right now, I thought this book would provide some insight into her writing life.

I really liked this book. Fiona takes what is somewhat of a romanticised profession and lays it out bare. If you want to make a living as a commercial author, it's about what sells. It's not about being original or having some political agenda that wins you a coveted award, it's about producing consistent work that a publi
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A month ago, I decided to join Camp NaNoWriMo and start writing my first novel. I bought this book as a reward for meeting my word count goal. I decided that if I could stick it out and develop a writing routine for a month, then maybe I could maintain that discipline.

I knew that what I had spewed forth onto the page so far need LOTS of work, so I turned Fiona McIntosh. Many of the books I've enjoyed reading this year were written by debut authors who have completed one of Fiona's Masterclasses
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Any advice from such a successful commercial writer in several genres is worth reading. I found the style very enthusiastic and somewhat breathless. The word count equation is a good tip, which I have seen in the how to write a novel in 30 days book. Just take the total words you want at the end and divide by the number of days until the deadline to get how many words you need to produce each day.

I was surprised that a writer who is so disciplined about a word count per day was so undisciplined
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bestselling author Fiona McIntosh has the uncanny knack of making you believe that if you just knuckle down and follow some common sense advice, you too could crack the commercial market and produce a compelling novel that no one wants to put down. It isn't quite that simple, of course, McIntosh lays out the reality of what her own journey was like, the immense amount of research and rewriting that goes into each book, and the all-consuming nature of the profession. Her advice is candid - like y ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!

I received it as a Christmas present, my father thought it would be very handy as I’ve almost finished a first draft of a novel. He couldn’t have been more right! I now have direction on what to improve on in my first round of edits, and also learned a lot about the publishing industry that I didn’t know before.

Highly recommended for those that are serious about writing and are going into the editing stages of their first manuscript.
Brooke Parker
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book very interesting. It was nice to know that there is a successful writer that hasn't had a passion for writing since she was young. I am the same. She gave practical advice that was straight to the point that didn't beat around the bush.

Do you want to make money writing? Try this out. Had some great points that i will keep in mind while writing my first book.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
If you're new to trying to write a novel this is a great book.
For those who've read a lot of this stuff previously, it doesn't cover much new ground. The best bit is the authors very pragmatic approach to setting a routine, progressive goals, and getting things done.

Myfanwy Purslow
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredible, in fact, I didn't stop reading it until I had finished it. I love the rhythm of Fiona's voice most. I was subconsciously captivated by what I was reading.
Eleni Konstantine
Review to follow...
Angela Pickett
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent advice for the aspiring writer
Jul 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, non-fiction
One thing I enjoy as a reader is a behind the scenes sneak peek of the writing process. I have enjoyed reading many of these books and have found them to be quite insightful into an author’s creative process.
Fiona McIntosh’s is the latest author to join the growing list of producing a book that tells you how to be a successful author. The difference with McIntosh is that she is not prescribing that there is only one way to become a successful author. She recognises that there are planners and f
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing, australian
Fiona McIntosh gets to the nitty gritty of what makes fiction work commercially. It's not about planning vs freefalling or Scrivener vs Word, it's about what makes a good book tick. The strategies she uses are explained well and I found the exercises worthwhile. I believe the book is written for all writers even though the perspective is one of traditional publishing. McIntosh focusses on writing an excellent story which presents well, and surely that is as important for indie writers as it is f ...more
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, aussie
A book of fantastic, down-to-earth advice on becoming a commercial writer. The first two sentences ("To write is a verb. At school I was taught that a verb is 'an action word'.) immediately tell you the style and type of advice this book is going to give. She doesn't let up and it's exactly the kind of kick in the pants some of us writers need.
Cannot recommend highly enough.
Alessandra Clarke
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked this one because she's a writer who doesn't think that the only possible thing she could be is a writer and she's also a pantser like me so it was just a bit of validation for a writer who came to things a little later in life, doesn't have to write to live, and has no idea where the story will take her other than in a very general sense until the first draft is written.
Apr 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book offers great practical advice for anyone who prefers making money over writing for self-expression and personal pleasure. Reading this book made me feel dirty and, quite frankly, a little ill.

If anyone wants me, I'll be off having a cup of tea, a bex and a good lie down ...
Banafsheh Serov
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Practical and unpretentious.
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Clear, plain-speaking advice that is immediately useable. Thanks Fiona!
Melanie Moxon
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great for writers that want to become published.
Inspirational for me as an aspiring author.
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Fiona writes best selling historical adventure-romance alongside the heroic-romantic, often brutal, fantasy she built her career upon. She lives in Australia but frequently roams the world meticulously researching the locations and gathering material for her historical novels that have international settings. Her books are published worldwide and in various languages.
Her most recent historical fi