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Cómo no escribir una novela

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  2,908 ratings  ·  535 reviews
Gracias a sus largos años de experiencia como editores, críticos, escritores y profesores de escritura creativa, Howard Mittelmark y Sandra Newman identifican en estas páginas los 200 errores más comunes que cometen los escritores noveles y nos enseñan cómo evitarlos. Muchos libros ofrecen consejos sobre cómo escribir bien. Éste no es uno de ellos. A través de hilarantes e ...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published 2010 by Seix Barral (first published April 1st 2008)
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,908 ratings  ·  535 reviews


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Michael Herrman
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book, I tossed my head wildly about in exuberant agreement. My cobalt blue eyes rolled as my long, golden locks bounced upon the delicate curves of my hard, bulging shoulders. "These examples are awful!" I extolled.

"Truly," my snarf-muffin, Suzy, bubbled helpfully. "As you know, hating bad writing is a very good thing to do; and as the Schlarm power flows through your twenty thousand year-old veins, I know that you hate it very much."

"The power of Schlarm," I exploded, with a winnin
...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I don't know why I find Mittelmark and Newman so entertaining, but they crack me up. My default setting is silliness, and these two are good at silly, while also providing a lot of very helpful information. I loved Read This Next, so I decided to give this one a go, even though I have no intention of even pretending to have novelistic aspirations. I enjoy books like this because they help me define why some books/authors work for me and others just make me want to stab someone.

The only reason I
...more
Julie Ehlers
I was going to give this 4 stars, but within the last five pages there was a joke that made me laugh so hard I awarded an additional star. Review to come.
Micah Adams
May 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A common sense guide to avoiding the missteps committed by the novice. Its presented in a clear, fast-paced and entertaining way.
People who critique this book as "too basic" are probably still convinced that they have something original to add to the literary canon, or they are MFA's that are so inundated with literary criticism they couldn't recognize an interesting story if it bit them in the ass.
Kogiopsis
I was going to give this book two stars and call it basic, full of rookie mistakes, until I hit the last few chapters and realized that there are people making these mistakes and still getting published. (You may have heard of them. A great number of them are vomiting partially digested versions of Twilight into the YA market.)

Given that realization, I had to let go of the review I'd been planning. Here, instead, is the one I'm making up on the spot.

I, personally, didn't learn anything from this
...more
Jonathan Peto
The subtitle promises 200 classic mistakes. I’ll take their word for it, because I did not count them. Those mistakes are grouped into parts, such as plot, character and style. Each mistake includes an example, followed by commentary. Each example and comment usually runs only a page or two, so the book is an excellent way to tune into writing at the beginning of a session.

It is also funny, very snarky. One of the funniest things is that I often recognized the mistakes, having seen them in other
...more
Ben Aaronovitch
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, writing
I read this book, twice, wrote a novel and now I'm a successful published novelist. This is the single most useful book on how to write a novel ever written, ever, by anyone in the entire universe, and you dismiss it to your cost.
Jake Goretzki
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Right. While this book is perfectly upfront that it's about showing mistakes (not successes) and is really more 'humour section' material than lit crit, it could actually have been quite a bit better. This is not to say that there aren't perfectly valid points here (e.g. non-native speakers of English tend to learn words like 'Yes' and 'Hello' quite quickly, Poirot).

A lot of the time though, it's stating the bleeding obvious and seems directed at a kind of wretchedly deluded E.L. James vampire-
...more
Ryan
Jun 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice, light-hearted, & witty guide on some of the more disappointing mistakes beginning writers can make when writing a novel. Most of the sections were pretty obvious (duh, who would do THAT?), but others seemed eerily familiar. Problems include: "Where the author tells you what you think of his dialogue," "Wherein the author flaunts his vocabulary," "In which every single last solitary word of conversation is included," "Wherein there is a cat," "Where the character must be in front of a ...more
Libby May
Eh.
Ok so I pretty much knew all the tips in this book just because I read so much. Blah Blah Blah.
It was super inappropriate. Almost every example clip was a lust or suggestive scene. It was very unnecessary for the content of the book.
I didn't end up finishing it, although I did read the little headers for most of the tips, to get brushed up.
I wouldn't recommend this book. Most of the stuff the author blabs about you can learn simply by reading.
Disappointed.
Emma Sea
Made me laugh = +infinity invisible stars.
May I just say, JR Ward does everything in here.
نسرين غندورة
كتاب مفيد يتناول الكثير من الأخطاء الشائعة التي يقع فيها الروائيون غالبا. للأسف غرق الكتاب في كوب قهوة ساخن، انسكب فوقه.

إذا أردت أن أنظر إلى الجانب المليء، فيجب أن أقول أن رائحته أصبحت زكية.
Lord Beardsley
Mar 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2009
Hilarious, true, brilliant. The only thing I don't understand is despite all of the ways one will never get published, Stephanie Meyer was able to use tenfold. I guess sometimes you can't take everything for gospel...
Katri
Aug 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers and readers too
Shelves: on-writing
This is priceless. The writers go through all sort of ways in which you can write a novel badly, from flat characters to non-existent or implausible plots to unintelligible or ridiculous writing, and illustrate each problem with an extract of writing which exemplifies and parodies these mistakes. Their style is so hilarious that I couldn't stop laughing out loud, and it was so addictive I gobbled up the book in one evening. You can definitely recognise many flaws that you have seen in bad writin ...more
Kathleen
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
The ingenious format of catchy title-exaggerated sample-funny explanation started to wear on me about half way through (200 examples is a lot to present this way). But I kept laughing and even though the mistakes were obvious to most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know we sometimes think we can get away with one or two of them just this once.

“A good approach is to allow one dream per novel. Then, in the final revision, go back and get rid of that, too.”

“There is no substitute for sa
...more
Lau
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Cómo NO escribir una novela está escrito por dos editores literarios que según parece lo han visto todo. Es una lista extensa y llena de ejemplos muy divertidos sobre todo lo que no hay que hacer si se busca ser publicado por una editoria: esas cosas que los editores detectan en los manuscritos pero no tienen tiempo de decirle a cada uno de los autores que rechazan.

Aunque tu trabajo como escritor es conocer muy bien a tus personajes, pocas veces es necesario compartir toda esa información con el
...more
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
While this is a nonfiction,"self-help" book, this is an incredibly sarcastic one at that. The humor it had was right up my alley, which meant I was giggling while reading these awful examples of writing. However, I think we've all read every one of the 200 classic mistakes the authors identify. Think about it. Everyone has read a book that made you think: "And this got published how?"

That was why I really enjoyed it. If I planned on being an author (as I had at one point in my life), this would
...more
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
An incisively funny book, perfect for those of us who fancy ourselves real reviewers as well as for writers.

[Blog] - [Bookstagram]

 photo c l i m b C2A0e v e r y C2A0m o u n t a i n 2_zpsykn9gbgr.png
Darcy Conroy
Apr 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, writing, wordplay, how
We all know that the best way to teach is to engage and entertain with the material – this book does it in spades; I couldn’t put it down!

Rather than write another how-to book, Mittelmark and Newman have produced a book in a format which will be familiar to TV Tropes readers, naming, describing and creating their own hand-crafted, hysterical examples of many of the mistakes that unpublished authors make in spec manuscripts (though I have certainly seen many of these in published books, too!)

Ask
...more
Martha
Jul 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you take your writing self too seriously? Is there a chance that where others see rather monstrous gaps in your work relating to the concept or mechanics of your stories, you see unappreciated genius? Does the thought of laughing at your past errors make your lip curl in derision, because if politicians can so successfully deny any and all gaffs, so should any self-respecting writer like yourself?

If so, it's time for you to read How Not the Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid
...more
Rick (from Another Book Vlog)
In the pursuit of brevity, I’ve written this review in bullet points. It’s an attempt at a slightly less garrulous tirade.

- If you’re one to fall into any of the 200 traps listed here, you probably don’t have the chops to produce something of significance. Sorry, that’s just my take. The majority of these tips should be common sense for anyone with even a bit of talent.
- How Not to Write a Novel assumes your goal is to write a BAD novel, and it tells you how to do it. While it’s a funny premise
...more
Henrik
Aug 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Henrik by: Amazon.com
Shelves: scholarship
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel
Mar 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had so much fun reading this book and "laughed out loud" many a time, as my fellow BART train commuters will attest. I thought the book was going to contain examples of bad writing submitted in earnest, but actually it's a bunch of writing samples that the authors have concocted to illustrate the various nuances of bad writing style. At first I wasn't so amused, but eventually, I was won over by some of the uproariously hilarious passages. And I learned a lot about writing, too, although you c ...more
Deadwish
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: no-narrativo
Es un libro corto, ágil y entretendio que en vez de tratar de explicar cómo escribir una novela, te explica como no hay que hacerlo con ejemplos exagerados y por lo general cómicos. Puede ser que no sea un humor para todo el mundo, pero es difícil no sonreir en algunas partes.
En cuanto a su utilidad, se dedica a cuestiones más bien básicas pero que muchas veces se pasan por alto. Está enfocado principalmente no a crear una buena novela, sino una publicable, para un público promedio y de un largo
...more
Toni Rodriguez
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
PRIMER LIBRO DEL AÑO!

Considero todo un pecado haber comenzado mi reto literario la semana pasada, pero después de un re-acomodo en mi colección y mis listas de lectura me concentraré al máximo en escritura creativa y consejos para mi estilo.

He leído a lo largo de los años a varios autores que me llenaron sobre consejos acerca de como estructurar correctamente una historia (John Truby y Stephen King fueron de una enorme ayuda).
Pero como Evan Hansen dice en mi canción favorita del musical: "Nadie
...more
Meaghan
Not only is this the funniest writing advice book I've ever read (the authors must be very gifted writers to write so hilariously badly) but it is also, I think, going to be one of the most useful. As it says in the afterword, if you follow all the advice on what not to do, "You could hold both Harper and Collins hostage without a chance of their employees ever agreeing to print a book on which your name appears. If Mr. Random were desperate to sleep with you, Mr. House would still step in to ma ...more
Olethros
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Por momentos, hilarante, de verdad.-

Género. Ensayo.

Lo que nos cuenta. La pareja de autores, con cierta experiencia en diferentes ámbitos del mundillo editorial, nos muestran un buen número de situaciones con las que se han enfrentado al leer libros, valorar manuscritos o corregir obras, con la doble intención de llamar la atención sobre cosas que los escritores deberían tratar de evitar por el bien de la obra y que el lector de este libro pase un buen rato.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin
...more
Olethros
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
-Por momentos, hilarante, de verdad.-

Género. Ensayo.

Lo que nos cuenta. La pareja de autores, con cierta experiencia en diferentes ámbitos del mundillo editorial, nos muestran un buen número de situaciones con las que se han enfrentado al leer libros, valorar manuscritos o corregir obras, con la doble intención de llamar la atención sobre cosas que los escritores deberían tratar de evitar por el bien de la obra y que el lector de este libro pase un buen rato.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin
...more
Laura
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing-books
This book is so funny and creative, I couldn't concentrate on any of the lessons. The examples were ridiculously amusing and so I really didn't get much out of it on my first reading (I will read it a second time to study it). I can tell that the writers are brilliant, knowledgeable and experienced, therefore I value this book immensely. Do all novices really write that badly?
Jennifer
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable even if you are not a writer, but a reading enthusiast. Excellent advice for writers, and perhaps if more editors read this book, fewer terrible novels would be published.
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62 followers
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 ...more
“...This particular blunder is known as deus ex machina, which is French for "Are you fucking kidding me?” 335 likes
“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.” 31 likes
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