Yasmine's Reviews > Paper Hearts, Volume 1: Some Writing Advice

Paper Hearts, Volume 1 by Beth Revis
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Books on creative writing can be incredibly personal. I’m always a bit hesitant when buying one of these books - who knows if they’ll fit my style of writing? So here are some of my observations and hopefully they’ll help you make up your mind whether this book is for you or not.

In short, this book gives lots of advice on how to write if you want to get published. The narrative structures discussed are all based on how to get an agent or publisher to notice you. This is not how I think a book should be written, so if you’re like me and are leaning towards a freely flowing creative process, this book isn’t for you. If, however, your only aim is to get published, then you’ll love this book.

A few things:

- The writing is very entertaining. Aside from Stephen King’s On Writing, this is the only creative writing book I actually enjoyed for its writing style. It’s witty and I really enjoyed that. Kudos to the author!
- I love how feminist and pro-diversity the author is.
- Particularly the parts on character development I found very useful. There were some excellent tips in there that I hadn’t read in any other books.
- The writer uses a lot of her own stuff in examples. I get that - this book is probably a way of promoting her novels - and it’s totally fine, but after 300 pages, it gets a bit tiresome. In addition, she always draws on the same book, so it becomes a little boring. I would have found it interesting if she had used more examples from books other than Hunger Games and Harry Potter (to which she refers a lot).
- I find that a lot of the writing tips (maybe 40% or 50% of the book) are very much oriented towards publishing. I don’t particularly agree on this. In my opinion and experience, a book should be written in the way the story needs to be written, not how an agent wants it to be. Much of the advice on structure was based on what editors, publishers and agents want. To me, this is very counter productive towards creativity. It feels like she’s advising writers to force-fit their stories in a mold. There’s also plenty of talk about how many words a chapter or book MUST be. Not my thing.
- Most of the advice is specifically applicable to adventure/fantasy novels. I don’t particularly enjoy writing that genre, so I found plenty of advice not useful. However, if you’re into adventure stuff, you’ll find heaps of good advice.
- It’s just so long and repetitive. The book could be 100 pages shorter and we wouldn’t miss too much info. Certain things are repeated again and again and again. So much so that I found myself quickly skipping through the endless appendix.

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Reading Progress

September 4, 2018 – Started Reading
September 4, 2018 – Shelved
September 4, 2018 –
September 4, 2018 –
September 5, 2018 –
September 6, 2018 –
September 6, 2018 –
September 7, 2018 –
September 7, 2018 –
September 8, 2018 – Finished Reading

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