Friday, September 20, 2013

Writing Fiction for Dummies--Giveaway!

Me and Randy at a conference
Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books for teens in lots of weird genres like, fantasy (Blood of Kings trilogy), science fiction (Replication), and dystopian (The Safe Lands trilogy). Find Jill on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or on her author website.

We interrupt the series on storyworld building to bring you a book review and contest. Why, you ask? Because I was gone for almost a week and my final edits for Outcasts are due today and I'm not done!

Ack!

Never fear, I am very close. But I didn't have two hours to spare to pour over a post on storyworld building. Because, as I've said before, when I even think about storyworld building, I get a relapse of storyworld builders disease and get lost. Only starvation or falling asleep at the computer can help me break free. And sometimes a loved one giving me a good shake helps too.

Randy & me in costumes
In my desperation today, I remembered that I once wrote a book review on this book. So I went looking for it on Amazon.com. And guess what? It's the first one! 100 out of 102 found it helpful! I feel tall. I have helped Randy make money. Who knew? Next time I see him, I'll tell him he owes me. Mwa ha ha!

I stumbled onto Randy's teachings early on in my writing journey. I took his Fiction 101 and 201 courses online, and when I met him at a writer's conference in 2007, I said, "I just wanted to say that I love you!" And he said something like, "Wow! I wish I could say that strange women came up to me all the time and said that, but it just wouldn't be true." So I explained that he taught me cool things, and all was well---the awkwardness had passed. And since then, over the years, we've become friends. So here is my review of Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson, an amazing writing teacher. He'd have to be if he was asked to write a Dummy book, right?

Randy photo bombing my pic with Matt
Randy Ingermanson is my hero. I have been learning from him since I discovered his website in 2005. The man is not only a wealth of information, he teaches in such a fun and friendly way, you can't fail to learn. And now, everything Randy teaches is here in one convenient package. Man, how I wish he had written this a few years ago! It would have saved me a lot of trouble.

I highly recommend this book to any writer, but especially to beginners who want to write a novel. You'll learn how to come up with a plot and test it to see if it's strong, how to create amazing characters that are deep and engaging, how to plot your story and avoid the dreaded sagging middle, how to keep the tension and pacing strong, and how to edit your novel. This book even includes cool things like an interview between J.R.R. Tolkien and Frodo Baggins. Ahh, Randy. What a funny guy.

So I'm going to give away a copy of Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson. International entries are welcome. Enter on the Rafflecopter form below.


111 comments:

  1. Sounds like an awesome book. The first writing book ive ever read was YOURS!!!!!!!!!! It was absolutely awesome and inspiring!!! :) this book sounds so helpful. If I don't win it, ill be sure to buy it!!! ;)

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    1. Randy's is a very good book. And thanks for buying ours!

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  2. I definitely want this to be the first DUMMIES book I own XD

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    1. The first writing book I ever read was several years ago and if I remember correctly, I disagreed with half the advice in the book. XD I read a lot of Writers Digest articles to help with my writing. :)

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    2. I read a lot of Writers Digests when I first started. I finally cancelled my subscription because I had no more shelf space! LOL

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  4. I love the dummy books and have mourned that there didn't seem to be one on fiction. I can't believe I missed this!

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    1. Oh and the first writing book I ever read was.... *thinks* Probably "No Plot No Problem"

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    2. You're mourned the fact that there wasn't one? I'm glad I have brought you truth. :-)

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  5. Probably the first writing book I read was your's and Stephanie's. That one really helped me out a lot.

    Wow! He must be a good teacher if he gets to write a Dummy book.

    (I always thought those titles were weird.)

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    3. Ha ha. I liked the photo bombing pic.

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  6. First I ever read was 'Writing Magic' by Gail Carson Levine when I was seven. :) Don't remember much of it, because I was seven, but I remember all these fantastic writing exercises about buses and hats and magic pebbles...hmmm, I should pick it up again.

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    1. Oh yeah. I think I have that book. I still need to read it, since I haven't finished it yet.

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    2. The exercises are great in that book! :D I still have all of mine and continue to reference to it!

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  7. The first Writing help book I ever read was Larry Brooks' Story Engineering. I'm afraid I didn't get all that much out of it, since it went a little over my head.

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    1. I've not heard of that one, Ashley. Hmmm...

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  8. Wow, I SO want to have that book ;-) Sounds very helpful (and Tolkien and Frodo must be absolute fun!)

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    1. And the first (real) writing book ever was yours, of course! ;-)

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    2. Thanks for reading ours, Arende! Yes, Randy makes fun references in the book. He's a cool guy.

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  9. What was the first writing book I ever read? That's a hard question, seeing as I've taught myself a lot of my current skill. I'm going to have to say the One Year Adventure Novel, because I honestly don't know of any others.

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  10. I think the first writing book I ever read was "Writing Magic" by Gail Carson Levine. I thought it was awesome. :) And the last writing book I read (and am currently reading) is the GoTeen Writers! :D

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    1. I am currently reading the Go Teen Writers book too! My sister Samantha got it at an ACFW conference this past weekend. I was really excited to get it, and even more excited to see Mrs. Williamson had signed it! Samantha just said," Oh yeah! I forgot about that!"
      So far I like it, even though I feel like my manuscript is terrible now...haha!

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    2. Cool!! Is your mom Kim? Or did you get all my books? There were two auctions, but I don't know who won them both. One was the GTW book and a critique. And the other was all my books.

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    3. Nice, Jaquar. Thanks for reading ours. :-)

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    4. She got all of your books in an auction. I want to read them NOW but I am forcing myself to finish the second Harry Potter book first... :)

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    5. Oh, yay! I'm glad I found out who won those. I went back to look and the auction room was closed. So it was a mystery to me. Now, I have to say that I don't know how you can simply finish Harry Potter 2 and stop there. If it were me, I'd have to read all the way through 7. I'm nerdly that way. LOL

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    6. Yeah... I finished the second one earlier and was wondering if I should just finish those first... :D but then I think about how I have to read ALL of them before I can start your books and it seems like so much! Haha!

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    7. That would be a lot of reading. But my books are also a lot of reading... There are so many books, so little time, huh?

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  11. The first writing book I ever read was your go teen writers book =) And it helped me so much!

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    1. You guys are so sweet. We are thrilled that you've read our book and extra thrilled that you've found it helpful. :-)

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  12. The first book I read about writing was "No Plot, No Problem," about two years ago, when I decided to do NaNoWriMo for the 1st time.

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  13. I am always looking for new books to read and this one looks perfect. I and my big group of friends we always say we love each other, like in a brother sister kinda way but when ever someone else overhears it is really awkward and I have to explain no I am not in love with ten different boys and that they are all like brothers to me. :)

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    1. Oh and good luck on your finally edits. Hope you get them done soon and to your satisfaction.

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    2. LOL! And thank you, Lauren. I hope so too! LOL

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  14. I believe that the first book I ever read on writing was "Writing Fiction". I don't remember who by though.

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  15. The first writing book I ever read was "Ready, Set, Novel!" by Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo. Its more of a wordbook, but I count it anyways.

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  16. Ugh . . . you know, I haven't ever read a writing book in full. The first one I sort of skipped through was called "A Novel Idea," authored by many different people.

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    1. I'm going to get that one soon! lots of people recommend it!

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  17. My favorite writing book is How to Write a Short story. It's simple, practical, and full of great advice. My second favorite is A Novel Idea, followed by Make a Scene. :)

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    1. How to Write a Short Story was also the first writing book I ever read. :)

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    2. Who is 'How to Write a Short Story' written by? I've asked a writer friend if she knew any good short story writing books but she didn't know any.

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    3. I'm not sure, but if you're looking for a good book about writing short stories, a good one to check out is Joe Bunting's "Let's Write a Short Story!" So good. :)

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    4. How to Write a Short Story is put out by Sparknotes and written by John Vorwald and Ethan Wolff. :)

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  18. The first writing book I ever read was "Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly" by Gail Carson Levine. Very good book.

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  19. Ahhh, you met Randy Ingermanson?!?! I AM SO JEALOUS!!!! I have this book and I love love love it. Especially the JRR/Frodo interview. Oh Randy. Humour always makes stuff 10000% more fun :)

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    1. Yes, I met Randy long ago, and talk with him at various writers conferences. He's a fabulous fellow. And I agree, humor makes it easier to learn!

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    1. The first writing book I ever read was "No Plot, No Problem." It was pretty good but now I want to read the Go Teen Writers book!

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  21. The first writers book I read was about Screenwriting (don't remember the exact title). I told my parents I was really interested in writing and I really wanted to improve so my parents bought me the screenwriting book. Not exactly for novels but I learned a lot of neat things through it.

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  22. My first writing book was "How to write Science Fiction & Fantasy" by Orson scott Card. A good, and informative on the topic well (obviously) Science Fiction and Fantasy.

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    1. Ooh! I have that one, Arlette. It's a good one.

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  23. Oh my goodness! I'm so excited about this giveaway =) I have Writing Fiction on my Kindle, but having a print copy would be fantabulous. I'm not sure what the first book on writing I ever read was, but I think it was one I got for free on Kindle about how all these different authors 'made it big' by publishing e-books :)

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  24. The first writing book I ever read was Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine.

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  25. The first book I ever read was a children's Bible, but the first fiction book that I really read on my own was Time at the Top by Edward Ormondroyd.

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  26. The first writing book I ever read was The Roar on the Other Side by Suzanne Rhodes. It was for writing poetry. I loved it

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  27. Well, the first one I can *remember* is Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter, and I love it to this day. :)

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    1. Maybe I should try that one Amanda, sounds awesome!

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  28. I love this book! It was the second book on writing I ever read, after "How Not to Write a Novel."

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  29. The first writing book I can remember reading is "Writing Magic - Making Stories that Fly" by Gail Carson Levine. I haven't actually been able to read that many.

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  30. The first writing book I ever read was "Spilling Ink" it is amazing!

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  31. This sounds like a helpful book. After all, of Jill Williamson said so, it must be so! Haha, just kidding you, but thanks for sharing. I am sure this book is helpful.

    Thanks for the giveaway and good luck in your revisions!

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    1. Unfortunately, I haven't read a writing book...yet. I have read many Go Teen Writers posts which are usually super helpful. Thanks for posting and sharing!

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  32. I haven't read a writing book yet but I've read A LOT of GTW posts and the book is definitely going on my birthday list!

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  33. Sounds like a great book!
    The first writing book I read was A Guide to Writing Your Novel by Lee Roddy. I'm currently reading the Go Teen Writers book, and I'm finding it very helpful! The book is actually what got me onto this website. :)

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  34. Wow! Sounds really good! I have to admit...I think I've only read maybe one writing book. Everything I do in my writing simply comes from my imagination.

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  35. My first writing book, outside of my English textbook, was "The Idiot's Guide to Children's Book Publishing." First GOOD writing book was "Spilling Ink."

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  36. I think the first writing book I ever read was Poem-Making: Ways to Begin Writing Poetry by Myra Cohn Livingstone.

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  37. My first writing book I read was A Novel Idea. Very helpful for beginners.

    Rebecca Rash

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  38. I can't remember exactly, but one of the first writing books I read was called "So you Want to be a Writer?"

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  39. The first real "writing" book I read was A Writer's Guide to Fiction by Elizabeth Lyon :) It was delectable and now I have a stack of writing books to read through!

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  40. Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine. Great for beginning writers (especially since I was nine or ten at the time) and it's worked wonders for years. :)

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  41. What was the first writing book I ever read? I'd say Writer's INC. Great book. Haven't quite read it cover to cover, but am working on it!

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    1. I've read so many books on writing, I can't remember the first one. But my favorite so far is The Everything Guide To Writing A Novel!

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  43. I think the first real 'writing' book I read was What If? Which I actually don't really recommend for younger teens, just cuz of some of the content. But other than one or two chapters it was great! I have so many writing manual books I need to read... so why not sign up for a raffle for another? XD

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  44. I don't remember what the first writing book I ever read was called, but it was a very simple book that explained the difference between novels and plays and radio scripts and made me very certain that I wanted to write novels. I think I first read it when I was about nine.

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  45. I admit I dont' think I've ever read a writing book, but there are two I'm looking for is stores/libraries. The Go Teen Writers book is one of them, and the other is (I dunno if this counts) a "comic" book that helps you remember big words I could use in writing.

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  46. I think my first was Write Good or Die. It's a Kindle freebie, a collection of essays on writing by popular/successful (not necessarily big-name) authors. Some of the language/content is questionable, but the advice is pretty sound.

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  47. I've never read a writing book. However, I've read some essays from Ray Bradbury's book: Zen in the Art of Writing. They're pretty encouraging and express his love for writing and, I believe, passion is one of the most important things in a writer's life.

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  48. Hi Jill:

    Wow, it's very cool you're giving away a copy of my book today. Your review on Amazon has been really helpful in making the book a success, so thank you!

    It was great seeing you at the last OCW conference and photobombing you and Matt.

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    1. You are an excellent photobomber, Randy, and an excellent teacher too! I hope that your foot is mending! :-)

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  49. This book sounds great. :)
    The first writing book I read is one that I absolutely cannot remember the name of. It was about writing MG books, though, and was actually pretty good. (Or 11 year old me thought so, at least.) Then I read Spilling Ink, which is actually written for kids. I have since read a few more writing books... notably Writing the Breakout Novel and Go Teen Writers.

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  50. The first writing book I ever read was yours! I've read some other ones, but I think yours was the most helpful :)

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  51. No wonder you review was helpful! If i don't win the contest I may just have to go out and buy it! Also, I wish I could say I'm friends with an author like randy :p

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  52. The first writing book I ever read was 'The art of war for writers'.

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  53. I know! I don't know whether to be sad or happy that I won't be able to read them all before I die! SO MANY adventures I won't be able to have.... :-)

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  54. This sounds like a wonderful book, and I'd love a copy for myself--so thank you so much for hosting this giveaway! :) I haven't read many books about writing, honestly (I want to fix that soon, probably starting with Bird by Bird or Stephen King's On Writing); but if books on publishing count too, then The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published was the first. Otherwise, it was probably the Go Teen Writers book, which I love; honestly, it reads like your blog in book format, and your blog is where I learned so much of what I know about the writing craft. So I suppose I owe you and Stephanie a thank-you for that, too--I truly appreciate all of the help you've given to me and all of your other teen readers! :)

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  55. The first writing book I read was The Pen Commandments by Steven Frank. It was an awesome book directed at high school students. One of my favorites, for sure :)

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  56. Yay! An international giveaway! Let's see... The first writing book that I ever read was Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell.

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  57. Sounds like a great book! The first writing book I read was Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. VERY helpful.

    Good luck with your final edits, Jill! You sure keep busy! I'm looking forward to the next Safe Lands novel. :)

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  58. Sounds like a great one! The first writing book I ever read was Science Fiction by John Hamilton. It was pretty good.

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  59. I don't know think I've ever read a writing book...does skimming through Writing for Dummies count?

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  60. The first one I read was I think, Stephen King's book on writing.

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  61. The very first writing book I read was a book that was written by my great aunt who decided not to publish it so she just gave me her final draft.

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  62. O.O I want to read this!! I've never read any writing books before actually.

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  63. Seems very interesting. :)

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  64. I've never read a writing book before. :( But this seems awesome. :)

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  65. I can't recall. I don't think I've ever read one straight through, because I've started a few, and read excerpts for school and such. But I'm working on The Art of War for Writers right now....

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  66. I can't remember the first writing book I read (I've read so many!), but around when I started to read writing books, I read The Beginner's Guide to Writing a Novel by Marina Oliver.
    I love it to pieces as it's incredibly helpful and I learn something new every time I read it.

    (Which is really good when you're a writer ;))

    ~Ella

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