Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel

Viking. Apr. 2020. 315p. ISBN 9781984878311. $28. LIT
Anthony and Agatha Award winner George (The Great Deliverance) has authored 20 psychological suspense novels, four YA fiction titles, two short story collections, and a volume on writing titled Write Away. George asserts she did not set out to pen a follow-up to that latter work, but after several years of teaching and speaking at writers’ conferences, she shared the process of creating her novel Careless in Red to novice authors as a step-by-step illustration of her methods with embedded writing exercises to reinforce lessons in craft. The resulting book has much to teach about developing character, plot, and point of view. In many ways, the best chapters revolve around the use of landscape and voice.
VERDICT This practical guide to technique and intimate look into George’s writing life wisely reminds readers and students that writing is a job and should be scheduled as such. The anecdotal material and reading lists offer penetrating looks into the author’s sensibilities.
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