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Death by Books

Like you (I assume) I like books. I used to read fantasy exclusively, but these days I've branched out to pick up the occasional mystery, YA or steampunk novel. I also love to read about the art of writing and use that to improve my skills in my own work.

Evoking Emotion (Writing Lessons from the Front, #5)

Evoking Emotion (Writing Lessons from the Front, #5) - Angela Elwell Hunt Ugh. This and several other "books" like it showed up in an e-mail from Amazon to me. I thought the titles looked intriguing, so I popped over to take a look. Most of the volumes were $4.99, not bad if the book really provides useful information. Then I saw the page counts. These are not books. This particular one is 42 pages. It was the only one which was free, so I decided to check it out. If it was outstanding then I would consider handing over $5 for one of her other mini books. I'm glad all I wasted was my time.

First of all, what is the deal with explaining writing concepts by linking music videos and film excerpts? I'm sorry, they are very different mediums and the sort of information you need to provide in a novel to evoke emotion is going to require different skills than acting, singing, and dancing. You don't have the visual queues available to you in writing that come with a visual medium. Somehow you need to get the reader to visualize those things in their head without you dropping in a YouTube link every few paragraphs. This means of teaching was non helpful in the extreme.

The author also provided some excerpts from her own work as a means of illustrating what she was trying to convey. This was a better choice of teaching methods, but her writing is not really of high quality. She states in the lesson that she uses her own work because she didn't want to fuss with copyright issues. Seeing as there are many high quality public domain books out there, this struck me as either the author being disingenuous or just plain lazy.

And lastly, I don't usually fault people for their religious beliefs, but I got very tired of the author making a point of telling me over and over again she was a Christian. That's nice. I'm happy for you. It has nothing to do with teaching me how to write better. Leave it out of the book.