Book Review: The Story Cure by Dinty W. Moore

Time for another book review! For the past month or so I’ve been trying to figure out the direction I wanted to take my blog and wondering if I should start a Youtube (booktube) channel. While the idea of a Youtube channel is incredibly tempting (and tbh it will probably happen) but for now I’ll be writing more blog posts about books! Now for a review of The Story Cure.

The Story Cure by Dinty W. Moore

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Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pages: 197
ISBN: 9780399578809
Genre: Reference
Source: Blogging For Books

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A collection of cures for writer’s block, plotting and characterization issues, and other ailments writers face when completing a novel or memoir, prescribed by the director of creative writing at Ohio University.

People want to write the book they know is inside of them, but they run into stumbling blocks that trouble everyone from beginners to seasoned writers. Drawing on his years of teaching at both the university level and at writing workshops across the country, Professor Dinty W. Moore dons his book-doctor hat to present an authoritative guide to curing the issues that truly plague writers at all levels. His hard-hitting handbook provides inspiring solutions for diagnoses such as character anemia, flat plot, and silent voice, and is peppered with flashes of Moore’s signature wit and unique take on the writing life.

My Thoughts

I was nervous going into The Story Cure. After taking several Creative Writing classes as an English major and walking away fairly disappointed from those classes, I worried that this book would leave me with some of those same feelings. But, after reading a few good reviews I took a leap and picked it up. I’m glad I did for various reasons, but there were also things that I didn’t love about this book. Let’s start with what I didn’t love.

All writers are different.

I get that there are things that every novel needs. But I don’t believe there is just one way to write a scene or plot correctly. There seemed to be a lot of “one size fits all” in this book, and I felt that for some of the tips (like …. ) it worked, but for others, it didn’t.

This next one isn’t a big thing, but every time the author talked about your book he mentioned ‘whether it’s a novel or a memoir” over and over and over, and that just felt really repetitive to me.

I also didn’t love how the author would say something punny or make a joke and then explain the joke or pun in the next sentence. That didn’t seem necessary.

What I did enjoy

This book did give me a lot of tips that I hadn’t previously heard, as well as things to try, that will improve my writing. I finished the novel feeling satisfied, instead of the dread that I’d anticipated (really though… one bad Creative Writing teacher ruined my attitude about books about writing by teachers) but this book was enjoyable.

I also liked how Moore went through common problems that authors had and then addressed them. As I mentioned before, I don’t believe there is a ‘one size fits all’ solution to these problems, but I do feel that the solutions that he provided were helpful and beneficial to me as a writer. Some I’ll definitely be trying, others maybe not, we’ll see as my writing continues.

Overall this book was average for me. I enjoyed it but didn’t love it. I still haven’t quite decided how I feel about books about writing. But, if you’re thinking about writing a book, struggling to get through that second (or seventh) draft and just need a different perspective about what you might be missing, I’d definitely recommend this book.

Do you like reading ‘how to’ books? About writing or whatever else you might be interested in? Let me know below!

*I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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