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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jodie Renner: Captivate Your Readers

By Kelly Bridgewater

Back Cover Copy:

Are you looking for techniques to really bring your fiction to life for the readers, so they feel they’re right there, on the edge of their seats, struggling with the hero or heroine? Staying up late at night, worrying, glued to the pages?
This guide provides specific advice, with examples, for captivating readers and immersing them in your story world.
It’s all about engaging the reader and providing a direct connection with the characters through deep point of view, showing instead of telling, avoiding author intrusions, and letting the characters tell the story.
Today’s readers want to put aside their cares and chores and lose themselves in an absorbing story. This book shows you how to provide the emotional involvement and immediacy readers crave in fiction.
You’ll find techniques for making sure your characters come to life and your readers feel directly connected to them, without the author’s hand appearing as an intermediary.
And like Jodie Renner's other writing guides, which are designed for busy writers, the format of this one is reader-friendly, with text broken up by subheadings, examples, and lists.

My Review: 

I enjoy reading non-fiction books when they are books that are instructive in improving my writing. I have an overflowing shelf of writing instruction books. Many of them have highlights, notes in the margins, and post-it notes sticking out of them. I love learning how to do something to make my stories better. I have read Jodie Renner’s first book in this series, Fire Up Your Fiction and own Writing a Killer Thriller, but I have not gotten around to reading it yet. As a budding writer, I would love to get advice from a fiction editor and that is exactly what readers will get when they read these three writing books from Jodie Renner. She is a highly-sought after fiction editor who shares her experience and advice pretty cheaply.

I enjoy how Renner divides the book into tiny chapters. The book features six bigger parts with little chapters in each section. I enjoyed how Renner included a button to help the e-readers readers to return to the table of contents if they are done reading a certain chapter.

There are tons of examples to entice the reader into learning how to see the difference in their writing in the before and after examples. You can learn a lot by comparing the before examples to the after ones. There were also tips, techniques, and examples to engage the writer with the actual text. However, there were techniques and questions to avoid. Another thing I enjoyed was the words of advice from other popular writing books. If you enjoyed how Renner was showing an element such as Deep POV, then you could read more examples from other books.

Two chapters, Sensory Details Suck Your Reader In and Show Characters Reactions to Bring Them to Life, appear to be chapters that I will have to spend more time on and come back to. One quick read through for this review would not give justice to the words and exercises showed in the chapters. I probably will find more chapters on another read through to highlight and study.

Overall, Jodie Renner’s latest writing release, Captivate Your Readers, does exactly that. It offers writing advice to budding writers who do not have lot of time on their head and want to spend a couple of hours working on their skill. Plus, it draws connections to other writing books in the craft to further study. I highly recommend this book.  

I received an ARC copy of Jodie Renner’s Captivate Your Readers in exchange for any honest review. All opinions stated above are all my own.

Jodie Renner
From Renner's Amazon Author Page
Jodie Renner’s Writing Bio: 

Jodie Renner is a sought-after freelance fiction editor and award-winning author of three craft-of-writing guides and two (so far) e-resources for writers. FIRE UP YOUR FICTION, which offers concrete tips to tighten your prose and take your writing skills up several levels, has won 3 awards (2 silver medals -- Readers' Favorite Awards, FAPA President's Book Awards -- and an Honorable Mention in Writer's Digest E-Book Awards). WRITING A KILLER THRILLER will show you how to engage readers by adding tension, suspense, and intrigue to any novel. Jodie's third book, CAPTIVATE YOUR READERS, is all about engaging readers, bonding them with your protagonist, and drawing them into your story world through techniques like using deep point of view, showing instead of telling, avoiding author intrusions, writing dialogue that zings, and generally letting the characters tell the story.

If you could ask Jodie Renner one question related to writing, what would it be?

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