I don’t normally read or review non-fiction books, but I couldn’t let the opportunity pass to read a book all about writing. Ally Carter is a well-known YA author for the Gallagher Girl, Heist Society, and Embassy Row series. Since I’ve recently been listening to the Gallagher Girl audiobooks, I thought it was fitting to read her advice all about writing.
Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book is chock full of tidbits of writing advice. Anything from getting ideas and creating characters to editing and publishing. While the book is marketed for teens and answers questions she received from teen writers, I think anybody searching for writing advice would find something of value in this book. There are a lot of insightful thoughts on writing and what it means to be a writer, and it’s one of the best writing books I’ve read because it covers the entire process in an open and honest way. She doesn’t sugarcoat the hard work, but she explores why it’s all worth it in the end.
Another aspect of the book that is cool is that Ally isn’t the only author to give advice. Between answers to common questions, Ally asks other well-known YA authors and editors to offer their advice and experiences. This adds another layer to the book, since Ally’s experience with writing and publishing isn’t the only experience. It was fun to learn how many drafts it takes other authors to write a book or how many times they were rejected before being published.
Overall, Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book is a perfect reference book for writers. It’s easy to read and organized in a way that makes it simple for anybody to flip through for advice, depending on where they are at in the writing process. Whether you’re a teen wondering if writing is for you or an adult who would like to stop talking about writing a book and actually write a book, grab a cup of coffee (and maybe some waffles) and read this book.