How to Write a Book by David W. Rudlin

Screen Shot 2019-01-26 at 1.34.53.png

I don’t think I’ve ever read a writing guide quite like this one. I’ve certainly never been able to quote the entire first chapter of a book in a review. But here is Rudlin’s first chapter on how to write a book in its entirety:

Just write it.

Which, to be fair, is the best advice anyone can give. And to be even fairer, the rest of the book gives useful tips and does flesh out an approach that is refreshingly write-a-novel-by-the-seat-of-your-pants rather than write-a-novel-by-cookie-cutter-formula. And the whole book can be read in an hour or so. It’s short, informal and to the point.

I have only two criticisms. First, that he states all writers use Microsoft Word (they don’t, in my experience, once they figure out how to use Scrivener) and secondly, there’s little here to help the non-fiction writer.


If you are a first time, wannabe novelist and want to get started rather than bogged down in minutia, then this is the book is for you.

Rudlin kindly answered my questions about writing mystery novels in an interview here.

No. 6 of 100 books I intend to read and review in 2019.

* * *

Patrick Sherriff publishes a monthly newsletter highlighting good fiction about Japan. He lives in Abiko, Japan, with his wife and two daughters.