Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review of Jodie Renner's Captivate Your Readers #amwriting

Today I'm featuring my review of Jodi Renner's Captivate Your Readers - a great writing resource. 

About Captivate Your Readers - An Editor's Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction:
This third guide to writing compelling fiction by respected editor and award-winning author Jodie Renner provides concrete advice for captivating readers and immersing them in your story world. It’s all about engaging readers through the use of techniques such as deep point of view, showing instead of telling, avoiding author intrusions, writing riveting dialogue, and basically stepping back and letting the characters tell the story.

Today’s readers want to lose themselves in an absorbing story. Renner shows you how to provide the immediacy and emotional involvement readers crave in fiction, the direct, close connection to the characters and their world. And she does it in her usual highly accessible, reader-friendly style, with plenty of subheadings, concrete tips and examples.

This book is available in both e-book form and print, through all Amazon websites, and also in print through Red Tuque Books in Penticton, BC. Available soon in print at many independent bookstores and libraries.
~ Captivate Your Readers – An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction
My review:
Captivate Your Readers is a great book for both new and experienced writers. So many little things feel natural or we’re subliminally convinced by reading other books that telling is perfectly ok. But there’s just no reason to share sub-par work with CPs or Betas or, worse, agents, when Jodie Renner’s book does such a great job of not only pointing them out, but explaining why they don’t work, and offering suggestions on how to fix.

Using powerful language is just the tip of subjects covered. It doesn’t matter how well you write technically if you don’t have complex, fascinating characters – both protagonist and antagonist, as well as a supporting cast. The POV has to work, provide scintillating information without confusing the readers. And your scenes must feel real, visualized, but not over-described. Ms. Rener’s examples and tips will leave you itching to sparkle up your ms or start a new project.

This book fits great with her others, but functions just fine on its own. And each chapter can be worked as a standalone. The e-books has links to quickly move from one topic to another or just read straight through like I did and take notes or work on your ms while learning. Her chapters are short, each with a single concept along with perfect examples. The book also refers to other great writing books that focus in more details on a certain topic.

And for those of you more experienced, but still fighting show vs tell, you’ll love that chapter. Ms Renner explains that concept better than most I’ve seen.

The book ends with some great checkpoint lists – no ms should make it into an agents inbox without these lists being gone through at least once. Rating - 4.5 stars.

Author Bio:
Jodie Renner is a sought-after freelance editor and award-winning author of writing craft books: Fire up Your Fiction, Writing a Killer Thriller, and Captivate Your Readers, as well as time-saving clickable e-resources, Quick Clicks: Word Usage and Quick Clicks: Spelling List. You can find her at,, and The Kill Zone Blog. When she’s not editing, reading, or writing, Jodie loves to pursue her two other passions, photography and traveling. In fact, Jodie loves traveling so much, she’s considering changing her tagline from “Let’s work together to enhance and empower your writing” to “Have laptop, will travel.”

Jodie Renner, M.A., editor & author
FIRE UP YOUR FICTION - multi-award-winning.  Amazon: 101 reviews, av.: 4.8/5 stars

WRITING A KILLER THRILLER  - “Finally, someone who understands the thriller!" - Robert Dugoni, NYT bestselling author. Amazon: 79 reviews, av. 4.7/ 5 stars



Jodie's Author Page   Newsletter
Editing website, Author website, Resources for WritersThe Kill Zone

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for your great review, Marlene! I really appreciate it. I hope your followers check out my new book, as I know they'll get some ah-ha! moments out of it! :-)