Wednesday, March 19, 2014

IndieReader's Review of Fire up Your Fiction

I'm thrilled with IndieReader's recent glowing review of my book, Fire up Your Fiction - An Editor's Guide to Writing Compelling Stories (formerly titled Style That Sizzles & Pacing for Power).

I lost a couple of points for formatting glitches, as I erroneously sent them an e-copy I had uploaded to Kindle with formatting problems, a temporary situation I wasn't aware of at the time. Since then I've had the e-version of this book professionally formatted by BookNook.Biz. (The book, in its properly formatted form, has no typos!)

The reviewer, Lucy Wang, was very generous about the content of the book and its value to aspiring authors.

The review is below, in its entirety, and here's the link to the review on

And you can buy the e-book HERE and the print version HERE.

Fire Up Your Fiction      

By Jodie Renner         

Rating: 4.5 stars

IR Verdict: FIRE UP YOUR FICTION is the Strunk and White for writers who want to be not just mere storytellers but master story-compellers.

Jodie Renner’s FIRE UP YOUR FICTION is a handy manual for writers looking to make the biggest impact with their craft. Renner shows and tells: Each chapter offers precise rules of what to do, and what not to do, with plenty of concrete examples. A section at the end invites the reader to be the editor and apply all the knowledge imparted throughout the book.

While this manual may be useful to authors at any stage of their careers, it is probably best suited for the novice or the writer who has completed a first draft and needs to go back and revise. With a whole draft in hand, the chapters serve as a trusty map, practical checklist and action plan all in one.

Renner once specialized in editing thriller fiction – and it shows. This book is packed with cries for action (Don’t overexplain! Don’t lecture!) and moves at a brisk, no-nonsense pace. There is a certain rush in seeing the sloppy, awkward “before” transform into the lean, mean “after.” Chapters are clear and succinct. Some leave you breathless. Chapter 21 offers a priceless lesson in the importance of choosing the right word, by demonstrating alternatives to such ordinary choices as “walked,” “run” and “looking.”

A couple of minor flaws: Many points are needlessly repeated, and there are numerous typos and formatting errors, at least in the Kindle version. Still, this book belongs next to that other must-have classic, Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.

FIRE UP YOUR FICTION is the Strunk and White for writers who want to be not just mere storytellers but master story-compellers.

Reviewed by Lucy Wang for IndieReader

Added by IndieReader: << This book review was based on the e-version provided to IndieReader. Since the publication of this review, an updated version has been released. >> 
Fire up Your Fiction has also won two other awards to date: a Silver Medal from the Florida Authors & Publishers President's Book Awards, and an Honorable Mention from Writer's Digest Self-Published E-Book Awards. It is also a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards (winners to be announced at ALA, June 27, 2014).

For more info, please visit Jodie’s author website or editor website, her other blogs, The Kill Zone and Crime Fiction Collective, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. To be the first to hear when Jodie's next book is out and to receive links to valuable, timely blog posts, sign up for her newsletter here

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