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3 out of 4 stars
Review by psychopathycathy
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The book began with a preface, written by the author himself, and right off the bat, I found myself curious. I enjoyed learning about how the author came up with the title of his book, and I also thought that his quick pieces of advice were already invaluable and perfectly expressed the freedom that writing was supposed to have. The short introductions with the authors he interviewed really helped as well, as it allowed me to familiarize myself with them even before their stories began.
Each chapter in this book is engaging and interesting, especially since the writers come from such different spheres in the entertainment world. Some writers wrote comedy, some wrote romance, and some wrote thrillers. The type of writing an author leans towards gives an indication of their personality, and the interview transcripts also very much reinforced this by providing deeper insight into every writer's story. I felt like I gained considerable knowledge about both the world of writing and publishing. The book addresses both mental and emotional aspects of writing, as well as the technical side, such as grammar; Questionable Minds does a fantastic job with expressing the importance of synthesizing both into a complete story.
In addition, the interviews were composed very well; I liked how there was no rigid set of questions—that makes it too general and mechanical. Instead, the interviewer allowed the conversation itself to lead, and the result was a a very eye-opening and meaningful discussion that flowed from one topic to another.
One problem I had with the book were simple some formatting errors, such as a random question mark in the middle of a sentence, or the chapter for Chris Allen, which was abruptly cut-off mid-sentence and mid-word. I also wish that there was a closing conclusion written by the author of Questionable Minds, Dr. George Pollard; I felt like it would have helped with closure, as ending the book right after an author's chapter felt a little abrupt. Nevertheless, I was fascinated by the memorable quotes and helpful advice, which is why I rated this book 3 out of 4 stars.
As a writer myself, I understand that writing is more than putting words on paper, and this book helped me gain a deeper understanding of what the road to publication looks like. Not only that, but the interviews illustrated what writing was all about. Through Questionable Minds, readers can begin to see what it means to be an author; there are your own stories, and then there are the stories you tell, but what they have in common is that they all begin in the same place: the mind.
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