How To Write A Book Part 5

The guys are joined by friend and author, Martyn Ramsey, to discuss 6-key-stages when writing a book.

Each episode has a mini book club to start where the guys discuss a book that seems to have been pretty poorly planned. Martyn then gives his advice and talks about his experiences of the writing process. Then, to wrap things up, the guys discuss some of the advice given online for new writers – good and bad,

Martyn’s book “The 50 Greatest Rangers Games” is available here:

List of the Lost (Morrissey, 2015)

A 128-page novel about a 1970s American sprint team written by musician Morrissey (known for being the leader of the 1980s rock group The Smiths).

  • Reviews were uniformly negative, often bordering on hostile. In The Telegraph, Charlotte Runcie described the novel as “poorly conceived, awkwardly expressed and lazily imagined.” 
  • ohn Niven of the New Statesman, responding to critics who wrote that the book may have been improved by a strong editor, opined that “asking a decent editor to save this book would have been like asking a doctor to help a corpse that had fallen from the top of the Empire State Building.”
  • Genuinely awful. I read this book for a laugh, knowing the terrible reviews it had beforehand and being a fan (huge Smiths fan and big fan of his 90s output, defender of his more recent stuff). I wasn’t prepared for quite how terrible it was though. A real struggle to finish and firmly the worst novel I’ve ever read.
  • Terrible prose, so much waffle. Goes on unnecessary ridiculous tangents, inserting his views wherever he can. He cannot write dialogue at all, it is cringeworthy and the language does not fit with the 1970s Boston setting. There is also one instance (with several others like it) where there is 5 pages of unbroken speech from a character.
  • His sentence structure is terrible, one sentence meanders for nearly the length of a whole page.
  • The plot itself is poor but quite funny as it is bizarre.
  • It’s clear that there was little to no editing, it would be a tough read as a 15 page short story!
  • Also worth noting that the only quote on the blurb is from Morrissey himself – no other reviews, presumably because they were all scathing.
  • Read it you’re curious or want a laugh but be warned, it is tough going even at its short length.