Do you ever look into the deep green shadows of a primeval forest and wonder what those secret depths hold? Do you like to write about your new and inventive discoveries while sipping a glass of fragrant wine? Do you enjoy the creative process? Then I hope you will stop a spell, enjoy the adventure, and travel with me as we imagine the possibilities...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review of Jodie Renner's book: Style that Sizzles

Imagine the possibilities of your words having power, punch, and pizzazz! You can, you know, with the help of Jodie Renner’s book, Style that Sizzles & Pacing for Power, An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction.

I’ve read many “how to write” books, and currently have four that are my absolute favorites. The top book on this list is Style that Sizzles and Pacing for Power. I feel so strongly about this book that I bought a copy for my e-reader, and six paperback copies. I like to share. (I was going to say something smart, like: “In case I want to read it more than once,” except Renner says in Chapter 12, “Take out any explanations or self-indulgent ramblings.” I’m so guilty of this.)

Whether you are working on your first novel, or have completed several, this book will help. In a concise and readable format, Renner shares with the reader tips and habits a writer needs to succeed. My first book maxed out at 141,365 words – and that is after I took a good 30,000 words out. It was like pulling teeth. Now, with the help of Style that Sizzles, I’m scooting through Menoly and Antoine’s novel, removing the dross and leaving the gold. Taking a scalpel to my writing is difficult for me, but Renner makes that task easier with examples that clarify and edify.

Chapter headings are informative and allow the reader to focus on the parts they need help resolving. However, I heartily recommend the novelist read the entire book, and then focus on specific areas.

If you are serious about writing and filled with the desire to be published, Jodie Renner’s book is the one for you.

Now, I probably shouldn’t say this, since she is a world-renowned editor, but, if you implement the lessons Renner espouses, pare your words, take away lengthy explanations and wordy phrases, when you submit your novel to your editor, it won’t cost nearly as much.

Information on Jodie:

Jodie's blogs with tips for writers: Crime Fiction Collective and Jodie Renner Editing
Facebook: Jodie Renner Editing 
Twitter: @JodieRennerEd
Member: International Thriller Writers (Associate), Sisters in Crime (SinC)

Hurry! Go buy the book. Pour a glass of wine or cup of coffee. Sit a spell, crank up your writing skills, and imagine the possibilities.



  1. Thank you so much for your kind, generous review, Peggy! I'm glad you found my book helpful! I can't wait to read your novel!

    1. Thanks, Jodie - It was a pleasure writing the review. I hand out your book like chips. Style that Sizzles is very helpful to the beginning writer - and an advanced one. I updated the post with your contact information.