Shut Up and Write the Book by Jenna Moreci

SHUT UP AND WRITE THE BOOK is aimed at brand-new fiction writers who are overwhelmed by the process and are wishing for a mentor to show them what to do, how to do it, and most importantly, where to start. Writing a novel is extremely complex, but Moreci simplifies the process as much as possible by breaking it down into its smallest possible steps. And more importantly, she puts those steps into the correct order.

In twenty-six chapters, Moreci covers brainstorming, outlining, structuring a novel, writing the first draft, self-edits, and finally, getting a professional edit (or four). SHUT UP AND WRITE THE BOOK gives a wide overview of the novel-crafting process, but it doesn’t go very deep. Many of Moreci’s short chapters could be expanded into entire books. But this is a feature, not a bug. Moreci isn’t here to complicate things. She’s covering the topics “…in matter-of-fact detail and without all the drinking and crying.” This is a starting place for writers, a jumping off point, and Moreci doesn’t take a deep dive into any one topic because her entire aim is to keep writers moving forward.

Moreci writes with the same no-nonsense style that made her YouTube channel famous. Mainly, she wants to writers to know two things. First, writing a novel takes a lot of time and a lot of work. Second, there are no shortcuts. But Moreci tempers her tough love with a hefty dose of compassion. She’s been where you are, she remembers how it felt, and she’s going to do whatever it takes to get you to the next step.

My favorite chapters were the one on choosing a tense for your novel and the chapters on self-editing. Moreci breaks down all the pros and cons of choosing a tense, and then drops this truth-bomb. “Present tense is easier to write, and past tense is easier to read.” That sums up my experience with past and present tense in the most succinct way possible. I also loved this priceless quote from her chapter on self-editing. “The primary reason people hate editing isn’t because it’s difficult or time-consuming. It’s because it’s humiliating.” I mean, ouch. But also, it’s so true.

On YouTube, Moreci doles out weekly writing wisdom with humor, heart, and a whole lot of swear words. Now, lucky for us, that same wisdom can be found in book form, and I hope SHUT UP AND WRITE THE BOOK finds its place on every new writer’s shelves.

SHUT UP AND WRITE THE BOOK can be found here


Rating: 5 stars


This book is best for: beginning writers


I recommend this book