Let’s start with the great review. The Story Cure is what I was looking for to help me get out of a creative rut in my fiction writing. By rut, I mean procrastination and feeling like I have nothing to write about (a.k.a., not even starting). Dinty W. Moore begins his book by explaining what a story should have — basis in something that we care about as a human race or a way of dealing with something that many of us fear. In his riff on theme, which can become heavy-handed in some books, he suggests the “magnetic river” that everything flows back to and keeps the story going. I’m going to need to do a little thinking about the big topic that I want to address in a story. It drives me nuts that I have writing talent and imagination that I am not using to its fullest because — what if no one appreciates it? What if I can’t sell it, and I’ve wasted my time? What if? Seriously, I need to be a little more like L.M. Montgomery’s Emily character and write simply because my soul feels like it has to write. I do not have a community of writers to draw upon for inspiration where I live, so that is a challenge. I went to a writers’ group that was advertised one time, and it ended up being just me and a dirty old man who wrote a lot about breasts and commented on mine as well. I did not go back to that group. I didn’t even ride the library elevator back downstairs with him, honestly. Anyway, thank you, Dinty W. Moore, for sharing knowledge that is practical and easy to apply to the craft of writing.
Now, moving on to the not-so-great review. Let me say, I do not enjoy giving bad reviews. I am not one of the angry internet people who enjoy criticizing writers’ work just for the heck of it. I am sure the author is a great dad, and his book is relevant to his own experience, as well as the experience of many other dads. Yet, I really did not like You Know You’re A Dad. I felt like the humor was very cliched and fell flat most of the time. As a woman, it is not super fun to read that one of the ways a man knows he is a dad is that he wonders if his pregnant wife’s body will ever return to normal. Har, har. I know it’s meant to be funny, but as the female audience who would probably be buying the book for her husband, I found the pregnant body jokes irritating. Also, a lot of the little quips involved sports — watching sports, reading Sports Illustrated while the wife reads parenting books, etc. — and my husband always tells me that it drives him nuts when some pastors constantly use sports metaphors in church. He is not a sports guy, and he feels like the sports talk is shoved down his throat everywhere he goes when he’s in a group. He likes classic cars and movies. I know this book has an audience, and some couples will think it’s cute or funny, but I don’t think it reaches a more modern couple. My husband is really proud to be a dad. I think he could have came up with some better examples, both funny and serious, of how he knew when he was a dad than what this book offered. I am disappointed because I wanted to give him this book for Father’s Day. It just wasn’t an enjoyable read for me. I didn’t see how my own husband would connect with it.
The Story Cure was sent to me by Blogging for Books, and You Know You’re A Dad was sent to me by Book Look Bloggers in return for my honest review.