Book Review: The Kick-Ass Writer

Novelist and screenwriter Chuck Wendig has succeeded at entertaining and informing writers of all types with his latest book on writing, The Kick-Ass Writer (published in 2013). For a book that is comprised of lists of advice for writers, here is a list of twelve and a half reasons why any writer should read Wendig’s book.

#1) Contains advice that may or may not work
Wendig openly admits that “nothing in the book is true” on the first page. Everything he has written down is simply just advice that anyone reading can either use in his or her own writing or ignore entirely. Different writers use different techniques when creating prose and poems. Wendig’s words offer a breath of fresh air to writers: rather than telling a writer how he or she should write, he simply offers pointers on how one may choose to write.

#2) Crafty and witty vocabulary
Fun and witty words and phrases can be found in nearly every piece of advice Wendig gives in his book. It almost seems at times as if Wendig were in the room and talking directly to the reader. If anyone is familiar with the Marvel character Deadpool, he or she will be reminded of the fictional character as Wendig constantly breaks the fourth wall of storytelling.

#3) Pop culture references galore!
If anyone is a fan of any popular culture of any kind, one will more than likely find something he or she likes referenced in this book. From Star Wars to Harry Potter to Transformers to Doctor Who, one can only name it and will more than likely find a pop culture reference he or she enjoys and/ or is familiar with.

#4) Warning: contains inappropriate language
Returning to a previous point, if anyone is familiar with Deadpool, he or she will know the fictional anti-hero also has the title “merc with a mouth.” Same goes for Wendig. If one is not offended by foul or sexual language, than there is nothing to worry about (note: no f-bombs dropped anywhere in the book). However, if one is a bit iffy about words listed in the inappropriate category, be advised before reading.

#5) Can be read sporadically
In a busy and rather stressful world, who has the time to read? Due to Wendig’s book being one of advice, anyone who wishes to read it does not have to read it within a few days’ time. If one wishes to read just one section one week and then another section two weeks later, he or she can do that and still grasp Wendig’s words with ease.

#6) Knowledgeable on the craft of writing
With experience writing multiple novels, screenplays, graphic novels, and other writing books, Wendig is very knowledgeable when it comes to the craft of writing. Though he does insist what he offers is just advice, writers should at least consider the advice he is willing to give to future generations of writers.

#7) For new and experienced writers
This contains excellent tips for writers who are just starting out as well as those who have already completed a novel. Pieces of advice include, but are not limited to: how to write interesting characters, different ways to go about editing a written work, and different ways of how to publish a novel.

#8) Something for everyone
As aforementioned in number seven, there are so many different pieces of advice for every writer’s needs. The book is separated into three sections: “Part One: The Fundamentals,” “Part Two: The Craft,” and “Part Three: Publishing and Earning Your Audience.” Even if someone purchases the book for just one of these three parts, it will be worth the read.

#9) Another warning: randomness will occur
Along with the previous warning of made up words, randomness will also occur as one reads Wendig’s book. Such occurrences include, but once again are not limited to, random phrases from the author that make absolutely no sense, but provide much entertainment as well as random plot lines for books that are not and never will be in existence.

#10) “Finish what you begin”
This is a line readers will come across countless times. In many sections, this is the one line Wendig stresses for writers to take away from his book.

#11) Different scenarios offered for writers
More so found in the section of the book that focuses on publishing, Wendig offers different scenarios as to what could possibly happen to writers once they come to actually publishing their books and also what could happen once a writer has published his or her book and what to do next.

#12) One final warning: made up words to appear
If one is squeamish about made up words (though there are very few writers in the world who are), do not read this book. Wendig makes up many words and openly admits that these words are of his own creation, but claims that they work to make his points.

#12.5) Why twelve and a half reasons?
This marks the halfway point as to the number of tips Wendig gives per section. Wish to know what the remaining twelve and a half reasons could be? Do so by reading The Kick-Ass Writer.

Originally published at on September 24, 2014.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *