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Lynn Johnston’s Write Smarter, Not Harder (series) of books

While looking over Mac's Fireweed Books in Whitehorse to see what books Lynn had there to sign I discovered there were two books that Lynn (actually a different Lynn Johnston) had published at the end of October, 2016 you could get and there was yet another one published back in October, 2014 which you no longer can get. They all used CreateSpace Publishing (a self-publishing house)

https://www.createspace.com/

For the last two Lynn actually hired someone else to do the covers for them. The woman is called Nada Orlic and according to her website she specializes in creating book covers that will sell your book.

http://www.nadaorlic.info/

I will discuss Lynn’s books further after the cut.


Here are the covers. 2016


2014


The two 2016 books have essentially the same overview with only a slight variation.

Overview 2016

A NEW APPROACH TO WRITING A NOVEL IN 30 DAYS
Write fast or write well?
You don't have to choose when you've got a story blueprint that shows you how to write a romance novel with perfect structure in thirty steps.
If you've ever tried to write a novel in a month, you know how much fun it can be when the words flow...and how hard it can be to ignore the fear that your story is no good.
What if you didn't have to worry about plot structure?
What if you could be free to just focus on your characters when you sit down to write each day?
The Plot-As-You-Write story blueprint breaks your novel into thirty manageable sections and asks you a series of character-focused questions that generate a solid plot structure every time.

Combining three-act structure with a romance arc,{added for the romance book} character growth arcs for your couple, and elements of the Hero's Journey, this story blueprint is extremely flexible and has been successfully tested by both plotters and pantsers.
Make novel writing fun again-try the Plot-As-You-Write story blueprint and finish your next novel in 30 days!


My comment: I had to look up pantsers. This is the definition:
There are two types of writers in the world: those who plot out their writing, and those who write by the seat of their pants. Plotters and Pantsers.

Product Details

The romance book has 318 pages, which is coincidentally the exact same length as the 2014 book, which makes me think that the 2014 and the 2016 romance book are essentially the same. The 2016 Novel book has 238 pages. How could they be so long, you may ask? It becomes more obvious when you read the overview of the 2014 book.

Overview 2014

Having a great idea for a story isn't enough to get your novel across the finish line. You also need to know how to overcome the two biggest reasons that novelists fail: plotting problems and procrastination.
The 30 Day Novel Success Journal gives you the tools to overcome these obstacles and get your novel written.
A Stress-Free Approach to Plotting
Lynn combines elements of three-act structure, the Hero's Journey, and a romance arc that incorporates character growth to create an extremely flexible story blueprint that you can adapt to the story you want to tell. At each stage of the story, you'll be prompted to dig into your characters' relationship and show how it's unfolding within the context of the story's events.
The blueprint is broken down into 30 steps, so you'll know exactly where your characters should be in their journey each day. Each day's step is paired with brainstorming questions to help you shape your story for maximum impact.
Already have an outline? You can also use the blueprint as a guide to fine-tune your existing novel outline for stronger pacing.
Kick Procrastination to the Curb
Each day's journal entry includes a series of After You Write questions to help you identify and overcome distractions and self-sabotaging thoughts that can cause you to procrastinate.
By the end of this 30-day program, you'll know how to shift into a more positive, productive mindset.
You'll learn how to:
-Prepare mentally and physically for a writing marathon
-Break your novel down into manageable chunks
-Stay connected with your motivation
-Fill the holes in your plot outline
-Stimulate your creativity with Ray Bradbury's dream technique
Includes brainstorming questions to help you build a powerful love story without sacrificing the external story arc.
This novel writing workbook is an essential resource for participants of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) or Book in a Month, authors with deadlines, and anyone who wants to write stories fast.
Buy it today and learn how to write a novel in 30 days!


My comment: I don’t anything about Ray Bradbury's dream technique. When I searched on it, I got articles about how many things Ray Bradbury put in his novels that came true. I love that Lynn manages to mention her favorite word “outline” in this one. I also like the idea that a person who has never actually written a novel or a romance book (to my knowledge) and who didn’t even write her children’s books would write a book on how to write a novel or a romance book.

This is the perfect thing for Lynn. She loves to give advice on how to do things, and this is essentially the same as saying, “Show me your portfolio” except without the benefit of having any experience in this field. It's kind of like Lynn writing a book about being a stand-up comic or working as a dental assistant. To get to 318 pages, that's 10 - 11 pages per day and I am going to guess there is a lot of blank space for the writing and a lot of repetition for the brainstorming questions.

I would love to see her brainstorming questions on this subject. I wonder if they would be like this:

1. Have the characters thought about making a list of the things they like about each other?
2. Have you thought about whether or not the villain should be a French woman?
3. The test of all true romances is whether or not the man will move for the woman. Is there any possibility of getting the woman to change locations constantly?


Meet the Author

This is the same for all 3 books:

Lynn Johnston lives in Corbeil, Ontario, Canada. She was the first woman to win the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1985. In the summer of 2008, she was inducted into the "Giants of the North," the Canadian Cartoonists Hall of Fame.


My comment: It is so strange these are the things Lynn picked as her bragging points for being able to write novels. They say "cartoonist" and not "author". If she had said she was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize then that would be closer, and she wouldn't have to say why she was nominated.

The oddest thing about this whole situation is that Lynn would do this and yet we have not seen one thing on her website promoting the book or selling it or even writing it. It's not like her to have ideas this ridiculous and not sharing with us. It makes me wonder if Katie is even aware of these books.

Edited to add strikethroughs for Joshua from Chicago.

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