Review: How To Write Your Blockbuster by Fiona McIntosh


Title: How to Write Your Blockbuster: All I’ve learned about writing commercial fiction

Author: Fiona McIntosh

Published: Penguin May 2015

Read an Extract

Status: Read on May 30, 2015 — I own a copy  {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

Even though I am one of the very few book bloggers with no real ambition to write, I can appreciate the wisdom Fiona McIntosh imparts in ‘How To Write Your Blockbuster’, offering practical, no nonsense advice for aspiring writers.

McIntosh insists discipline is an essential skill for a writer. She encourages dabblers to set themselves up to succeed by developing good working habits and understanding what it is they want to write.

Whether you are a ‘plotter’ or a ‘pantser’ she has practical advice for getting started. I really like her ‘word count equation’, it seems to me that the idea would make the process of writing a first draft much less intimidating.

McIntosh then goes on to discuss technique in developing character, plot, dialogue, pacing and exposition with reference to what she has learned in her own work. Each chapter is also accompanied by exercises to complete.

For those with a completed manuscript, McIntosh advises writers on the next step, including presentation and submission to Australian commercial fiction publishers, and shares knowledge about what might come next for those lucky enough to see their book in print.

‘How To Write Your Blockbuster’ is a solid resource for a fledgling writer from a talented and accomplished commercial fiction author who writes across several genres. Make sure your browse Fiona McIntosh’s extensive oeuvre – my favourites include The Scrivener’s Tale and The Lavender Keeper.

Available to purchase from

Penguin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Amazon AUvia Booko

Amazon US

and all good bookstores.





5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 14:40:12

    Thanks for flagging this Shelleyrae, as it looks like it’d be an excellent resource!



  2. readingwritingandriesling
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 16:55:56

    It is on the list 🙂



  3. Renee
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 17:10:36

    I’m a fellow book blogger with no aspirations of writing. I think this would be a great resource. Many of the books I have read recently and enjoyed were written by authors who attended one of Fiona McIntosh’s master classes. I think she has lots of great things to share.



  4. SharonBooks (@SharonBooks)
    Jun 03, 2015 @ 11:03:27

    I am like you and have no ambition to write but this does sound quite interesting.

    Thank you for sharing! Sharon – Obsession with Books



  5. Trackback: Non-fiction roundup: May to June 2015 | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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