Book Review: The Linchpin Writer by John Matthew Fox

“Remember, writing a book is one of the most empowering things you can do in life. It’s something you will never regret.”

John Matthew Fox, The Linchpin Writer

Title: The Linchpin Writer: Crafting Your Novel’s Key Moments
Author: John Matthew Fox
Genres: Non-fiction, Writing
Pages: 169 (Kindle)
Publish Date: October 26th, 2022

My Rating: ★★★★★
Read: 8/20/2022 – 8/24/2022


As a writer, I’m always happy to come across good writing advice. The Linchpin Writer happened to be terrific writing advice that made me want to drop everything and throw open my notebook.

It’s been my experience that creative writing teachers/mentors/blogs like to keep an upper hand. Somewhere down the line, they begin preaching that their way is the best way — if not the only way. John Fox’s exercises were a sigh of relief. He knows there isn’t one way to write that’s going to fit every book and every author. Each chapter ends with a series of prompts (keep a pen handy!) that force you to think outside of the box. Speaking as someone who gets hung up on the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ of writing and having a set way of doing things, it was nice to have a push outside of my limited mindset. Though I didn’t have the time to do every lesson at the time of reading this, I am excited to go back and give my undivided attention to the exercises. It’s been a while since I’ve had such a burst of motivation.

Part memoir and part handbook, there is a lot to discover about the writing industry and the craft in under 200 pages. The writing itself, no surprise, was charming and encouraging. I’m looking forward to exploring the author’s blog and other books.

A huge thanks to the author and his team for sending me a free ARC to read and review!

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • The writing exercises. There were quite a few and they had substance, not quirky little things with minimal impact on growing skills.
  • The personal edge to it. I personally find books like this more inspiring if I know more about the person writing it.

What I didn’t like:

  • There were quite a few prompts to Google something or other as well as links. Even though some were hyperlinked due to reading an ebook version, this wouldn’t be helpful when reading a hard copy.


This is something I will absolutely be going back to and rereading. Even without doing most of the exercises this time around, I feel a shift in my perspective. I found the chapter about opening paragraphs to be the most insightful.

Where to buy the book:

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