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Nail Your Novel - Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence [Kindle Edition]

Roz Morris
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.50
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

By bestselling ghostwriter and book doctor with a top London literary consultancy

'This book should be used as a text in writing courses'

'There are shedloads of books on how to write novels, and a lot of them are longer and considerably less useful'

'I wish I'd had this book a long time ago'

'The author has a proven track record as a writer of fiction, as opposed to writers of "how to write" books'

Are you writing a novel? Do you want to make sure you finish? Will you get lost and fizzle out? Will you spend more time reading about how to write than actually getting the words down?

Most books on novel-writing will make you read hundreds of pages about character arcs, inciting incidents, heroes’ journeys. It’s great to know that – but while you’re reading about it you’re not writing your book.

And what these books don’t tell you is how to use this learning and get the job done.

Nail Your Novel is a writing buddy – and mentor - in a book.

In 10 easy steps it will tell you:
*how to shape your big idea and make a novel out of it
*how to do your research and how to use it
*how to organise your time.
*how to plot and build characters
*when you’re going to hit problems and what to do about them
*how to write on the days you don’t feel inspired
*how to reread what you’ve written and polish it.

Along the way, Thumbnail Notes give tutorials about storytelling and storycraft – strictly when you need them. The author has written nearly a dozen novels that have made it into print – and this is how she did it.

You don’t even need to read the whole book before you get started. You read a section, then do as it says. And, once you’re finally satisfied, Nail Your Novel will tell you how to sell it to publishers and agents.

You’ve dreamed of writing a novel. Don’t procrastinate with another theory book. Don’t launch in, get stuck and throw your hard work in a drawer. Nail your novel.

About the author
Roz Morris has nearly two decades of experience writing novels and helping floundering authors find their way. She is a senior book doctor for a major literary consultancy in London, writes fiction under her own name and has ghostwritten bestselling fiction for high-profile writers with major publishers, including Random House, Puffin and Mammoth.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Roz Morris has two decades of experience writing novels and helping floundering authors find their way. She teaches creative writing masterclasses for The Guardian newspaper in London. She is a senior book doctor for a major literary consultancy in London, writes fiction under her own name and has ghostwritten bestselling fiction for high-profile writers with major publishers, including Random House, Puffin and Mammoth.

Her websites are and

Product Details

  • File Size: 292 KB
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 146108136X
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,781 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concrete tasks to get words on the page August 25, 2010
I find one of the fearsome tasks in writing a novel to be managing the amount of information and number of tasks it takes to finish. Morris's steps (with several concrete suggestions for implementing) keep my eyes on the ground so I can I take action (do some writing).

The tactics she suggests are drawn from creative endeavors besides writing, which makes them useful to people with different processes for writing--you can adapt the exercise whether you work first on plot or character, outline or full draft.

Although the book is easy to read, I've been moving slowly through it since each section has gotten me generating more ideas about my current project.
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73 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes. August 12, 2010
I am an aspiring writer who lacks the confidence to push to the end with my stories.

Not long ago, I took this book as company on a long train journey to Sheffield. I was going to visit a friend who is also an aspiring writer. By the time I got up there I had read it twice and felt compelled, out of friendship, to give him my copy immediately upon my arrival. So, dammit, I will have to buy another one.

We spent the weekend playing `the card game' for a co-authoring project. It may come to nought, but it was lovely to feel the buzz again, all the same. I am enjoying writing again, and I have improved a great deal as a result of this book.

I have just checked; I have 14 How To Write Books. Many are the 'must have' books that you are led to understand anyone who wants to write should have. This book is in the top three.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Written and Idea Packed...but Not for Some January 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I decided to read Ms. Morris' book to help revive a stack of old books and stories I never finished writing. The pile is rather large, and I hoped that the book would give me the tools I needed to finish and publish them. Sadly, it didn't work for me. I believe that the target audience for her book is writers who have one or two manuscripts in rough form that need a nudge to get them done. It's not for those whose writings are so fly-by-the-seat-of-one's-pants or deeply muddled that they need a serious spring cleaning -- not fine tuning. There's a group of would-be writers who may need to read more basic books on writing techniques in order to learn how to write synopses and plot scenes. Her book does not delve deeply into these writing techniques.

To her credit, the author gives readers a potpourri of good suggestions on how to break writer's block and improve a novel. She offers some excellent recommendations with easy-to-remember buzzwords like "outtakes," "block busters," and "beat sheets." For writers stuck in the middle of their novel who need inspiration, these are great tools to push it from draft to publication. The ending wraps up with a toolbox full of ideas on how to do this and ends with a chapter on preparing the manuscript to send to a publisher.

I recommend this book for experienced writers with a basic knowledge of writing who want additional writing tips. For those further along in their careers, it could be an indispensable resource. But this book isn't for every aspiring writer. For those literally dusting off that decades-old manuscript in a drawer needing extensive rework before it sees light of day, they may be better off starting with a basic "how-to" manual.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roz Resonates August 30, 2010
I follow the Roz Morris blog, Nail Your Novel, and find it focused, insightful, and extremely professional. Roz is a wonderful teacher, and, as a bonus, she's an insightful spirit with wonderful karma. If you have a few novels in a file drawer, or even a single novel that you want to polish for publication, this book will be the best investment you could make. The clarity alone is worth your time! Roz has a way of seeing straight through to core issues and not wasting your time ... even as she explains, in depth, craft components that you absolutely must master to take your novel to the next level. Writers at any level will benefit by reading Roz -- I strongly recommend this publication!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Guide February 2, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Novelist, ghost writer, and professional critiquer Roz Morris's Nail Your Novel is wonderful guide to the bones of writing a novel. A "writing buddy in a book," this 122-page pdf pares down the basics of crafting a lengthy piece of fiction and presents a helpful methodology that dispenses with the often hazy, daunting journey from story conception to finished product.

In a no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase set of "tasks," Morris offers her own regimented technique for building a novel from the ground up. Although her intensive, detail-oriented process won't be a good fit for everyone, it's an excellent place for young writers to start. She walks writers through the basics, beginning with nurturing ideas into usable premises and following the process all the way to the light at the end of the tunnel: selling a completed manuscript to a publisher.

In many respects, Morris's process is very similar to my own, so I found myself nodding my head vigorously over many of her points. Her discussion of outlining, in particular, overflowed with excellent advice, including tips for organizing scenes and filling in the blanks. Her inclusion of "thumb notes," which pause to describe integral pieces of the story-telling puzzle--including character and plot, genre, and scene structure--are an excellent primer for often misunderstood areas of fiction.
As a guide for young novelists who are still trying to figure out just how to get a book written, Nail Your Novel is an excellent resource. For those who already know what they're doing, this fascinating glimpse into the successful process of another author is sure to offer some excellent gems for fine-tuning already established techniques.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money
Waste of time to read. Every book on writing already says all this and much more.
Published 27 days ago by n.beth
2.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't get into it because of the layout of ...
I couldn't get into it because of the layout of the paperback. The fonts and the formatting just didn't seem right
Published 4 months ago by Quinn121
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing craft book junkie LOVES Nail Your Novel
I’ve been reading writing craft books for years. In fact, one could say that I’m a writing craft book junkie. Yes, the support group will be starting shortly. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Melanie Marttila
5.0 out of 5 stars Good advice
Very easy to understand. Good tips. Now I need to get started. Valuable information. A must if you are a beginner
Published 8 months ago by candy
4.0 out of 5 stars Using this to revise my first draft.
The author wrote several books and works freelance at a critiquing consultancy. Her book covers not only the writing of a novel, but also the editing. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Judith Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Nail Your Novel Nails It
This is a terrific book, chock full of practical advice for thickening your plot, getting over writer’s block, etc. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Pat
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good, love the "Nail Your" series.
I bought this title last year. I'm not good at remembering to leave reviews. But I really enjoyed this book. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Lauren
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Writer's Resource
If I could give it more stars I would. Out of all the writing a novel books I've bought (which is a lot), this one has helped me the most. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Proud Kindle Owner
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book by an awesome author!
Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris is an excellent book on helping writers to start, continue, and finish writing their novel. Roz did an excellent job putting the information together. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Levi Levin
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing Your Novel from A-Z
This is the second book I have bought in the Nail Your Novel series and I am glad to say that this book was a useful as the first. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Wendy Jones
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