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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 (92 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.50
Kindle Price: $6.16
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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: 1175 KB
  • Print Length: 182 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,350 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 49 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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75 of 82 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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41 of 44 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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Having a vast collection of "How To Write a Book" books, I can say with some certainty that this is one of the few that ACTUALLY tells you how to write a book, that breaks down the nuts and bolts of what goes into constructing a novel, how to use it to create your own story and how to get back on track when you wander off of it. Other books of its kind are great at telling you what you need to do and what happens once it's done, but they leave out the crucial steps in the middle. I found Nail Your Novel most useful in terms of plotting, surely the thorniest problem of all and the one I feel most neglected by other guides. Yes, you have a beginning, an end and a cast of characters, but how exactly do you get from start to finish? What happens in the middle? Nail Your Novel answers that question for you. Its practical advice is invaluable and the book is so well explained and laid out that you'll end up returning to it again and again. A necessary edition to any writer's reference shelf.
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I've read all "Nail your Novel" books and I think that they should be on every authors reference shelf. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jason
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and pragmatic explanation of how to write a novel
I finished this book last night and I loved it. I have worked on large creative projects (video games) but never on long-form writing, and the process of writing a novel seemed... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jurie Horneman
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book
I love this book. Roz Morris' strategies are liberating and easy to follow. I've revisited this book a number of times while struggling to work through my current work. Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. Sizemore
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm sure it would help, If I wasn't so confused by the formatting
One 2 or 3 star review mentioned getting confused about the layout/font causing problems with the flow of the book. I too had the same problem. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Eric D. Beaty
4.0 out of 5 stars I learned a couple of my favorite novel-plotting tips from this book
When I first started writing ages ago, I always just opted to scribble a few notes and ideas in a composition book, then start writing feverishly in Microsoft Word, hoping that a... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sara Whitford
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 5 months 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 9 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 12 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 13 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 13 months ago by Judith Richards
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