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Novel Metamorphosis: Uncommon Ways to Revise Novels with Creative Writing Tips, Tools, and Strategies

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0979862106
ISBN-10: 0979862108
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

In 1999, writing teacher and author, Darcy Pattison created the Novel Revision Retreat to meet the needs of struggling novelists. For eight years, her uncommon ways of revising and passionate teaching has touched writers nationwide, encouraging them, "I believe in your story." With this book, novelists everywhere can benefit from Pattison's years of teaching success. Published in eight languages, Pattison's books have been recognized for excellence with starred reviews and many awards.

From the Inside Flap

Congratulations! You've finished a novel.
What an accomplishment! Now what?
Now, you need a innovative, in-depth guide to revision.

Why Revise?
Before revision: Nice Story
After revision: Richer, deeper-the novel of your dreams.

Novice or Seasoned:
For aspiring novelists, mid-list novelists who want to break out, novelists who want to self-publish-successfully, writers who have completed NaNoWriMo but don't know what to do next, and writing critique groups looking for a way to help each other to the next level.

Revising has never been easier
Systematically inventory and diagnose your manuscript
Visually manipulate your manuscript to identify problems
Transform dull characters into fascinating, memorable people
Strengthen the narrative and emotional arcs
Sharpen dialogue
Morph dull settings into backdrops that set the mood
Enliven narrated events by selecting the right details
Use language with confidence
Add depth with narrative patterning
In-depth professional development
Plan your novel's metamorphosis

The Results
A stronger, richer, deeper story, a story that makes readers weep and cry and turn the next page.
Novel Metamorphosis, unlike most books on revision, turns theory into radical new tools which are practical, tangible, concrete.
Cut straight to the heart of your manuscript's problem
Develop your writing and editing skills
Understand the critical underlying structure of your story
Learn theory as you work
Spark in-depth discussions in your critique group


Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Mims House (April 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979862108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979862106
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,676,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is about 95 pages long (not including some blank worksheets, index, table of contents.). The exercises at best will serve anyone who is attending the author's retreat. In comparison to other writing books, the price of this book is way to expensive for the very little it has to offer.

Perhaps an extreme beginner can find a few exercises helpful. The author's website has much more useful information than this book has. You'll also find almost all the info in the book in her site as well. I give it 3 stars, because with all book reviews, it is subjective to one's own expectations and background. I'm sure that this book would work best in tangent with attendance to the author's retreat, which allows for feedback and more intense study and practice of the exercises she illustrates in this book. However, her self-discovery questions at the end of each chapter, leaves one with more questions than answers.

Check out Martha Alderson's "Blockbuster Plots" for process and James V. Smith's "The Writer's little Helper" for help on craft instead. The issue with this book is that it is not insightful enough. There is not enough "meat" in it to substantiate it's price and usefulness.

Perhaps a "Revision" on this book with in depth discussion on craft and process would benefit this book. Buy it if you are attending her workshop. At best it will serve as a "light" workbook on revision. But for "self-learning" it is very lacking.

The biggest annoyance is that she refers you to reading another book on "Revision" from the start, because her book simply doesn't cover those basics (well that defeats my point in getting her book on revision...).
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Format: Perfect Paperback
Novel Metamorphosis: Uncommon Ways To Revise Novels with Creative Writing Tips, Tools, and Strategies, delivers on its promise of genuine hands-on revision techniques. Figuring out what to do after completing a draft and how to identify where strengths and weaknesses are can be pretty overwhelming. It is for writers with a finished draft that Darcy Pattison's latest book offers hope and help in spades. She takes the writer through a series of specific exercises designed to help (or force!) the writer to really see his or her book anew. From tracking the narrative and emotional arcs of the work to an ingenious method of "shrunken pages" which allows an at-a-glance picture of the strength of each chapter or section and how it fits in with the whole, from identifying the heart of the story to understanding why that is a critical task, this book maps out strategies for making your book the best it can be. It is difficult to imagine a writer who wouldn't benefit from some or all of the techniques discussed, and the suggested reading list at the book's end is a valuable resource in itself. Well suited for small group work but also workable for the lone or isolated writer, Novel Metamorphosis is genuine strengthening medicine for serious writers ready to take their novel drafts to the next level.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
Novel Metamorphosis is based on the Novel Revision Workshop that Ms. Pattison has taught for a number of years. I attended the workshop in 2006, and it remains the single most helpful writing workshop I've ever attended. With Ms. Pattison's techniques, I feel equipped to take on massive overhauls of my stories.

Novel Metamorphosis is full of exercises, worksheets, examples and questions. This is not one of the hundreds of writing books that offer tiny insights here and there; this is the book that will help you make your good story great. You will not just *read* this book, you will *use* it. A lot. You will work. Hard. But it will be worth it. I say this having sold my novel after using Ms. Pattison's revision techniques.

Every writer should own this book. It is not going to gather dust on the shelves next to your other writing books. You will refer to Novel Metamorphosis again and again.
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Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the book, or rather the workbook, that you need if you are ready to revise your manuscript and have never done this before, are a little unsure what or how to revise, or just want one of the best self-guided workbooks to keep you on course so that nothing is overlooked.

When I write something, I become so entrenched in the writing that when I read it over sometimes I read what I thought I wrote and not necessarily what was actually written. For example, I understand the plot, the character motivations, and the ending. If I have left out a crucial area I may not notice since I don't need it to understand the story, but your actual readers will need this. Or maybe a scene is better further along than it currently is placed. All of those areas will become noticeable while you put your manuscript through this workbook.

I review books everyday and find these kinds of problems often, especially in an author's first novel. When I notice these things I must rate lower than I might others rate a book. Even a great story can be messed up if a scene is out of place or not even needed. Darcy's book will help you catch and correct those on revision.

More importantly, she will help you enhance your characters, develop the plot, find areas that need work (a weak scene, loose threads at novels end.). This really is the workbook that can help you stand out to editors and publishers. It will help you get that polished look that is so important especially in the publishing world today. Editors don't hold hands like they use to. It is up to us to get our manuscript as polished as possible. Darcy's book is one of those exceptional things that will help put you on top and keep you out of the slush.

I will never again revise on my own.
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