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Finish Your Book in Three Drafts: How to Write a Book, Revise a Book, and Complete a Book While You Still Love It Paperback – June 13, 2016
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What we are (already) hearing:
- Wow, your Three Drafts book is so gorgeous!! I've already read through it again and am just loving it. The characters' journey is a terrific connective thread throughout the book and gives it such a fun, accessible vibe. I like how the illustrations are arranged in some sections like a graphic novel. Reading this again has completely inspired me to clear the decks and pour out a zero draft, pronto. Your process is so engaging and motivating!
- IT'S SO GOOD! I've been reading it and all the PDFs and movies since 5 am. It's making me laugh out loud!
- I think this third book does a wonderful job of pulling all the Book Architecture ideas together. Well done!
- Please send popcorn!!! Your book is making me want to write another book! Arrrgggghhhh
From the Author
"I think about the people who don't publish their books, and too often it's not because they lack the writing skills. It's because they got lost along the way. One draft isn't going to cut it, but neither is twenty," Horwitz says. "All you need is three drafts, and the tools to know where you are in the process."
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Top customer reviews
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First, the book gives the new novelist the permission to simply keep writing even though they're convinced that they're writing crap. (Hint: We all write crap in the first draft.) Second, the book shows the new novelist how to take that crappy first draft and turn it into a story. Third, it shows you how to polish that story into a final form and start working on the next novel.
I got my review copy of FINISH YOUR BOOK just as I was starting the third draft of the fourth Tucker book (writing as Ray Daniel). FINISH immediately taught me something new that I could use on my work in progress (the punch list). There's little more you can ask from a book than for instant help in writing.
Books on structure, character, and setting are all necessary, but it's hard to know how to pull that information together into a novel. FINISH YOUR BOOK gives you a plan that allows you to implement what you learned in those books to finish your novel and start on the next one.
I've now read all three of Mr. Horwitz's books (he was kind enough to send me an advanced reader's copy) and I've loved each one. Each book stands out for their own unique reasons, but 3D stands as a kind of sampler of his previous two books. My all-time favorite of Horwitz's books is still BYB, maybe because it's the first book I ever read of his, maybe because I was in search of a way to make some sense out of a previously abandoned novel and BYB is one of the only books that served to give me some common sense, practical methods to do so.
If you haven't read any of Horwitz's writing books, my recommended reading order is as follows:
1. BYB: This is Horwitz's first book and I feel it will best give you an overview of his editing/revising method which he calls the "Book Architecture Method." (Mainly for those who have already written a book and are looking to for answers as how to organize and revise it.)
2. 3D: Horwitz's newest book stands great on its own as an introduction to the series, but it will make even more sense once you've had the overview of the strategies he uses from reading BYB first. (Covers Writing, Revising, and Completing your work for publication.)
3. BA: This is, in my opinion, Horwitz's most advanced work. There are lots of great charts and images to help you understand the method he first introduces in BYB, but he goes even further in-depth with a few additional tools, which he also mentions in 3D. (Mainly for those who need help beginning a book without worrying about having everything to start—plot, outline, etc.)
All in all, I like 3D because it's more of an "interactive" experience than his previous two books. 3D has several expository PDF samples to expound even further on some of the aspects that the book teaches. Also, there are several quirky stop-motion videos referenced to help further ingrain Horwitz's principles into your understanding. (He even includes the storyboards of the key scenes of the videos just in case you would rather keep reading and not stop to watch them, but trust me you'll definitely want to watch them if nothing else than for a nice change of scenery while you're learning all the great material 3D has to offer.)
In closing, I definitely recommend Horwitz's new book, "Finish Your Book in Three Drafts," especially since he strives to help you coax your book into the best book it can be, all the while still loving the process—and not having to spend your whole life working on one book. He knows what he's talking about. Just look at his credentials: A professional editor for fifteen years, working with clients who became authors who have signed on with top literary agencies, landed book deals at coveted publishing houses, pursued successful paths to independent publishing, appear on major prime time talk shows, and even gone on to be New York Times Bestsellers (taken from the "About the Author" page in the book.
One last thing: Horwitz's ideas on getting quality beta readers is worth the price of this book alone, and yet there's so much more to look forward to in this book!
With all that said, check this book out; you won't be disappointed.
Stuart's break down of the process of building your manuscript is empowering; it's freeing. You're not bound to creating an outline or to following a linear path when you're writing anymore. The tools he shares in this book (series grid, theme target, punch list) can help you make sense of the writing you have already done and be intentional about where and how you build and layer the significant moments as you continue to craft your manuscript.
And, bonus, Stuart's book, Finish Your Book in Three Drafts, shows you how to know when you're done, how to give yourself permission to put down the pen on a project.
The storytelling element of this particular volume makes it different from other books I've read on writing, outlining, and crafting your manuscript. Stuart's pith and wit made the subject matter all the more enjoyable.
I highly recommend this book (and his other titles) to anyone who wants to develop their writing process, who wants to look at their craft differently, and who wants to finish their manuscript while they still love it.