- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (March 5, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1582972966
- ISBN-13: 978-1582972961
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 68 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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First Draft in 30 Days
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About the Author
Karen Wiesner is a novelist and member of Romance Writers of America. She is a frequent guest at writers conferences and the author of Electronic Publishing.
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Top customer reviews
The book does a good job of showing the skills every beginning writer needs, from research & broad outlining to organizing & developing a very detailed outline.
I'd personally do more than the book assigns each day, but I tend to write constantly when possible. The book does a great job of giving you the skills to write a book the right way.
Whether you like the title or not, buy the book & follow the plan. Your book will be better off for it.
I've only just started using First Draft in 30 Days. I did the "Brainstorming" stage today.
I've been working on my novel series for years ever since the idea first came to me in 1991. I wrote the first draft in 1995, yet since I was only just starting out as a writer and hadn't developed my style yet, I scrapped the first draft. I started researching and brainstorming for and writing the current version of my story in 2003 when I was inspired by the song "Apocalypse Please" by Muse. Yet, I kept hitting walls when it came to plot development. Once every few years I would get inspired and start working on this story again. Yet, I kept hitting those walls. So, I decided to give this a try.
So, today I created a music playlist of songs that are inspiring this story and did conceptual drawings of characters and settings. In just the first day I've come up with all of the major plot lines for the first 3 novels in the series as well as the major plot lines for the final book in the series (of which there will be a total of seven). Merely by listening to my music and looking at my conceptual drawings I keep having those "A-Ha!" moments and everything just keeps coming to me. I'll start with the rest of this process tomorrow. I can't wait to see where this journey leads me. I'm tempted to just start banging my novels out. I think I'll give more of this new strategy a try before I actually start writing the meat and potatoes of my manuscript. I'll update this review as I outline and write the rest of my series.
I've shared my ideas with a few trusted confidants and they're all in awe. I've already heard, "OMG! That's amazing," and "This is awesome!"
I'm very excited and feel very energized to keep on writing. Those creative floodgates have opened and ideas full of win and awesome just keep pouring out.
The tile might be a little misleading. This process will help you outline your story and once you have the outline fleshed out the First Draft should...the operative word here is should...come out naturally and quickly.
*Note: I'm writing an Urban Fantasy / Adventure series.
Karen gives us easy to use worksheets for each step in forming a detailed picture of the work we want to create. Personally, I have been one of those make-it-up-as-I-go-along writers my entire life, and while I could come up with some decent ideas for stories and even entire sections of them, I would inevitably stall and abandon project after project. Not a very good way to get published.
This method is so much better. Far from the staid, rigid outlines of English Class term papers, this system lets you create a fluid, adaptable outline that is easily translated into the story you want to write. You're not limited to writing in sequence, though the suggestion is to get as far along with outlining your chapters in order as you can. If you get stuck part way through, you can work on writing the already outlined chapters, or writing scenes for later chapters, for example. This is great for me, because I often get scene ideas in my head long before I'm ready for them to occur in the story. Now I can create them, and work them in as I'm ready for them.
I find it very simple to create my own worksheets, and once you have them set up you can adapt them into your own templates. Some of the details Karen needs may not be what I need or you need, and that's the beauty of it. Karen isn't telling anyone to write exactly like she writes; she encourages writers to make the system personal and adapt it to fit their own projects. While some people may think "Well, what do I need her book for, then? I could just make up my own sheets." I say this: I always vaguely knew I needed some kind of outlining system even while I struggled with the unstructured way, but again, I didn't know where to begin. This book gives you that beginning. It gives you the bones of a good, easy to use method and lets YOU take it where you need it to go.
I was fortunate enough to participate in an online workshop with Karen Weisner on this method and receive personal answers to my questions, in conjunction to delving into the book. She is very generous with both her time and advice, and the tone of her book reflects that about her. As soon as I began Karen's system, I found myself invigorated and refreshed with respect to my writing, and new ideas seemed to pop up every day. I'm currently working on my novel using the "First Draft" method, and I feel confident for the first time ever that I will have a completed manuscript done and ready to try and publish within a reasonable time.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fresh approach to writing.
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