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How to Write a Novel: 47 Rules for Writing a Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever Paperback – November 20, 2013
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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About the Author
Nathan Bransford is the author of How to Write a Novel, Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow, Jacob Wonderbar for President of the Universe and Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp. He was formerly a literary agent with Curtis Brown Ltd. and writes a popular blog on writing and publishing. He lives in New York City.
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Top customer reviews
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Bransford’s writing style makes you feel like he’s your mentor imparting morsels of genius over salted caramel hot chocolate at your favorite Brooklyn coffeehouse.
Right now, I’m in outlining mode. I spend the majority of my time in revision mode, so I was experiencing all the issues associated with drafting. But it felt like Bransford was there to remind me we’d been through this before and we could do it again.
There is something about Bransford’s voice that makes you trust in what he says. Maybe it’s the confidential tone or the way he breaks it down. He doesn’t just tell you what to do, he tells you how to do it. His genuine love of writing shines through and his words got lodged in my brain and sunk deeper than other writing books had.
Every single rule in this book will make you a better writer. I went highlighter crazy on my Kindle. So much brilliance to be absorbed and applied.
This book focuses on drafting but also has a really useful section on revising.
Rule #3 really resonated with me: “Find the writing style that works for you.”
The big takeaway: “There isn’t one way to write a novel. There isn’t a formula...as long as you’re getting words on the page you’re doing fine.”
Thanks Mr. Bransford! This is a book that needed to be written for first time writers and those of us a few books in.
I think what separates this work from other Here's-How-You-Write books is the author's background. Nathan's a writer and he was an agent, so he's approached final drafts from both sides of the battlefield. Reading as much slush as he has (shudder) really gives him great insight on common pitfalls to avoid. And with his writing experience, he can properly tell you how to avoid them.
The best part about the book he actually touches upon in the book itself (meta!). I'm too lazy to find a direct quote, but essentially it's how you'll never come up with a story that no one has ever thought of before (billions and billions of people and all that). What's important is how you tell that story.
The same applies to this work. Everything in here is something I've read in other How-To's or heard from teachers. But, and this is why you should buy this, Bransford explains all of these things in a way that's so easy to swallow. I mean- I've got a creative writing degree, I've been published here and there, but there's stuff in this book that $40,000 and 10 creative writing teachers couldn't get through my thick skull. Nathan just takes the advice, wraps it in a corny, apropos, candy-coated metaphor, and it goes down easy. It makes sense.
I recently decided to get serious about the self-publishing game, and was just about to get started on another novel. Though this book is definitely written for beginners, I'll be using this sucker as my writing bible over the next six months. Right alongside my Strunk and White.
My review: I have decided to read several books on how to improve my writing skills this year. This is a great tutorial for beginners and non-beginner writers. This books lists reasons why conflict is important and how to keep the reader reading while making sure your characters are constantly conflicted and overcoming this conflict. It gives specific ways to help maintain plot and with tips on what to an what not to do. I loved that this book was so "user friendly" and easy to read and understand. Being a complete novice to the writing world I found this a great guide and will definitely use it for reference when and if I ever sit down and write a book. This book was recommended by an author I read all the time and I recommend this to anyone interested in improving writing skills or anyone who ever hopes to write a book.
My rating: 8
Author website: [...]
Finally, a book so full of clarity and tools and a ton of snarky humor all to help you move your work forward. No matter what it is you’re working on; memoir, children’s book, YA or that Blockbuster you’ve been hiding in a drawer—this is for you. Really.
So many writing books fall short of giving you actual tools to use in the craft. Sure you often get a gem, a peek into a possible useable something, but this book takes your proverbial hand and leads on all the way from first draft to go and get you an agent sister!
It’s short and concise, yet busting with real, honest, this is what you need to do concepts and processes that YOU CAN USE! I mean you, buster.
Read this gentleman’s blog and you’ll see how generous he is at offering endless tips and suggestions and thoughts and pushes and prompts and, well, what the heck are you waiting for? This isn’t a pricy tome that’s going to max out your card, but you really need it. I did. I took copiously anal notes and look at them every day before I begin my writing practice. I really do.
And you’re still reading this because? C’mon!