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Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1461081364
ISBN-10: 146108136X
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  • Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence
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  • Writing Characters Who'll Keep Readers Captivated: Nail Your Novel (Volume 2)
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  • Writing Plots with Drama, Depth and Heart: Nail Your Novel (Volume 3)
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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 www.rozmorris.wordpress.com and www.nailyournovel.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (June 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146108136X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461081364
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By F. M. Payne on 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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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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By morton on September 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading a dozen other books on writing, Roz's system resonates with me like none of the others. It does not presume to teach you the mechanics of writing (which you would have learned in college, by experience, or in specialized texts regarding dialogue, character development, etc.). Instead if gives advice and encouragement, and helps you stay focused as you progress through well-defined stages of writing your novel.

If I'd had this book a year ago, Roz's method of focused editing would have saved me from eight futile re-writes. I messaged her blog after reading her book and asked what I should do since my novel is already written but has been edited beyond recognition through a critique group, and what do you know? She responded with concrete steps to help me fix my book!

I've gone from despair to hope. If you too have lost your voice through a critique group, read her advice here(...)
Thanks Roz!
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