Wednesday, October 31, 2018

How to Plan, Outline, and Write Your Novel in Thirty Days by Amy Deardon

How to Plan, Outline, and Write Your Novel in 30 Days

Hey writers and fellow NaNo-ins (National Novel Writing Month participants) I’ve got a great how-to book for you today. 

Writing craft coach Amy Deardon has written another how-to book, published just in time for NaNo.

Let’s begin with the summary outline:

Can you really plan, outline, and write your novel in thirty days?

It may sound unlikely, but if you are determined, can commit two to three hours a day, and follow a structured plan -- yes you can!
This book uses a streamlined process to efficiently guide you in quickly creating the first draft of your novel. It includes how to:

* Create a doable schedule with a weekly day off to complete your novel in as little as one month.

* Copy sample forms to record your progress and keep you on track.* Find an intriguing story idea.

* Include fast tricks to develop your characters.

* Follow easy steps using the Story Template to structure your story.

* Plan for the "secret ingredient" that can make or break your story.

* Plan each scene with a five-minute no-fail trick that *always builds tension.

* Learn fast writing tools, tricks, and techniques that will have you writing 1000 or more words per hour -- really!

* Self-edit without stress.

* Move ahead to finish your book and publish.

Whether you want to participate in the National Novel Writing Month challenge ( or simply accomplish your long-standing desire to create a novel, you've come to the right place. This book shows you exactly how to get your novel written fast and well. Get this book today and start writing tomorrow!

And now, my review:

As with other craft books, I recommend picking up the paperback version of this non-fiction guide. That way you can easily refer to the pages/charts/information you may need. I noticed in my Kindle (.mobi) version that the charts were a little challenging to read. The paperback price is very reasonable on this book too, as is the ebook price. 

The advice will likely work best for beginners, especially those who haven’t participated in NaNo multiple times, since the author begins at the beginning. But I think even NaNo veterans will find useful information here. 

Amy writes in an encouraging, cheerleader style that will have writer-readers believing they can absolutely write 50K in 30 days. That’s the promise. The book offers two styles from which to choose. The first is a guide for how to plan and then write a novel in 30 days, for those who start this whole process on November 1st. The second is a guide for those who have planned ahead and are ready to begin writing.

As a NaNo participant of almost a decade, I love that she advises days of rest during the month so writers can disconnect, get refreshed, come back rejuvenated. When we rest, our minds problem-solve and our souls find new strength. 

Her advice centers on how preparation enables words to flow, which is imperative during a short time span—like NaNoWriMo (30 days).  She gives secret and effective tricks for getting words down fast. 

I liked how left-brained the approach is. Very much about outlining and planning and a logical approach. I liked the author’s encouraging voice, telling readers we can do this! And I liked that she gives two options—one for those who haven’t had a chance to plan before the 30 days begins, and a different approach for folks who have been able to prepare ahead. 

For the story prep, she includes prompts to help writers brainstorm. Then, she covers an approach to story structure in an easy-to-follow way, along with characterization, your log line, and then the story’s outline, breaking it down by acts. She covers story boarding, and gives tips for editing, and some info on publishing as well. You can use the story structure and characterization methods you prefer if you already have some in place.

SOTP (seat-of-the-pants) writers may not benefit as much from this approach. One of the best ways to know if you could benefit from this book is to check out the Table of Contents through a sample on Amazon.

I recommend this book to writers, whether you’re participating in NaNo or not. Again, it’s for beginning to intermediate, so writers who already have an established process may not benefit as much.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The opinions here are my own.

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