Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Writing Like A Pro

Ever Wondered How An Author Actually Writes A Novel?


Many will think today’s post is only for writers; or, those who wish they were… Nail Your Novel

I think many readers could profit from this post—especially if they’re avid readers—people like that often turn into writers

This post could also be valuable for publishers who really don’t understand what writers do

And, since writers are readers and many readers turn into writers and self-publishing is so popular, many people wear all three hats.

So, I think most anyone should keep reading :-)

Yesterday, I re-blogged a post from Roz Morris.

Today, I’m going to plug one of her booksNail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence.

This is a book I wish I’d read 50 years ago

My development as a writer followed the arc fleshed-out in Francine Prose‘s book, Reading Like A Writer.

I’ve read omnivorously—absorbed what I needed to learn from discovering what a good book was and reading tons of them.

I think, before discovering Roz, I’d only read one how-to-write book (along with a bunch of writings tips…); and, I’ve posted here, often, that most books about writing aren’t worth reading

Nail Your Novel is vastly different.

In fact, I suspect many other authors have co-opted her ideas and sold them as their own.

Perhaps they’ve been fair and credited her—she certainly isn’t shy about given other folks credit

Here’s Roz about her credentials:

“I’ve written about a dozen novels. Spines and covers must remain hidden because they were ghosted under strictest secrecy. Millions of readers have enjoyed my storytelling – and that’s no exaggeration because average sales were 500,000 copies each.”

More exactly, she’s sold more than 4 million copies as a ghostwriter

And, she’s now writing novels with her own name on the cover.

How to explain what reading Nail Your Novel was like

It was Exciting—she woke up my Muse and set her spinning :-)

Maybe I should let Roz tell you about the book:

“Most things we do we have a plan for. In most jobs, if we have a task to do, there’s a project plan, a schedule, a methodology.”

“I’ve been writing novels for years and helping floundering writers find their way. What I notice time and time again is that so many make it very hard for themselves, even experienced authors.”

“For instance, many writers paint themselves into a corner because they are tackling a problem at the wrong time.

“They get blocked because the critical parts of their brain are inhibiting their creativity.

“Or their overactively inventive imagination is stopping them seeing the simple, rational solution. Or they are attempting to spice up a dull story by adding more events, when really they need to find a way to examine the ones they already have.”

“I’ve developed a method to tackle all the milestones of writing a novel, from initial inspiration to final polish. It’s smart and efficient. It draws on techniques from Hollywood scriptwriting, improvisational drama, project management and sports psychology – because experts in those fields have already solved problems that novel-writers come across.”

“My method will not only help you finish a novel, it makes the whole writing business a lot more creative and fun. A thoroughly planned novel takes less time to write. Even better, it is more likely to succeed in today’s market because it will have been properly structured, fixed and polished.”

If I taught writing, I’d probably have the students read Francine Prose’s book in tandem with Roz’s—get them consulting about the balance between writing to a plan and absorbing while they read

But, remember, Nail Your Novel is Exciting.

Roz certainly teaches you about the importance of structure and planning; but, she does it while letting you breathe—she lays out her hard-won wisdom and offers you alternatives, too—she lets you Play.

Actually, I’m certain many writers have read her book multiple times—each reading uncovering new nuggets of gold.

And, if you’d like to read the first 16 pages of the book<—click there.

Also, be sure to click on that cover image up there and buy the book; and, even if you’re certain you’ll never write a novel, buy the book as a gift for that friend of yours who’s holed-up in some god-forsaken shack, mired in depression

Buy the book and read it many times; then, check out Roz’s blog for a continuing refresher course

Plus, you may want to check out all of Roz’s booksNail Your Novel was followed by two other books in the series; plus, there are the novels with her own name on the cover :-)

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