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Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence Paperback – 30 Jun 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2nd edition edition (30 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146108136X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461081364
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 283,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miss Chinaski on 8 Aug 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having professionally published a myriad of short stories I've always struggled with the longer form. The main problem with writing anovel is that you can't actually set it out and look at it as a whole, as a composer or an artist can with their work. Even if you're using Scrivener you can't really see how the thing reads, i.e. if it's paced well and has a good rhythm. Even if you print it out, you'd need a pretty big room with a massive floor to spread out 250 sheets of paper, and even then you wouldn't be able to survey the whole, unless you've got superpowers I don't know about.

Here's where NYN comes in handy. Morris's suggestions and exercises help you do the impossible, look at a script or a novel at a glance. You can also dip into different sections of NYN as you need them; you haven't got to read the whole thing back to back or from A to B to C. Unless, of course, you're a world-class procrastinator like moi.

It is important to actually try the various exercises. I didn't undertand how they worked until I got pens and paper and followed Morris's instructions, even though I wasn't sure on a few points it all came clear in the end and was a lot of fun, too - I like her idea of writing as playing. As a result I have rescued a project I've so far spent 2 years on but was going to bin as too unwieldy, and have even broken through writer's block to write more words than I usually do. I'm enjoying the process - thanks to Roz, writing's become fun again.

This is a book full of originality and creativity and warmth: it's like having your own personal cheerleader. Highly recommended, though remember, the exercises won't work unless you use them.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Ryan on 28 Jun 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I've spent years looking for a creative release. I've tried various things but time is a major issue with the amount of hours I work. Through the Kindle I rediscovered my passion for reading. The recent e-book phenomena led me down a path of discovery into the life of an independent writer. After reading independent works and endeavouring to make myself useful as a volunteer proof reader I decided to try my hand at writing. The result being, I've begun to consume literature on the subject of writing at a furious pace. Happily, I seem to have found a book that's going to be of considerable use to me. There are plenty I've read that aren't and some of them have very respectable names on the cover. Success doesn't stop even famous authors from stating the obvious in a bland manner page after page.

The first comment is on writing style. This book comes across as light hearted but doesn't contain any fluff. Some teachers lecture while others impart knowledge without you realising. The rigid lecturing style of some works on writing portrays this creative art as a chore from start to finish and attempt to formalise the whole process, which in the end stifles creativity. Roz acknowledges the more difficult aspects of writing and suggests creative exercises to overcome them while satisfying the critical more logical sides of our character. Keeping the critical mind at bay while you create and letting it loose later on is a theme that runs throughout this book.

Some of the exercises regarding the generation of ideas aren't really relevant to me at the moment and won't necessarily match my personality in the future. The use of memory aids and playing games irritates me a little. It reminds of those useless management courses.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert Ronsson on 26 April 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
On the surface Roz's book is a logical, step-by-step guide to take a novelist through the process of starting (and finishing) a project. I've completed the first five tasks and am using NYN as a constant reference as I plough through the first draft of my third novel.
What made this book work for me was what happened as I worked through the tasks in its first two sections detailing what to do before you start writing. The logical and progressive approach seemed to release the creative side of my brain which took me to places I hadn't imagined at the outset. (I should say that the author makes this an explicit aim of the process.) The end result is the most innovative and exciting project I've embarked on. Whether the rest of NYN maintains the standard and sees me through to the end remains to be seen but, this is almost irrelevant. The first two sections alone make it worth the money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jabberwocky on 31 Jan 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides very good advice and guidance for less experienced writers of fiction. The most useful sections are those which emphasise the need for careful planning and preliminary work before the author launches into the finished draft. Although the book covers familiar ground, the advice is very practical and focused. Anyone staring at a blank screen and wondering how it will turn into the latest blockbuster should get a copy! Some of the specific methods proposed will not be found useful by everyone, but the vital message about "preparation before perspiration" is clearly conveyed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laughing Gravy on 8 Oct 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Does exactly what it sets out to do. I had old drafts for a novel which were in a mess. Within the last couple of months, and using her techniques, I have got my outline in order, have a clear direction for my novel, and am now adding 1500 words a day (in my evenings as I work full time) to my first draft.

I have tried various writing manuals, but many tell you what you should be doing without telling you how. This gives you useful techniques that are completely practical.

Cannot recommend enough.
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