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Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence [Paperback]

Roz Morris
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
RRP: £6.82
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Book Description

30 Jun 2011
By bestselling ghostwriter and book doctor with a top London literary consultancy

This book is used by award-winning authors and university creative writing departments.

'A how-to-write book that actually DOES tell you how'

'There are shedloads of books on how to write novels, and a lot of them are longer and considerably less useful'

'I wish I'd had this book a long time ago'

'The author has a proven track record as a writer of fiction, as opposed to writers of "how to write" books'


Are you writing a novel? Do you want to make sure you finish? Will you get lost and fizzle out? Will you spend more time reading about how to write than actually getting the words down?

Most books on novel-writing will make you read hundreds of pages about character arcs, inciting incidents, heroes’ journeys. It’s great to know that – but while you’re reading about it you’re not writing your book.

And what these books don’t tell you is how to use this learning and get the job done.

Nail Your Novel is a writing buddy – and mentor - in a book.

In 10 easy steps it will tell you:
*how to shape your big idea and make a novel out of it
*how to do your research and how to use it
*how to organise your time
*how to plot and build characters
*when you’re going to hit problems and what to do about them
*how to write on the days you don’t feel inspired
*how to reread what you’ve written and polish it.

Along the way, Thumbnail Notes give tutorials about storytelling and storycraft – strictly when you need them. The author has written nearly a dozen novels that have made it into print – and this is how she did it.

You don’t even need to read the whole book before you get started. You read a section, then do as it says. And, once you’re finally satisfied, Nail Your Novel will tell you how to sell it to publishers and agents.

A FULL index means you can find what you want, when you want it.

You’ve dreamed of writing a novel. Don’t procrastinate with another theory book. Don’t launch in, get stuck and throw your hard work in a drawer. Nail your novel.


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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 (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A useful book on writing 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Process-driven but much more 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It's straightforward and easy to follow. Morris' idea's make complete and utter sense and I can't wait to get started implementing them, especially the cards one.

You can use this book whether you are just starting a novel, thinking about a novel or wanting to redraft your novel. You'll wonder why you didn't read it sooner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nail Your Novel review 16 May 2014
By meg
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Unlike most items on novel writing, this book goes into great detail of how to plan the structure of your novel. It gives practical ideas to use to avoid writing yourself into a corner. Parts of the book need reading a couple of times to understand exactly how to adapt the ideas for use. But a very down-to-earth practical guide to novel writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful book 9 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ros's book is easy to read and packed with tips and advice to help authors finish their manuscripts. A good buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and practical 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does What It Says On the Tin 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it! You won't regret it.
Entirely readable and helpful book which has helped me edit a book I was on the verge of abandoning. Thank You! I totally recommend this.
Published 2 months ago by Wendy
5.0 out of 5 stars What strikes me about this writers' guide is that it ...
What strikes me about this writers' guide is that it is very practical. There are plentiful "real-world" ideas to get your creative juices flowing, to create structure and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Andy Emery
5.0 out of 5 stars very useful
I found this book extremely helpful. Unlike so many writers of these kinds of books she can talk from real experience
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding advice on the fiction writing process
What many writing books do is discuss the craft of writing or specific aspects of it – all helpful stuff – but it's hard to know how to approach the actual task of writing a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Alistair Birch
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely recommended
Like so many writers, I’ve read a lot of books on writing and have been disappointed by many of them, as they’re often long on faffle and short on actual useful information. Read more
Published 7 months ago by SWFbr
5.0 out of 5 stars No nonsense, fast read
If you're stuck in a rut and not getting anywhere on that first manuscript this book offers great advice that shows you were you're probably going wrong. Read more
Published 9 months ago by BritReader
5.0 out of 5 stars All You Need To Know
One of the best books on writing I've read. A proper project plan for writing a novel from scratch, or finishing an abandoned one languishing in a file somewhere! Read more
Published 12 months ago by Maria Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of useful tips (even for published authors)
I may be a little biased, as I met Roz at a Books Are My Bag event this year, liked her and got my own signed copy. But I must say I really was impressed with Nail Your Novel. Read more
Published 12 months ago by gingerdoodles
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing Your Novel From A-Z
This is the second book I have bought in the Nail Your Novel series and I am glad to say that this book was a useful as the first. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Wendy Jones
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