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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does What It Says On the Tin
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...
Published on 8 Aug. 2012 by Miss Chinaski

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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Superficial and disappointing
I bought this book having read the other reviews on Amazon, and was massively disappointed. The book is only a hundred pages long, spends the first sixteen of those telling the reader how wonderful it is and then the remainder of the book failing to deliver on any of its promises. Most of the tips and structures are better described in other texts, Nancy Kress, James...
Published on 5 Jan. 2012 by Calypso


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does What It Says On the Tin, 8 Aug. 2012
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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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A useful book on writing, 28 Jun. 2011
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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. To be fair the source of a person's creativity is a very personal thing and I'm not trying to generate fresh ideas on a daily basis. However, Roz explains the exercise in such a way that I can adapt the concept to my needs. Roz acknowledges everyone is different and presents her material and concepts as a toolbox for people to use as they see fit.

The section on creating a second draft was a revelation. It may be a common tool that Roz uses but it's the first time it's cropped up in my research. Roz presents rewriting as her preferred method, which suits me down to the ground as I'm a conceptual thinker and I often take a top down iterative approach to problems. I had already decided that was my preferred method after reading the blogs of Andre Jute. An author I've corresponded with on a personal level and respect as a serious intellect. I was happily blasting away at my novel but at the same I was very aware that it had issues. I put these to the back of my mind and carried on. But as I got deeper into the novel I realised the issues were stacking up. The individual problems weren't a worry but managing the inherent complexity of their interaction seemed a little daunting. Reading Nail Your Novel solved all my problems in a few pages with the introduction of the beat sheet. I would've paid the cover price for those few pages alone.

This book methods won't suit everyone but it's a great help if you're a rewriter. This book is brimming with useful practical advice. There isn't any padding to try and justify an extortionate cover price. It's not a lecture by the headmaster; it's one on one tutoring with your favourite teacher. This little book is an invaluable read if you're a new or inexperienced writer.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Process-driven but much more, 26 April 2011
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and practical, 31 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and excellent advice from experienced writer, 8 Oct. 2014
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward and easy to follow. I loved it!, 2 Oct. 2014
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nail Your Novel review, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Writing Your Novel From A-Z, 17 Sept. 2013
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Wendy Jones "wjones7423" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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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. It takes you through every aspect of novel writing from coming up with the first idea to publishing. Each step is carefully explained in a way which is helpful without being patronising. There are tips and tricks throughout the book and a number of exercises and games which will help you develop as a writer. These include some which can be used to overcome writers block. Planning is covered as is writing the first draft. This then leads seamlessly to writing the second draft and editing. I particularly liked the section on the beat sheet which can help you to ensure everything in the novel is in the right place.

Although this book would be most useful for those starting their first novel it does not leave out authors whoa re further into the writing process. There are a number of sections on adapting the ideas for developing and polishing your book. Roz Morris herself is an experienced writer and she has used these techniques extensively. This means that they are tried, tested and proven. I would highly recommend this book to all those who want to write or develop a novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful book, 9 Sept. 2013
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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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not another book on writing?, 6 Sept. 2011
I have several books on my shelf on how to write, how to be more creative, etc. But as I follow Roz on twitter and her blog has lovely tips, I thought I'd get the book to support her. I usually carry a book on me wherever I go but I did not have one on this occasion and decided to see what I had on the kindle app on my phone. Nail Your Novel. why not? I was 30,000wds into the novel and slightly stuck and trying to decide the direction.

The tips and hints Roz gives are practical and wonderful. I decided to use the notes on cards tip. Just a couple of words on a card - my character's direction and what she does along the way. How she reacts to things. I even colour coded my cards according to main character, secondary character and importance of the event for the plot. It worked wonders and got me going. Roz's lovely sense of humour also shines through making it an enjoyable read.

So whenever I feel I am lagging or can't move on or just want some encouragement, I go straight to Nail Your Novel and it works wonders.
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