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The Weekend Novelist: A Dynamic 52-week Programme to Help You Produce a Finished Novel .........One Weekend at a Time Paperback – 22 Jan 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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  • The Weekend Novelist: A Dynamic 52-week Programme to Help You Produce a Finished Novel .........One Weekend at a Time
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  • Plot and Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot that Grips Readers from Start to Finish (Write Great Fiction)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd (22 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713671432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713671438
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 376,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'With full advice on technique, it sets out an action programme for each weekend which, by the end of the year, takes you to your completed first draft.'
-- Writing Magazine (September 2007)

About the Author

Robert J. Ray is the author of eight novels, including the acclaimed Matt Murdock Mystery series, and has also written several practical writing guides. Bret Norris is an experienced writer and successful literary agent.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ray in this book manages to hit all the bases as far as writing a novel is concerned (i.e. plot, characters, etc.) but even more importantly, he provides something of which the novice is in desperate need, but which I have not found in any other book on writing: a concrete, explicit, comprehensive, and yet flexible writing plan by which any and every beginning writer can overcome the first major hurdle, and actually finish a novel.
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Format: Paperback
Bob Ray is a master at teaching the "how to's" of writing. He offers great suggestiions on how to get started, which are useful if your trying to write a novel for the first time or for the tenth time. He also offers tips on how to keep going when the going gets really tough. And his advice will carry you thorugh to a finished manuscript. And, perhaps most importantly, he shows how everyone can find the time and dicipline to write that book they've alway wanted to write. This is the book I give to my friends when they ask me for advice about the "how to's" of writing. As proof that his techniques work, I suggest reading his Murdock novels.
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Format: Paperback
The first edition of the Weekend Novelist was excellent. After my copy had fallen to pieces, having been read many times by me and passed around my writing friends, I was really excited to see the new edition. Well, it's still good, but there's a lot more academic theory and jargon chucked in, and it feels less accessible than the original. I didn't like a lot of the books used as examples - heck, I'd not heard of many of them, although they've all apparently won major US prizes. At the end it just stops - I wondered if I'd missed the last 10 pages. It's still better than most other books about writing, but not a patch on the original.
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By A Customer on 16 July 1998
Format: Paperback
Using TWN each weekend is adding a three dimensional value to my story. I didn't think such a simple formula would be this beneficial. I'm the charactor in my story but I forgot that the reader doesn't already know me.TWN keeps me realizing that I need to be developed as a character for the reader. I am delighted with how it is bringing my story to life. Please try it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thanks to both of the earlier reviewers for explaining the differences between the old and new editions. ( This review applies to the yellow-cover paperback edition published by Dell in 1994, which uses Anne Tyler's "The Accidental Tourist" to illustrate the learning points. )

I had already studied "W-e-N Writes a Mystery", and though the guidance in it is brilliant, for me, there were too many examples and quotes from other books, plus the "write-along" mystery which they use to illustrate the learning points. This just made it harder to go back and pick out the key points, so I was very glad to be able to avoid the newer edition of W-e-N, as it sounds like it has as many examples.

This '94 edition is excellent. No other writing how-to book so clearly explains a start-to-finish method to help you to develop character motivation, and construct all the key scenes and story components in the three-act structure. I read the book all the way through first, and am now going back to work my own novel through the whole process.

He explains how story momentum can be developed from exploring back story about the main character's childhood trauma then using this to help generate the adult-character's 'wants' and motivations. He also shows how the key scenes are linked and encourages you to step back and create a list of scene-links at key points, to check on the overall pattern of your story.

Even if you haven't read/seen "The Accidental Tourist" he quotes scenes from it, explains the characters and their motivations, and uses it to illustrate many learning points.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a review for the 1994 edition, because I understand the later versions are slightly different.

Of all the books about writing I've ever read, this is the most practical and the most likely to lead you to finish writing a novel. It's also fantastic for honing those drafts into something that a publisher might actually want to see.

Now, I'm not a published author. Not yet (hope, hope). However, I have got a publisher who wants to read my draft, and it's this book that's providing me with exercises and guidance for whipping my draft into shape before I turn it loose for the professional.

It begins with some exercises about character. It takes you through various exercises for tackling important scenes. It teaches about story arcs, and best of all, it gets you to find symbols and phrases to deepen your key scenes so that your writing becomes memorable.

I love it so much I've just bought a second copy because my first one fell apart.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is perhaps the most helpful and motivating book I have read on how to get the first draft of a novel out of the unconscious and onto the page. Specifically aimed at those with little time to write, this book will help to ensure that not a moment of writing time is wasted. And, unlike so many 'how to' books on writing, this one is intelligently written.
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