From Kate's Writing Crate...
After 90 days, I can officially highly recommend The 90-Day Novel by Alan Watt. Even if you don't plan on writing a novel this quickly, it should be on your Writing Books To Be Read List.
Just by reading it, I am a better writer as the content is excellent. But I also better understand how novels work because I followed through on the majority of the exercises and directions.
I found Watt's insights invaluable. He made me think--to see and consider my options. I learned to tighten my timeline, deepen my characters' backstories, and move my story forward.
As with most projects, I started out with a lot of enthusiasm. Writing a novel has always been a goal, but it takes a great deal of work--more work than I realized.
For the record, I didn't complete my novel, but I did a lot more work on it than I would have without this book. It wasn't the author's fault that I didn't finish. I missed out on writing time during my job's monthly editing deadlines. I plan to complete my first draft soon.
If you choose to meet the 90-day deadline, my advice is to make sure you have the time to put into it. Wintertime worked for me as the weather kept me indoors with time to focus on this goal. I tried to write the same time every day which also helped. For the first 28 days, you only spend 10-30 minutes a day. After that, you need to put in whatever time it takes to meet your daily goals.
This book works best when you already have a story in mind along with a feel for your characters. Your plot may veer off your planned course; your characters may change names, physical attributes, occupations, and locations as you write, but that is what keeps you alert and interested for the long haul. And it is a long haul, but this book keeps things manageable.
Success, of course, depends on your efforts. If you put yourself into Alan Watt's professional writing sphere, you will write your novel as long as you pay attention to the suggestions he makes based on his own novel writing experience and follow his flexible directions.
Speaking of success, I saw Bill Geist on CBS Sunday Morning interview a 76-year-old author writing under the name Desiree Holt who has written over 100 racy romance novels in about four years. Quite an impressive body of work! Apparently, she writes according to "The 14-Day Novel" plan.
The reality is that if you want to write a novel, write a novel. You don't need The 90-Day Novel to achieve your goal. However, Alan Watt, author of the prize-winning novel Diamond Dogs, thoughtfully shares all he learned in this writer-friendly and inspirational book that makes the tough work of completing a novel easier. Writing is a solitary pursuit so why not enjoy the company of a supportive, successful professional cheering you on?
How are your novels coming along?