52 books in 52 weeks: How to Write a Novel the Easy Way

I set myself the goal of reading and reviewing 52 writing guides over the course of a year. Here is book 31.

I first bought* How to Write a Novel the Easy Way! Using the Pulp Fiction Method … to write better novels by Jim Driver & Jack Davies in December 2014. However, I’ve only recently got around to reading it … and I wish I’d read it sooner. Much sooner.

I loved this book, I really did. I found it refreshing, full of no-nonsense honest advice that tells it like it is, a book in which the author likens the old pulp fiction books to modern Kindle short novels.

One of the first thing the author tells us to do is to go and buy a couple of Kindle books that are in the top 100 paid for books. He also suggests scouting around for self-published books, as these won’t be influenced by a big publishing house publicity budget or team. He buys as many as he can afford at the time, and I will say those that I selected (and thoroughly enjoyed when I read them) were only 99p/99c.

Then he goes through his own personal analysis of each book, jotting down the things he needs to know for when he’s creating his own characters and storyline. He also reads the reviews to see what readers think of them, what they like and what they dislike.

The next thing he goes through is how to come up with your own story ideas, how he does it using his own analyses as a structure or guide, starting with the germ of an idea, chosen genre, a couple of characters. Then he says to write the opening line. He’s also a planner as he believes that helps him to write more quickly when the time comes, but he does offer several ways to do the outline.

There aren’t really any exercises as such, but the author does take you through the building of a novel step by step, in the order he does it. He warns against padding and over-writing and, when you’re done, he takes you through the editing process, formatting and publishing.

The book is written in such a cheerful way it did nothing but motivate me to just get on and do something. It’s only around 14,000 words long and took me less than half an hour to read in one sitting.  Therefore, it won’t break the bank, nor will it take an aeon to plough through.

How to Write a Novel the Easy Way! Using the Pulp Fiction Method … to write better novels is available on Kindle for FREE (in the US too) and in paperback for £4.95 ($7.95)

*I say “bought”, but I actually think it was free even back then.