How to Plan, Outline, and Write Your Novel in 30 Days is the latest guide from Amy Deardon. And I have to say … it’s possibly the best book on writing I’ve read in a very long while.
Not only is it a great writer’s guide, it’s also an excellent resource if you’re planning to enter NaNoWriMo, or even if you want to write a novel in 30 days.
What I loved about this book was the fact that there are two options, and both include “days off”.
You start with 30 days, and then you take 5 days off, leaving you with 25 days. Then, if you’ve planned your book already, you jump straight in and write over 25 days, remembering to take those all important days off in between.
So, you decide how long you want your novel to be, or how many words you want to write in your 30 days, and then you divide it by 25 days. If you want to write a 50,000-word novella (or non-fiction book), that’s a daily target of 2,000 words. If you want to write a 75,000-word novel (or non-fiction book), that’s 3,000 words per writing day.
If you haven’t planned your book yet, you spend the first 5 working days doing just that – and the book includes chapters and sections for this too. Then, you divide your target word-count by the 20 days that are left. For a 50,000-word novella (or non-fiction book), that’s 2,500 words per writing day. For a 75,000-word novel (or non-fiction book), that’s 3,750 words per day.
There are 5 sections to the book, plus an introductory first chapter. These sections cover:
- Preparing to write
- Planning your story
- Outlining your story
- Writing your story
- Wrapping up
And it works on the 3-act structure, splitting the 2nd act into 2 – Act 2 Part 1 and Act 2 Part 2.
There are a number of reasons why I like this book so much. First of all, there are absolutely NO exercises for exercise-sake. Every single step draws you nearer to finishing a novel-length piece of work. Secondly, it breaks down the process into easy-to-digest/manage steps in the order in which to do them. Thirdly, it takes into account time for planning if you haven’t already done this. And finally, it gives you 5 days off!
What more could you want? I can’t recommend this book for writers highly enough. (And for those reviewers who are saying it’s a book for plotters/planners … the clue’s in the title.)