Customer Reviews for

First Draft in 30 Days

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
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  • Posted September 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    an excellent how-to for writing a novel outline

    I wish I had this book when I was writing my first novel. Although I was organized and had some sort of outline, the advice and worksheets of this book would have come in handy. A manuscript is a long document and unless you're very well organized, keeping a tab of all your characters, settings and plot threads can get tedious. Have you ever flipped through your first draft just to confirm that the secondary character you introduced in chapter three still has that limp when he reappears in chapter six? First Draft in 30 Days shows a writer how to create a flexible and customizable outline that is detailed and complete. The author states in her introduction that her book "teaches you how to become a systematic, self-disciplined, productive author-no matter your genre or level of experience." Now that's a heavy promise. Does she deliver? Yes. When I began reading it, I was excited and inspired to write my second book. I could relate to almost everything she was saying and I was able to recognize what I needed to work on as a writer. You can follow the 30-day method meticulously or simply use it as a reference to improve your own style and technique. It is especially useful if you are writing mystery and suspense novels as you need to keep track of all your characters' motives and alibis-the crime timeline, as Wiesner refers to it. I love the book's layout. It's easy to read and it includes dozens of worksheets to fill out as well as sample worksheets that dissect the character, setting or plot of best-selling novels. In addition, there are goal sheets to get your writing career going and a glossary and index. If you're seriously thinking of writing a novel, but are having trouble putting it all together or you've written a first draft but it needs revision and some major work regarding plot or character development, this book will definitely help you. I have used it as a basis for my How to Write a Book workshops. The practical tools this book provides will help identify your weaknesses and strengths as a writer. It is an excellent reference and useful workbook for writers who want to improve their craft.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Sounds like NaNoWriMo

    Note: I have not read this book yet. Though from the little blurb it sounds like a more organized version of No Plot! No Problem! by Chris Baty, which is a handbook to National Novel Writing Month, which was published in 2004 and the Nation Novel Writing Month was introduced in 1999 which is held in November has a 50,000 word deadline on November 30th (yes technically 50,000 is a novella but makes for a good first draft). I'll be picking up this book just to compare to Baty's more than anything else. I suggest picking up Baty's, I've got a finished first draft thanks to it.

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2006

    BRINGING ORDER TO THE PROCESS

    First Draft in 30 Days, by Karen Wiesner, presents an orderly approach to the potentially messy process of creating a novel. Whether or not you ever actually write an entire first draft within thirty days, Wiesner¿s format provides a track to run on, to help get organized. It¿s an opportunity to satisfy the left brain¿s need for structure and organization, so the right brain can romp and play. No doubt, some readers will cringe at the 30-day approach. As novelists, we often lack deadlines, self-imposed or not. This is a potential pitfall, as the time absorbed in the completion of any task tends to expand to the time available. Some writers may worry that the resulting formatted outline may not really qualify as a first draft. Rather than be turned off by the whole concept of outlining and organization, use the portions that work for you and ignore the rest. And if you¿re like me, you occasionally end up with a manuscript that ¿needs something.¿ Wiesner outlines a process for using First Draft in 30 Days to troubleshoot a manuscript and get back on track. This by itself is worth the price of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2006

    Finally, A Way To Whip My Muse Into Submission!

    For any fledgling writer, aspiring author, or published pantser who seeks a common sense approach to completing a cohesive story...THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU. I never thought I would be able to outline my book. Never. Absolutely wasn't going to happen. An idea that I've been tossing around, not quite sure what to do with it, is FINALLY coming together THANKS TO THIS BOOK. I intend to write every book, from here on out, using this method. It has also sparked ideas for future novels. And, I don't have to abandon my WIP to focus on them. The book tells you how to purge those ideas to paper and get back to the task at hand. This had been the most helpful book I've ever read on how to finish a Manuscript. Did I say I loved this book? I love this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 18, 2009

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    Posted December 27, 2009

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    Posted January 3, 2009

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    Posted April 30, 2010

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