Nathan Bransford is the author of Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow (Dial, May 2011), Jacob Wonderbar for President of the Universe (Dial, April 2012) and Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp (Dial, February 2013). He was formerly a literary agent with Curtis Brown Ltd. and blogs at He lives in Brooklyn.
How To Write A Novelby Nathan Bransford
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The most important thing to know about writing a novel is this: You can do it. And if you've already written one, you can write an even better one. Author and former literary agent Nathan Bransford shares his secrets for creating killer plots, fleshing out your first ideas, crafting compelling characters, and staying sane in the process.
Read the guide that New York Times bestselling author Ransom Riggs called “The best how-to-write-a-novel book I've read.”
MORE PRAISE FOR 'HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL'
"In his 47 brilliant rules, Nathan Bransford has nailed everything I've always wanted to tell people about writing a book but never knew how. Wonderfully thought out with lots of practical examples, this is a must-read for anyone brave enough to try their hand at a novel. It's also a great review for experienced writers. Highly recommended."
- James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of THE MAZE RUNNER
"Nathan Bransford's primer is full of thoughtful, time-proven advice on how to write a novel. Nathan can sound both like a reassuring friend and a tough, no-nonsense coach. Whatever kind of novel you're writing, Nathan's insights will make you think about your process and help you find your own way to success."
- Jeff Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of DOWNFALL
"Nathan Bransford is sharp, thoughtful, and a must-read for all aspiring authors. His advice is not only funny and insightful, it's essential for writers at any stage in their careers."
- Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of SHATTER ME
"Nathan Bransford's book on how to write a novel is smart, generous and funny as hell. Read it. No matter where you are in your writing life, whether you're on your first book or are a grizzled, multi published veteran, you'll find practical advice to help you through the process -- and plenty of wisdom to inspire you along the journey."
- Lisa Brackmann, author of ROCK PAPER TIGER
"Equal parts encouraging and butt-kicking, hilarious and wise, Nathan Bransford's no-nonsense manifesto talks you through the process of getting the book of your dreams out of your head and onto the page. Whether you've been writing for five minutes or fifty years, this is the guide for you."
- Sarah McCarry, author of ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS
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If you are a decent human being and not a soul-sucking leech... Let me put this out there first: If you are one of the thousands of people who've been visiting Nathan's blog for t he last several years, getting all those free goodies and tips, then if you are a decent human being and not a soul-sucking leech, you need to pony up and buy this book. Even if the book sucked. But, it DOESN'T suck. Some of it is common sense (you're not going to make mountains of money writing books) and some is practical advice (don't chase trends), and some is kind of a shared spirit of camaraderie. Like: "After all, what is the point of writing a novel if not to settle old grudges by taking veiled swipes at people who've wronged you?" It covers everything from knowing your genre - and why this is important, to the basics (plot, character, voice). What a killer first page actually means and why many authors get it wrong. Editing and revising. Making backups, on the theory that what if you got robbed on the way back to your apartment which is on fire? Even on getting started again, if life has interfered with your novel for XX days/weeks/months, because that whole "write every day" thing works great for independently wealthy novelists who never, ever get sick or who have friends or family who want attention from time to time. If you write, some of these things you probably already do right, and some of it... We all need reminders. And easy ways to test if we're doing it right. Those things are included here. I laughed, I nodded my head, I highlighted my copy like a fiend. If you write - even if you are writing a memoir - this book can help you.
If it's not fiction, I hate reading it. But the author is clever, witty , and entertaining. I've learned a lot from this book and can't wait to finish it then read it all over again!
Nathan Bransford’s How to Write A Novel is one of the best writing books I’ve read. He lays out 47 steps for writing “a stupendously awesome novel that you will love forever”. It will be my writing bible going forward. Bransford’s writing style makes you feel like he’s your mentor imparting morsels of genius over salted caramel hot chocolate at your favorite Brooklyn coffeehouse. Right now, I’m in outlining mode. I spend the majority of my time in revision mode, so I was experiencing all the issues associated with drafting. But it felt like Bransford was there to remind me we’d been through this before and we could do it again. There is something about Bransford’s voice that makes you trust in what he says. Maybe it’s the confidential tone or the way he breaks it down. He doesn’t just tell you what to do, he tells you how to do it. His genuine love of writing shines through and his words got lodged in my brain and sunk deeper than other writing books had. Every single rule in this book will make you a better writer. I went highlighter crazy on my Kindle. So much brilliance to be absorbed and applied. This book focuses on drafting but also has a really useful section on revising. Rule #3 really resonated with me: “Find the writing style that works for you.” The big takeaway: “There isn’t one way to write a novel. There isn’t a formula...as long as you’re getting words on the page you’re doing fine.” Thanks Mr. Bransford! This is a book that needed to be written for first time writers and those of us a few books in.