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The Tidy Guide to Writing a Novel*

Might Help a Real Beginner Get Started

This is a super short guide about how to write a novel. There are only four chapters. The second chapter gives tips for planning, whether you are a plotter or pantser (or somewhere in between, like most of us are); she does this in very broad strokes. In the third chapter, she goes over more precisely what she calls Little Ups as well as more specific information about the novel writing process. Little Ups, I think, is an odd phrase; they’re meant to motivate people to write in short stages, which could give a sense of accomplishment as you fulfill each milestone.

The book does give a thumbnail sketch of one writing process, which may or may not work for every writer. While there are some good tips and hints, it doesn’t feel like there is much substance to the book. You won’t really learn how to write a novel by reading this book, although you may be encouraged to do so. There is nothing really new here hasn’t been talked about in more detail in other books, magazines, and writers’ forums. But if you’re relatively new to writing (or are considering writing a novel), you might find this book is one that can help with your new author mindset and get to you heading in the right direction.

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