Saturday, March 7, 2015

HOW TO WRITE A BOOK: even if you never have

About The Book
Title: How to Write A Book (even if you never have)
Author : Bridget McNulty
Genre: How To / Non-Fiction

How to Write a Book (even if you never have) is the 
Now Novel co-founder Bridget McNulty – a culmination of all the 
advice and tips she's been sharing with the Now Novel writing 
community over the last year. 
It’s a fantastically helpful resource for anyone wanting to write their first book, a guide for all those 
who love writing and want to tackle the Mount Everest of writing projects (a novel) and a reference for writers at any stage of their careers who need reminding of the building blocks of novel-
writing: ideas, mood, theme, plot, setting and characters. It’s also, quite simply, a great read.

Find out more about the Now Novel online novel-writing process at

Many people want to write a novel, but they face a variety of obstacles in getting started. Some people want to write but feel that they lack ideas. Others have too many ideas or wonder how they can assess which ideas are the best ones to pursue. Still others may think they have ideas, but when they sit down to begin planning the novel, they find that the ideas are not substantial enough.
Whether you have too few ideas or too many, this chapter can help you. Not all writers walk around brimming with ideas all the time. Even seasoned professionals struggle with blocks and an inability to find something new to write about. However, there are a number of tips and techniques for generating and developing great novel-length ideas, and in this chapter, we discuss some of them.

This chapter will also cover starting your book. This is an exciting time for many writers, and the sheer excitement of starting a new novel can often provide the momentum needed to get past the first few pages or chapters. However, this is not necessarily true for every writer. Even with a great idea, some writers may find themselves facing a blank page and struggling to get started.Struggling to start can be overcome as well. In this chapter, we will set you on your way with tips for generating and evaluating ideas as well as suggesting some approaches for beginning your book.

Find out more about the Now Novel online novel-writing process at

Bridget McNulty has gathered excellent content from from her site Now Novel
and created  a detailed system to enlighten and encourage anyone who desires to share a story in written form.  This book is so complete it could be used as a syllabus for a college level course - 
including examples and exercises that will give a writer confidence.

She begins by telling us what we can accomplish, then shares an overview of how we will accomplish it IF  we are willing to commit to the necessary effort.  Bridget also suggests various ways to use the book.
I looked through the bok quickly, then I read it completely from start to finish and filled a notebook with notes. With all this excellent information I now have no excuse not to become a finished author myself.  Bridget even address 4 major areas of concern and challenge:  Time, energy, Finances and space or privacy.  If I continue to let FEAR kep me from moving forward, I now knkow I can encouragement and a supportive community on Bridget's blog.

Some things I learned from this book are related to elements of the story - theme, setting, mood, backstory, inciting incident, character development, conflict and more. Each is discussed in detail.
Examples are used from both classic literature and popular books so everyone can clearly understand the points and lessons. 
The writing process itself is discussed (plotter vs pantser) and how to figure out the process that works for you. There is no wrong way as long as you make progress.

One of my favorite sections of this book discusses the First draft.  After reading this discussion, much of the fear disappears. Anne LaMott, author of Bird by Bird, (I found the pdf online) stated that if we find someone who writes great first drafts, without need for revisions, we probably would not like that person much anyway. 
Bridget is not hesitant to share other resources which have previously done an excellent job of exploring and explaining elements of the writing process.
She cites Joseph Campbell and Christopher Booker and others.
They have done a wonderful job and provide excellent information for writers at any stage.
If you do not have the time, energy or availability to read all of the resources, Bridget gives a summary here to emphasize  the lesson.
There is more to being an author than writing the first draft. What happens next?
There is writing adn rewriting and being brave enough to show your work to others.

Bridget helps with those and more. Topics include different formats and ways to publish,
the benefits of e-books  and information on marketing and BLOG TOURS
(one of my favorite tools.)
It can be daunting or exciting. Much depends upon the support an author receives.

Bridget assures us that once we have completed the writing we will have something to be proud of and the confidence we need to take the necessary next steps.
As I have mentioned several times before (and I am NOT being paid or persuaded to add this)
if I feel I need more support I can find it at Now Novel.
I did receive a free copy of this book so I could read it and write my honest review.
Hopefully in another year or so I will be doing the same with my own book.

Bridget McNulty is a writer and editor with a passion for helping

people write novels (even if they never have). She studied Creative

Writing at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and

went on to publish her first novel, Strange Nervous Laughter, in

South Africa with Struik Publishers and in the USA with St Martin’s

Press. Since then, she has co-founded an online novel-writing

process,, that helps aspiring writers start – and finish!

- their books, and founded a diabetes lifestyle magazine, Sweet Life,

that focuses on the positive side of the condition. She lives in Cape

Town, South Africa, with her husband and son, and spends her days

reading, writing and drinking tea.




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