James Thayer’s: The Complete Guide to Writing a Novel

Book Review: The Complete Guide to Writing a Novel by James Thayer, The Writing Life, Carolyn M. Bowen
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The Complete Guide to Writing a Novel

by James Thayer

Quote of the Day: If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write. Stephen King

The Essential Guide to Writing a Novel: A Complete and Concise Manual for Fiction WritersThe Essential Guide to Writing a Novel: A Complete and Concise Manual for Fiction Writers by James Stewart Thayer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

James Thayer doesn’t mince words when describing the personal habits and characteristics of writers who want to succeed. Focus and concentration, persistence in staying the course, a willingness to learn, and perhaps some luck are helpful.

The Essential Guide shows you the proven techniques of writers such as John Grisham, Tom Wolf, Jeffery Deaver, and Patricia Cornwell to name a few. These insights provide clues for creating a successful novel.

My quick take is to do what has been shown to work time and time again and you’ll be successful. However, there’s room for outliers, the incredibly talented writers whose genius places them on a literary throne of their own. Thayer talks about the rules of writing and the breaking of the rules by some authors and what that means.

Creating a timeline for your manuscript
Thayer provided proven steps for creating a timeline for completing your manuscript. He was forthcoming with examples from well-known authors. I especially liked Stephen King’s formula for having a first draft ready within a season.

I highlighted throughout the book and will place a paperback order to add to my bookshelves to keep handy. I just touched on a few of the techniques discussed. Read – then reread it to get the most out of this writer’s guide.

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