If you’re dreaming about learning how to write a novel, you probably have searched your local library for more information on the subject.
Lately, on the Internet, I found the e-book “Novel in a Month” by Dan Strauss, and I purchased it right away, since it is something I dream about achieving.
Now, the question is – “Can this e-book really teach you how to write a novel?”
Four Weeks of Writing and Learning
The book is divided into four weekly units. In the first three, you learn and write every day and, in the fourth week, you learn how to edit your previously written material.
If you go ahead and purchase the book, you’ll see that the seller will actually send you a physical product; a CD with an e-book in exe-format (for Windows), and bonus books in PDF format.
If you’re a Mac user, you only have to contact customer service and, a few hours later, you have your e-book in PDF format as well.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t print out the book from my Mac, as some PC fonts were used, so I had to find somebody with a PC to help me. However, customer service was very helpful all along the way.
For each of the four weeks, you have exercises to do and, from the beginning, you are asked to write each day, for at least 4 x 15 minutes. This will help you get into the habit of writing, particularly on days when you think the muse has left you.
In the first week, you learn important things such as how to create a synopsis; how to write an outline on index cards; how to make a list of your characters, and how to visualize your book – and your chapters – in mental pictures.
The second week will take you through the creation of scenes and settings, and give you easy ways in which to create characters. Obviously, since the goal of this e-book is to teach people to write a novel in a very short period of time, you’ll also get tools that will help you to achieve this aim.
Plus you’ll learn about how to create a plot, and how to construct the best endings to each of your chapters together with the actual novel as a whole.
The third week is about dialog. You receive nice tips to doing so and, although the sales page states that this e-book will teach you everything there is to know about writing a novel in 28 days, I think that this area of writing would benefit from more expansive detail.
You will also learn how to pace the content so that the reader will retain enough interest to keep on reading.
In the fourth and final week, you’ll learn how to edit your book in the fastest and most efficient way, and how to find a publisher, etc.
You will not learn anything about self publishing, a subject which I think should have been included.
Although the sales page promises to tell the “hidden secret” to enable your novel to be written in such a short time, I don’t think it’s either a secret or hidden. All there is to it is to write at least 4 times daily for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Nevertheless, I did find this e-book to be worthwhile, whilst also providing valuable inspiration, and can recommend it should you want to learn how to write a novel within a short period of time.