The Nighttime Novelist: Finish Your Novel in Your Spare Time
Writers Digest, 2010 (2010)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
n his Introduction to his accessible, spiral-bound
The Nighttime Novelist
, Dr. Joseph Bates (an author of both fiction and non-fiction, who teaches in the creative writing program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio) comments on the fact that '
there are only a handful of writers working who make their living solely by their fiction
' and that '
These Nighttime Novelists publish the majority of the books on the shelves.
' Think big name authors like Toni Morrison, Agatha Christie, and Charles Dickens.
e offers his book to help others join their ranks, by making the most of that time they are able to devote to writing. The volume is in three parts -
Developing Initial Ideas
Opening Scene & First-Act Structure
Crafting & Maintaining Suspense
Pivotal Scenes: Plotting & Pacing
The Art of Closing Well
Revision: Discovering What You Meant
). At the end of each part of the book is a
review of progress to date and suggestions on how to plan what's next.
ates' tells us that '
Writing a novel begins not in a moment of work but a moment of play
'. His topics include how to get started; brainstorming; establishing a
; finding your voice; building a world; learning to
the reader; maintaining suspense, organic story growth; and finding your theme, '
the ultimate unifying force in a novel.
' Along the way, he regularly quotes published writers, as in Ray Bradbury's '
Find out what your hero wants. Then just follow him
' and Elmore Leonard's '
I try to leave out the parts that people skip
') and illustrates his points with examples from published works like
Lord of the Rings
Silence of the Lambs
his very practical
book ends with sage tips on workspace and working habits, and twenty-seven worksheets that are referenced in the earlier chapters and can help develop ideas. If you are, or ever hope to be a
, then this volume would make a valuable addition to your writing bookshelf.
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.
Find more NonFiction books on our
or in our book