The Worlds of R. A. Hortz
The Weekend Novelist
The Weekend Novelist
Revised & Updated Edition
A Dynamic 52-Week Program to Help to Produce a Novel... One Weekend at a Time
By Robert J. Ray and Bret Norris
Billboard Books, 2005
Reviewed by Herbert White - Posted September 19, 2012
When the Robert J. Ray's The Weekend Novelist was first published in 1994, it quickly became an essential guidebook for writers seeking guidance on how to craft and organize a novel. Now, revised and updated, and with a co-author, Bret Norris, The Weekend Novelist is back in print. This new edition will walk you through all the steps necessary to write a rough draft of a novel - one weekend at a time.
This writing program is divided into 52 flowing steps that will enable you to write a rough draft of a novel in a year, working only two days a week. Do not expect to end up with a 'ready to publish' book when you are finished with the program. Rather, what you end up with a very good draft of your novel. Most likely you will still need to go back and do some tweaking and a lot of editing, before you begin to consider submitting your novel for publication.
This is not to say that this is an 'easy' program to follow. To complete your novel in a year, only working on weekends, you will need to devote the bulk of your weekends to writing, and you'll need to be tenacious when it comes to forcing yourself to write - even when you don't feel like it. If you aren't willing to commit your weekends totally to this project, you will find that it will take you longer than a year to write your novel. However, if you are able to devote more than just weekends to it, you'll be finished with your novel in less time.
The Weekend Novelist is basically a set of lesson plans divided into easily digestible sections that provide instruction on how to craft your novel. Advice on how to structure your writing time is provided, and each section is annotated with notes that tell you how many weekends it should take you to complete each section. The text takes your from the basics of story architecture, plotting and character development through writing scenes and organizing your novel. Throughout, examples are provided from Ray and Norris' book-in-progress, Trophy Wives as well as from literary novels by such luminaries as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Charlotte Bronte.
If you ever wanted to write a novel, but didn't know where to start, The Weekend Novelist is an excellent place to begin. This book will help you to organize your writing schedule, teach you the basics of novel writing, and provide you with a plethora of practical exercises that will help you hone your craft. The only drawback to this book is that while it will enable you to write a solid rough draft of your novel, it does not take you through the final steps of turning your rough draft into a ready to submit for publication novel. It is however, a great reference book for novice novel writers.
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