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I was very interested to listen to Scott King’s The Five Day Novel because I was preparing myself for another year of National Novel Writing Month (where you write a 50K first draft in the 30 days of November). I thought this might help my preparation and inspire. It most certainly did that!
If you’ve been writing a while, even as a hobbyist, you’ve already noticed that most craft books say the same things. King doesn’t say anything truly radical or groundbreaking here, but that’s not what he’s trying to do. He’s writing about practical things that you can do to develop your craft.
A few words of caution: I didn’t realize at first that he really did mean to write a complete novel in 5 days. I thought this was about a 5-day first draft. King goes through ALL the steps. He warns the reader that it is difficult, insane even, to try this, and he indicates that while he is proud of himself, he probably won’t use this short of a time frame ever again.
As a writer myself, I already know how to make a first draft and write it quickly. The part that I gained from this book is that King presents a complete picture of the whole novel process from the creation of the story, to writing and revising it, and finally publishing it. So far I have not personally succeeded with revisions and making something ready for public consumption, but after going through this book and understanding the process more, I now think it’s something I could do. I am sure I will read those parts of the book again as inspiration when I am revising my many first drafts.
I listened to this as an audiobook, and I have no complaints about the performance from Eric Michael Summerer. Because this was a nonfiction title, the narrator had to present the material but get out of the way of it, and Summerer did that. His voice is pleasant enough, though, that I think I would also enjoy listening to him narrate fiction.
Full disclosure: I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Thanks Scott. This was a really more than I expected. I was expecting more emphasis on some technical aspects of outlining and setup but I was pleasantly surprised that you took me through the 5 days in real time. Your notes on polishing the novel are really insightful. I will come back to it I'm sure.
I bought the Audible version and the narration was good. Thanks.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful