FAQ: I’m a new writer: which book should I read first?

nyns black bkgnd compAh, swings and roundabouts. Knowing the characters will help you create the novel more authentically. But will the advice in the characters book make sense if you’ve never tried writing before, or if theory and craft is new to you?

Personally, I get paralysed by too much theory. So I designed the books for people who like to learn as they go.

Here’s the Nail Your Novel programme.

1 Use Nail Your Novel 1 as your chief guide. Follow its instructions, and when you’re ready to draw up characters, read the design section of the characters book (chapter 9). There are games, questionnaires and exercises to get you creating great people for your story.

2 When you start writing and are about to introduce the characters, read chapter 10 of the characters book (novice mistakes). If you have teenage characters and villains, read those entries too.

3 Continue to follow Nail Your Novel 1. When you need to know about a point of writing craft, you’ll find a basic explanation in a Thumbnail Note. These are brief, so you can either grasp the idea and carry on, or explore further in a craft book. If they’re about characters, you’ll find them in the characters book index – so you learn on a need-to-know basis.

4 The rest of the characters book is designed as tutorials to refine your craft. It will help you self-edit after you’ve made a beat sheet (pre-revision exercise in Nail Your Novel 1), and solve problems spotted by readers, critique partners and editors. You could read it in one go to raise your awareness and insight, or dip in when you need to tackle specific problems.

Where to buy Nail Your Novel


More Nail Your Novel books are in the works. If there’s a topic you’d like me to tackle, email me
RozMorrisWriter (at) gmail (dotcom)

Want to hear when the next book is out?


  1. #1 by Greg on August 24, 2013 - 5:28 pm

    While you’re at it get a paint by numbers set too!

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