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From First Draft to Finished Novel: A Writer's Guide to Cohesive Story Building
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From First Draft to Finished Novel: A Writer's Guide to Cohesive Story Building

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  107 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Karen Wiesner focuses on how to turn an idea, outline, or early draft into a rich, textured story by layering different elements to create a cohesive, seamless novel.
Paperback, 263 pages
Published September 19th 2008 by Writer's Digest Books (first published September 2008)
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I originally purchased this book first, and almost immediately ordered the one before it (First Draft in 30 Days), before I read either one - I'm glad I did. (They've been sitting on my shelf gathering dust for over a year and a half - if not two - now...shh ;)

My first impressions of First Draft in 30 Days were more positive than my first impressions of From First Draft to Finished Novel. I found this book more...clunkier; it didn't flow as well (though I thought the metaphor concerning house bu
Rebecca Rivera
Oct 28, 2015 Rebecca Rivera rated it it was ok
I was thrown off by the detail in this book. I think of myself as a detail loving person, but I got so wrapped up in the detail of planning a story according to this book that I forgot about creating the story. I will say if you feel lost among all the notes you have on a book you're writing, this book will give you a good idea how to organize them. That's what I ended up doing, and after I was organized I realized that I didn't need half the notes I had created. So that's how this book helped m ...more
May 29, 2010 Michael rated it liked it
A good read for beginning or aspiring novelists. Wiesner's book provides you with the tools, exercises, and story checklists to write a cohesive story. I like the way she likens this process to building a house: just as architects and builders go through a lot of planning before laying the first stone, the most effective writers do intricate planning in order to create a multi-layered cohesive story.

Readers Roundtable
Jul 12, 2011 Readers Roundtable rated it liked it
3.5 Gold Crowns. Overall From First Draft to Finished Novel by Karen Wiesner is a very helpful tool for a writer to have on their bookshelf or their e-reader. To view this review in its entirety, please visit
Aug 21, 2012 Greg rated it did not like it
I expected info more info on the later stages; since, it appears to be a series and another book seemed to handle the early stages of the writing process. Maybe I wouldn't grade it, so harshly if it dealt more with what I expected.
Mark Victor Young
Mar 25, 2010 Mark Victor Young rated it it was ok
Couldn't get through even half of this book, but I printed some of the forms and checklists from the website, which I'm hoping will come in handy for my next novel.
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Caroline Gerardo
Good for romance writing - not my genre.
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Creating realistic, unforgettable characters one story at a time…

Karen Wiesner is an accomplished author with 118 titles published in the past 19 years, which have been nominated/won 134 awards, and has 39 more releases contracted for spanning many genres and formats. For more information about Karen’s fiction and series, consult her official companion guide, The World of Author Karen Wiesner: A C
More about Karen Wiesner...

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