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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

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  10 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
Didn't read this one at all. Poked through the first book by this author, First Draft in 30 Days and didn't read it. The minutia of organization doesn't fit my style or way of thinking.

I briefly flipped through this book too (both I checked out from the library) and decided this author may not be for me. Just flipping through it, it seemed heavy on the material, dense text...and since I've read so many how-to write books, I couldn't bring myself to submerse at this level.

Might be a good book for
Apr 24, 2015 Holli rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: dnf
I couldn't finish this book and grew severely tired of the near constant comparison of building a house and writing a book in what I did read. Occasional references to it is fine. Beating us over the head with it is annoying. I'm sorry, but I'll just stick with First Draft in 30 Days, the companion book of this one.
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
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
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
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.
Excellent book, especially for someone who learned to write ... but not how to write fiction.
The most useful part of the book is the Story Plan Checklist.
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 106 books published in the past 16 years, which have been nominated for and/or won 128 awards, and has 40 more titles under contract. Karen’s books cover such genres as women’s fiction, romance, mystery/police procedural/cozy, suspense, paranormal, futuristic, gothic, inspirational, thrill
More about Karen Wiesner...
First Draft in 30 Days: A Novel Writer's System for Building a Complete and Cohesive Manuscript Writing the Fiction Series: The Complete Guide for Novels and Novellas Shards of Ashley (Family Heirlooms Series, #5) Woodcutter's Grim Series, Volume I: Classic Tales of Horror Retold (Woodcutter's Grim Series, #1-3 & The Amethyst Tower: The Final Chapter) First Love (Angelfire Trilogy, #2)

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