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The Nighttime Novelist: Finish Your Novel in Your Spare Time

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  125 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Make Every Creative Moment Count Franz Kafka was an insurance agent. William Faulkner was a postmaster. Stephen King taught high school English, John Grisham was an attorney, and Toni Morrison worked in publishing. Though romantic fantasies of the writing life don't often include a day job, the fact is that most writers have one.

If you find yourself among them, stealing mo
...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published August 27th 2010 by Writers Digest Books (first published August 3rd 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Laura
Nov 29, 2010 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many writers have full-time jobs, take care of a household and children, and usually write in their spare time—such as early in the morning or late at night. I have done both. When I had the chance to review The Nighttime Novelist, I was curious if it would be different from the slew of writing resource books I've read in the past two years since I've published my first book.

The first thing I noticed was the gorgeous layout. This book has a spiral-bound binder format and contains colourful pages
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John Rea-Hedrick
The Nighttime Novelist is attractive to look at and is filled with lots of useful information for the aspiring novelist. Beneath its hardback cover I was surprised to discover its pages are actually spiral-bound. The information inside is organized in a tabbed format. Each page is filled with colorful text, decorative sidebars, and comment-style supplemental footnotes. In essence, the book is really designed very much like a scrapbook.

And that's the problem.

No one actually "reads" a scrapbook. P
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Serena
Nov 30, 2010 Serena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Nighttime Novelist by Joseph Bates is an excellent resource for aspiring novelists, especially those that have full time jobs and are writing in their spare time. Housed in a hard bound, spiral notebook format, the book makes it easy to find the best advice for the crisis of the moment for beginnings, middles, or ends of novels with its outlined table of contents. Most writers are fond of taking notes or using sticky papers to highlight gems of information . . . what’s even better is that we ...more
Margery Bayne
I felt the title of this book was misleading. I thought it would contain information and tips on, as the subtitle says 'finish your novel in your spare time.' However, that seems like that might just be a gimmick to sell this book, because all it really is, is a guide explaining the structure of a novel. Can that be helpful? Definitely yes. But that's not what it was selling with it's title and blurb.
Lisa J
Sep 10, 2011 Lisa J rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-toss, writing
The usual "three-act stories, and here's how you do it." Nothing spectacular. Worksheets are mediocre. Save your money and buy a Book in A Month.
Michelle McBeth
Apr 13, 2015 Michelle McBeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Although this book does not really help me in any way specifically to write my novel in my spare time, I am giving it five stars because of its usability and its comprehensiveness. This is the best book on writing fiction I have read in a very long time. Here is what makes this a superb book:

1) User friendly information and easy to read layout. Bates gives examples that are modern and understandable rather than relying on difficult to follow passages from classic fiction as many writers of these
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Rob Secundus
Jan 17, 2016 Rob Secundus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't write a lot of reviews, but I really feel the need to attach one to my rating here, because it's misleading.

I was absolutely disappointed with this book. Because it's not for nighttime novelists, and it has almost zero advice for finishing your novel in your spare time.

I expected this book to address all the problems the people named in the title might have. Figuring out how to manage your time. How to write in short bursts when you never have enough time to get into a zone. How to con
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Duckpondwithoutducks
I don't know why I keep reading books about writing, when I hardly spend any time on my novel, and when one knows that the best way to learn about writing is to read, read, read and write, write, write. But there you go. This book had a lot of good information about writing, including: rounding out flat characters, shaping a novel into a three-act structure, excising poor plot points, making the right choice of pov, a checklist of cliched or ineffective openings, and much much more! At the end i ...more
Jennifer
Aug 13, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very, very helpful! This book is great to read at no matter what stage you are in writing a story, whether you're still thinking/planning, already in progress, or nearly finished. Joseph Bates guides you through the process of writing a good story, and points out common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

I'm glad that I purchased this book, because I'm going to refer to it often!
Susan McGrath
Aug 04, 2015 Susan McGrath rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book might be misnamed, as it would be useful for anyone in the process of writing a novel, not just those trying to fit it in around a full-time job.

This book lays out the process of writing a novel, from starting with an idea nugget through revisions. Included are 27 worksheets to help you think through the process.
Ivy
Apr 24, 2011 Ivy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aspiring writers.
A wonderfully written, well thought out guide to crafting all three acts of your novel--and then some. Touches on the importance of plot, character motivations, and revision. Also comes complete with tips and writing exercises that promotes growth as a writer. I will be rereading this soon.
Alexis
Useful, but not amazing. I got it for $4 in the sale bin at Chapters. There were a few useful tips, but my life was not changed. It's worth about $4.
Andrew
Feb 13, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully designed book with helpful suggestions.
Kara

Excellent technical advice on the mechanics of a book from beginning to end. Really gets into the nitty-gritty with plenty of good examples.
Anne
Jul 19, 2013 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing-craft
A good book for beginners, especially the worksheets at the end of the book to help develop your first novel.
Citygirlchic
Hoping to get some great ideas and suggestions from this book!
Megan
Aug 14, 2013 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing-guides
This book had the basics of writing and really had nothing to do with finishing a novel in one's spare time. But I still enjoyed it! I think it's good to go over the basics every now and then.
V.A. Hezaran
May 12, 2013 V.A. Hezaran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
some good tips, but focuses more on movie structure than book
Julie
Mar 23, 2011 Julie is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Good ideas so far.
Jim
Sep 07, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply one of the best books about writing out there. Clear, concise and well organized.
Tricia Defalco
May 21, 2013 Tricia Defalco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great advice and tips that I am anxious to try.
June
Skimmed- this book seems very thorough in covering plot, characterization, dialogue, point of view, and more. This is interestsing both for writers and readers.
Andrew Bergman
Andrew Bergman rated it it was amazing
May 21, 2014
Candice
Candice rated it really liked it
Apr 28, 2013
Dee
Dee rated it liked it
Mar 27, 2011
Kelsey
Kelsey rated it it was amazing
Oct 02, 2013
Sabrina Monet
Sabrina Monet rated it it was amazing
Nov 15, 2013
Cathy D
Cathy D rated it did not like it
Nov 27, 2013
Nina
Nina rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2014
Leah Brown
Leah Brown rated it really liked it
May 07, 2015
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Joseph Bates is the author of Tomorrowland (Curbside Splendor, 2013) and The Nighttime Novelist (Writers Digest, 2013).His short fiction has appeared in such journals as The Rumpus, New Ohio Review, Identity Theory, South Carolina Review, Fresh Boiled Peanuts, and InDigest Magazine. He teaches in the creative writing program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Visit him online at www.josephbates. ...more
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