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Blueprint Your Bestseller: Organize and Revise Any Manuscript with the Book Architecture Method

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  34 reviews
The first draft is the easy part…

In Blueprint Your Bestseller, Stuart Horwitz offers a step-by-step process for revising your manuscript that has helped bestselling authors get from first draft to final draft. Whether you’re tinkering with your first one hundred pages or trying to wrestle a complete draft into shape, Horwitz helps you look at your writing with the fresh p
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by TarcherPerigee
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4.26  · 
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 ·  145 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Thomas Edmund
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I feel like I've read all manner of nonfiction on the process of writing fiction, which of course typically touches on editing. But Horwitz is the first 'on-writing' book I've read exclusively on editing and rewriting (good writing is rewritten after all).

Horwitz also tackles the issue of writing in a new a different way, describing a unique way of organizing theme, story arcs (or in his words series) and scenes. The Ugly Duckling is an interesting choice for an example work, but hey it 'works'.
Lisa Tener
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Why do I think Blueprint Your Bestseller is destined to become a writing classic? 1. By the end of the book you'll know how to revise your manuscript and make it so much better than your first draft. The information contained within the pages is priceless and quite brilliant. I felt like I'd gotten a graduate level course in just two days. 2. It's a fun and inspiring read--you'll feel like you spent time with a good, wise friend.
While Stuart Horwitz' method is brilliant and, yes, methodical, as
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the perfect book for writers who've finished their first draft and need help tightening up the structure. My favorite chapter was on links, the transitional passages that connect scenes.
Nancie Erhard
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Useful tools for the craft.

I followed the author's instructions to generate material first. When I was 150 pages into the first draft of a novel, I found myself floundering. So I called this up on my kindle and worked with the exercises as given. I find this method so much more helpful than trying to figure out "acts" or beats. For me, the most helpful parts were his method for finding the theme, based on the identified series, and selecting one series as central. These provide the backbone, and
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Yes, this is a great follow-up to "Blueprint Your Bestseller." I've found both books so helpful. I'm the kind of writer who runs from the room when someone's peddling "the formula" for great storytelling. I love that my material comes to me, that I'm following characters as I'm drafting. Horowitz isn't interested in messing with my mo-jo. Rather, he's got a method here, a way of thinking and working through the material once it's roughed out on the page toward clarity and--best of all--depth. Hi ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I've read both "Finish Your Book in Three Drafts" and "Book Architecture" by Stuart Horwitz, so this one gives me the feeling of having read this before, but slightly different (other examples).

I still feel like the concept and ideas are brilliant, but reading all three feels unnecessary (unless you didn't understand the method by the first two books). It probably gave a few new tips the others didn't.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is fucking brilliant. Why didn't I find this years ago? Horwitz has a method for structuring novels using thematic unity that is persuasive and practical. Unlike every other book I've ever read on how to structure a novel, this one works for literary fiction and for arty, unconventional forms. I keep asking people how to write a novel and no one has ever really told me until now. Thank you.
Nicole DeGuzman
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-a-winter
The best practical book about writing I've read. I was inspired to buy this book after hearing Horwitz speak at a conference a few years ago, and I am glad I did. His method here is structured and elegant, simple and multifaceted. Really looking forward to applying it to my own manuscript!
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The directions were very clear. I am looking forward to trying the techniques described in this book.
Isabel Hogue
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Offers a system for crafting a compelling story
Elizabeth Spencer
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Blueprint Your Bestseller is about story structure. Hurray! No, seriously. I love thinking about structure. But what's interesting about this one isn't a variation of the 4-act/8-point story structure.

Instead, the Book Architecture Method is about three things: scenes, series, and theme.

Scenes are, well, scenes. Blueprint Your Bestseller promotes the often-repeated technique of breaking your story into scenes and ensuring each has a purpose.

Series refers to repeated elements in your story. They
Eric Beaty
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Writers, Authors, Fiction
Ever since I started experimenting with fiction again in 2014, I've had all kinds of preconceived notions of how hard the editing process is. This book is one of the few that I've found that nails it on the head in a simple, to the point way that helped me get over my fears of the 2nd, 3rd, etc. drafts.

One of the "lightbulb" moments for me in this book was when it talks about using "Series." These refer to the things that you find in your novel (this book is mainly address to novel-length works)
Lizz Howard
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-how-to
Plot. Theme. Story arc. Character arc. Dramatic tension.

Writes at every level have heard these terms bandied about for years, decades...quite possibly since the first caveman scratched a sabertooth tiger on the wall of his home.

But what if they're as clear as mud? I mean, we all KNOW what plot is, in a nebulous sort of way, but what steps can we take to transform our story events from the mystical version of plot to a series of events readers want to read?

Stuart Horwitz's Blueprint Your Bestsell
Heath Lagrone
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Writing the book was hard. It was my first time. I spent hours and hours planning it and then grinding it out. But, now I learn that was the easy part. The book architecture method outlined in this book gives one a useful framework for taking your book apart and working on the pieces before putting it back together as a more cohesive whole.

The book encourages you to break your book into scenes, organize the scenes into series, and then prioritize your series to maximize the impact of your theme.
Ray Daniel
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I bought BLUEPRINT YOUR BESTSELLER because I have a first draft novel that needs revision. I was reading the book on the plane and decided to apply the book's method to a short story that I had sold to an anthology but had not submitted yet.

Lucky move!

The method revealed the fact that I had a theme running through the short story but that my main character had never addressed it. He had kind of floated above it. I modified a few lines so that the main character addressed the theme, and that reve
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
I found this book to be an excellent primer on how to do the first revision of your novel. The method starts with taking an unfinished manuscript, such as a Nanowrimo effort, and walks you through a process to break apart the work into its component scenes, identify the various threads that weave through the work, discover the book's theme, and then finally put the book back together into a better more cohesive whole. The examples were clear, the language friendly and knowledgable, and the conte ...more
Dustin Morley
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Blueprint Your Bestseller is easily one of the three best books on writing that I have read up to this point. This book is designed for people who have completed a rough draft (or as I call it, a skeleton draft). It takes the reader through a process of combing over what he or she wrote and identifying the things from that draft that really matter. I'm currently working on writing my first novel, and found this book's methodology to really help me figure out what was what. I checked the book out ...more
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As one who is very persnickety about "how to" books (exhibit A: that copy of Chi Running that's been sitting unopened in the backseat of my car for seven months), I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book and how quickly I began thinking about my own writing in terms of the Book Architecture method. I would highly recommend for writers of any kind. The revision strategies make perfect sense to me, and have given me a sense that I can make something amazing out of all of ...more
Luanne Castle
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'd been working on my memoir for a few years, but couldn't figure out how to take all the complicated parts and craft the right structure. After I read this book and did the exercises, I knew exactly how my book had to be structured, based on what I wanted the book to accomplish. The work with series was what did it. I could finally get an objective look and see what my book was about. If you're a writer or want to be a writer, start reading this book now!
Jan Kellis
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-on-kindle
Another inspiring book about writing. I really need to stop reading these books and grab a pen! I'm not making any headway on my latest book by reading about it.

The basic premise of this book is to organize a book you're writing by scenes. You separate each scene out, then rearrange them, tweak transitions, etc. It's a great system, I think (I haven't tried it yet, but I envisioned using it on the nearly finished manuscript I'm working on).

Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very detailed method for revising. It helped me clear through the clutter of the first draft of my current WIP to see what scenes work and what scenes still need to be written. I think it might be better applied to later drafts rather than first drafts, but I imagine that will vary from writer to writer.
Michelle Lam
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy Grail of Writing

Want to write like JK Rowling or at least plan and outline like she does? Read this book. If you have seen the way Rowling plans her plot you'll recognize she uses these techniques.
Fredrick Danysh
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
The author lays out a detailed process in developing the content of a book manuscript and then revising it. This is done by breaking down the manuscript into scenes sort of like the outlines for research papers many of us learned in high school. This is useful information.
L.A. Jacob
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bedtime
This is the way I'm planning my writing now. What he calls "series" is what most authors call "plotlines". This book is written in a generally easy to understand way, with humor and action plans. I use index cards instead of lists.
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked the "series" concept.
Haven't tried the method yet, but I'm about to...
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was recommended at a writing conference I went to a few months back. Finally got my hands on a copy. Looking forward to trying this method with my revising.
Kai Günster
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: about-writing
Even if you're not looking for a revision method, what Horwitz has to say about series is well worth reading.
Marc Royston
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
I found this to be one of the more practical guides to writing. It presents a well-organized system of approach to structuring a novel. I look forward to applying the method.
Scott Haworth
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Practical and useful when revising a manuscript.
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A solid theme-driven approach to building fiction, this book helps you revise with confidence.
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