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90 Days to Your Novel: A Day-By-Day Plan for Outlining & Writing Your Book
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90 Days to Your Novel: A Day-By-Day Plan for Outlining & Writing Your Book

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  358 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Got 90 Days? Then You Can Be a Novelist...

Many famous authors write their novels in a matter of weeks. William Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying in six weeks. Joyce Carol Oates often cranks out two or three books a year. Stephen King believes first drafts should take no more than three months to complete. So, what's the trick? Novel writing isn't about inspiration. It's about
Paperback, 281 pages
Published December 20th 2010 by Writer's Digest Books (first published 2010)
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Sera Trevor
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: writing
Not a bad book, but not particularly useful for me. The book assumes that you would like to be a novelist, but have zero ideas for a book. The entire first month is brain-storming ideas. If you already have ideas, that's not going to help. The brain-storming exercises are also not helpful if you're writing any genre other than contemporary, since she asks you to draw from your own experiences. I haven't met with a lot of space bandits or wizards, so not gonna help me out a lot.

The subsequent ex
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I ended up reading this writer's craft book straight through, but I'll have to try it out when I'm trying to truly write a story in 90 days (as opposed to 30 or 60). I think it's certainly a great book for beginning writers in terms of having concrete examples and exercises to guide the writer along for the ride in the 90 day cycle, but I realized as someone who tends to make my own process of writing a novel (placing characters first, shaping stories by scene, etc.) and personal pacing it is a ...more
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished, writing
I am enormously glad that I didn't try to do the exercises in this book without reading it first, because I think I would've been really frustrated. Far too much of this reads like "baby's first writing book", which isn't very useful for me. I have at least a basic understanding of how to write, and I don't want to waste 21 of the 90 days on random exercises that won't contribute much, if anything, towards my novel. I appreciate the author's focus on outlining, but her attitude is frustrating an ...more
A good book - my main problem is not the process the author lays out for the reader, but the pace it prescribes, at least for me. I believe I write fairly fast, based on having several nonfiction books in print and having held a number of jobs in which writing was one of my main duties, but for me to accomplish some of the daily assignments within one day I'd have to spend the entire day doing nothing else and probably work into the night.

With that said, a lot of the tasks included are likely to
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love this book. This guide provided the blueprint for my last novel, and I'm using parts of it to plan my current project. The combination of specific daily exercises and pre-writing prompts provides an excellent start by the time you finally get around to writing the novel. The process even includes reviewing and analyzing your outline to help you cut out the boring parts before you spend the time writing them.

My one quibble is that the daily exercises seem a bit ambitious. I don't think I'm
Michael Vondung
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book because I had grown tired of making excuses for why I "can't" at least finish a draft. There are quite a few courses out there that aim at the same goal. After sampling various of them, I felt that Sarah Domet was "getting" the problem best (her experience teaching ornery would-be novelists becomes obvious when she comments on your excuses before you even had time to make them), and she believes in the importance of creating a proper outline instead of just writing without ...more
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing, favorites
This book has made it to my top 5 favorite books on writing. It's packed with insightful advice and filled with exercises that concentrate on each area of writing individually, while striving to organize your ideas for your novel, culminating in writing it and re-writing in 90 days. I suggest reading this book with The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman.
Zoraida Rivera Morales
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: writers working on novels
90 Days to your novel is a great book. It's based on prewriting;in my experience it can really clarify where your novel is going.

I didn't write my novel in 90 days, but I did finish it a lot faster than I would have otherwise. I recommend it highly.
Rachael J.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: did-not-finish
It's a lot of creative writing 101 stuff. Stuff you'll probably already know if you have ever taken a class or tried your own writing. She's also assuming you don't already have an outline or ideas about your novel. This is for someone who wants to write a novel but has no idea where to start and doesn't even have any idea for a novel yet. It's great if you're a blank slate. But it starts with exercises I already did in a basic English class, like writing a childhood memory. With my history of c ...more
Lisa Busby
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I found this a useful tool for organising and planning my story. I had been working on a novel idea for an age and was getting a bit lost. This book helped get me back on the road with thoughtful insight and useful writing exercises. I didn't quite make it to the end as I found I was well and truly planned and ready to go. I also like the element of surprise when writing and felt I was beginning to lose that a little. If you are an established writer this will be of little worth to you but if yo ...more
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is setup as a "How To Write A Novel" course.
It begins with outlining techniques, then moves to how to write a scene. The 90-Day Writing Challenge gives you an assignment every day. The first three weeks leads to a working outline. From day 22 through day 84 should give you a first draft and 85 - 90 a self-editing check list for the first revision of your book.
At day 91 you should be querying agents and editors and working on the first revision.
I think this is a great book for plotter
Amy N.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good resource for learning how to write a novel. I bookmarked a few pages that I will likely use for reference. She really does not assume any prior knowledge about writing: she takes you through everything step by step. I still don't think I want to write a novel quite that quickly, but it does seem doable.
A.M. Bochnak
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This is written more for new writers who need practice with developing writing skills. For more seasoned writers, there's tons of this that can be skipped. I ended up tossing it altogether as it didn't really offer me anything new. If I had read this 5 years ago when I started my writing journey, this may have been my favorite book. I guess we'll never know.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
This was fine. Maybe if you use as prescribed (i.e. actually following the 90-day plan) it's more of an inspiration. For me, just reading through it, it didn't say much new, though there were a few gems I took away.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Very useful as a tool for getting past stuck places in my novel. By going back and following the day-by-day, then week-by-week plans for activity I was able to get done--though not in 90 days. That feels more like a goal you attain by book three or four.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on writing process that I've ever read, Domet's work provides structure and examples to help new novelists understand exactly what it takes to sustain a concept over the length of 85k words.
Moriah Kristine  Farnsworth
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very good book, it was a little to easy for me, I’m just further along in my writing than I realized and most of the information I already knew, however it did have some wonderful tips and I definitely would certainly recommend this book to any new writer.
Mary Ann
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very informative. Lots of helpful techniques and exercises.
Jameyanne Fuller
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This seems like a neat challenge, and I like the format and the advice of this book. I may try to actually rite a book in 90 days, but I’m going to finish law school first.
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
I picked up this popular book in hopes of jump-starting a writing project that I had stewing in my mind. I wasn’t under any delusions that I might actually have a viable draft of a novel in only 90 days, and after reading this book I’m sticking with that thought.

The book is laid out with a lengthy discussion and an exercise for each of the prescribed 90 days. The author is very set on having a detailed outline prior to doing any actual novel writing, so the first 30 days are exploration exercis
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
All you need is inner discipline, a willingness to succeed, and time to complete this ninety-day challenge. Domet’s action plan inspires you to put together the skills needed to create your first story. From outlines to themes, characters to plots; you’ll need to think about them from every perspective and rule out the drivel, keep your reader gripped and have the time to see the project through to the end. Domet uses a few famous examples of American literature to showcase how past writers have ...more
Josie  Ann
Every once in a while I like to indulge in novels that talk about writing. Of course, as an aspiring writer I know that reading novels about writing doesn't make you a writer...writing makes you a writer. As a plotter, I was anxious to read this novel, and I didn't mind paying the $9.99 for it. Instead of following along with novel, and stopping to complete the exercises, I read the novel straight through. There were a few tips and exercises I found handy, but overall I didn't really enjoy this ...more
Brenda Clark Thomas
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read the book cover to cover and worked on some of the exercises. My problem was that it asked me to rely on my childhood for memories in creating a book--not something I want to do. Nor do I want to write in my relatives as characters. Finally, I was supposed to have a book synopsis on the fourth day. Still, I am doing the "reverse outline" with a book I've written and plan on working through all the steps in order to make my book even better. I think it's a good instruction book. It def ...more
Chris Bridges
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonderful book for a new writer covers the basics.

The book pretty much a rehash of the books I have been reading. The main thing I’d love to have are the exercises, but I have more to try. I have been reading a lot of how-to writing books

For me, I find the author’s voice very formal and don’t feel like I am getting with what or more how the author is talking.

This is a great book that can walk the new writer through the process of drafting a novel from idea to manuscript.
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-fiction
I'd recommend this one! Mostly for first-timers, so a lot of stuff I already knew, BUT definitely got me thinking about a lot of things that hadn't occurred to me before. I learned some valuable pointers for really enriching my writing. The pep-talky stuff is cheesy, but not overly obnoxious. I liked the structure of it the most. I need structure to get things done and it was a huge help.
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I own many writing books, and many step-by-step guides to being better. This is the best one. The ONLY one. It's given me a little tough love and a lot of much-needed structure. I'm not doing it on her timeline (this is taking me a lot more than 90 days, and I always knew it would), but the steps are unbelievably helpful. When I'm done, I'm going to start all over.
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction-read
I read this off and on and then decided to just finish it. Very interesting and even though I didn't write while I was reading, I will refer back to this when I am ready to start writing. Had good suggestions.
Lynette Eklund
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I found the pre-writing days invaluable, and reuse them for every project now. The actual writing days are more or less cheering/support comments that are nice, but are just that. Well worth checking this book out!
Thing Two
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Thing Two by: Laurie
Okay - this took me over a year to finish, but I did complete the first draft of a really shitty novel. It's good for helping get ideas organized, but don't expect to have anything worth sending around to get published in only 90 days.
Dustin Mitchell
Aug 14, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was a good tool, but not for me personally. They author insisted that you spend more time than I have on a schedule of writing everyday. I liked the idea but it just isn't practical with my busy schedule.

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Play Book Tag: 90 Days to Your Novel by Sarah Domet - 4 stars 2 14 Jul 10, 2018 09:23AM  

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Sarah Domet’s debut novel, The Guineveres, was released from Flatiron Books in October 2016. She’s also the author of 90 Days to Your Novel (Writers Digest Books, 2010). She holds a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati where she once served as the associate editor of The Cincinnati Review. Originally from Ohio and still a Midwesterner at heart, she now lives i ...more

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