Review: 90 Days to Your Novel

Kathy Holzapfel writes romantic suspense as Cate Noble and Lauren Bach. She’s passionate about the craft of writing, creativity, meaning and personal achievement. Visit her website Or follow her on Twitter @KathyHolzapfel
Chris August 10, 2012 No Comments Review

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

By Sarah Domet

Writer’s Digest Books, ISBN-13: 978-1582979977

90 Days to Your Novel by Sarah Domet

Fiction writers are divided on the topic of outlining a novel. Some believe the process is vital to producing a great story – “couldn’t write otherwise.” Others dismiss it as stifling to creativity – “shoot me now.”

Sarah Domet’s book, 90 Days to Your Novel: A Day-by-Day Plan for Outlining & Writing Your Book, will please believers while giving non-outliners a number of reasons to reconsider.

So, why ninety days? “It’s difficult to write without a deadline,” Domet explains. More importantly, a finite time period requires a daily commitment – one of the book’s chief tenets. Domet suggests two to three hours per day.

90 Days to Your Novel embraces four key philosophies:

“1. If you do not write on a daily basis, or a near-daily basis, you are not a writer.

2. Outlining is an essential component of novel writing.

3. Novels are written scene by scene, not character by character or action by action.

4. It’s possible to write a book in months, not years.”

The book has two sections. Part One is relatively short, about 35 pages, and dissects the pros and cons of several outlining techniques. Domet then presents a mini-class on scene structure and type. Part One is meant to be read before the challenge starts.

Part Two is where the actual work begins. The first three weeks have daily assignments for brainstorming and outlining as Domet reviews the components of a novel – plot, character, setting, conflict, point of view, and more. The prize at the end of those 21 days is a scene-by-scene outline.

But don’t relax yet. Weeks four through thirteen dig deeply into the writing and assessing of those scenes, examining details like pacing and characterization, within the three act structure. Your story is deconstructed, clarified, and strengthened following Domet’s progressive roadmap. At day 91, you celebrate a solid, first draft novel that is ready to be sent to outside readers while you take a break before tackling revisions.

As Domet points out, many famous authors, including Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen King, complete more than one novel a year. Sarah Domet’s book, 90 Days to Your Novel: A Day-by-Day Plan for Outlining & Writing Your Book, gives you an effective method to do the same.


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