A Novel in a Year

A Novel in a Year

A NOVEL IN A YEAR
is a how-to-write book based on Doughty’s hugely popular newspaper column that takes a clear-eyed, frank and funny approach to the practicalities of novel writing and being a novelist. Designed to be read a chapter a week, Doughty discusses issues such as finding time to write and crafting first lines through to plot construction and narrative viewpoint. Practical writing exercises at the end of every other chapter show you how to build ideas to form the raw material for a book. A Novel in a Year is a witty, gritty and honest look at technique from a working novelist who takes no prisoners

A Novel in a Year was published in hardback by Simon & Schuster UK in June 2007, paperback currently available.

The US edition was published by HarperCollins and German edition by Autorenhaus.

‘Writers have always banded together informally to read and criticise each other’s work, agonise together, support each other and quietly stab each other in the back. It is not normal to spend most of your life in a room on your own making up stories. I think we deserve all the help we can get.’

‘Of all the trophy books I returned from the Hay festival with, the most popular borrowing request from friends has been Louise Doughty’s generous and inspired how-to guide, A Novel in a Year. In it she addresses the most common problems faced by budding authors in a direct, practical and honest fashion.’

Mariella Frostrup, Open Book, BBC Radio Four. Listen to the full radio interview with Louise Doughty here.

‘Stuck in a rut with your novel? Louise Doughty has written a no-nonsense guide that could help… Doughty didn’t set out to offer a blueprint of novel writing but instead showed some ways into the maze. (Or out of it for people who had started but got stuck). She set exercises to generate ideas and material, included instructive anecdotes about how writers write and gave tips on plot, character devlopment and structure. Her no-nonsense adivce included warnings about how hard it is… and canny advice to concentrate on producing a good book before worrying about publishers and agents… witheringly dismissive of literary snobs who condescend budding writers, she is proud of democratising and demysitfiying the writing process.’
Hampstead & Highgate Express

‘A breathtakingly honest and down-to-earth guide to writing a novel, encouraging and inspirational.’
Victoria Hislop

‘[Doughty’s] voice throughout is warm and encouraging, with an engaging line in self-deprecation. I loved the bit where she advised someone working on a novel about dragons to ‘go to the local woods and find the sort of tree his dragon liked to sit on, or rock, or whatever.’ She can afford that comically dismissive ‘or rock, or whatever’ because she has already dispensed a very wise hint about what she nicely calls ‘lateral ‘research’.
The Guardian

‘This book does for fiction-writing what Lynne Truss did for punctuation. If you only buy one book about the novel-writing process, make it this.’
Jill Dawson

‘Doughty is a successful novelist with experience of writing and teaching, and she offers many words of wisdom… spend an enjoyable hour or two with this book, then get on with some writing.’ Scotland on Sunday

If you fancy writing your own bestseller then this is the book for you. Based on her highly successful newspaper column, this guides you through the writing process and spills the beans on some tricks of the trade.’
Woman magazine

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Louise Doughty - writer