Written in a friendly approachable style, THE 90-DAY NOVEL takes an unusual approach in that it makes a good effort at explaining the unconscious aspects of writing. Combining tips and secrets, quotes and writing exercise, Watt encourages the reader through the dynamic process of completing a first draft of a novel within a 90-day period.
His explanation of showing versus telling to add life to a story was very good, as were many of the writing secrets he revealed. At last I feel comfortable being a writer who prefers to write with only the vaguest sense of where the story is leading me!
While repetition is a good teaching technique in a live workshop environment, encouraging students to remember core concepts, there was a lot of repetition in this book. At times this was annoying.
I’m also not a fan of writing books that have writing exercises as an integral part of reading the book – my only reading time is late at night, in bed, which makes doing writing exercises difficult. Other readers who like doing practical exercises to help them understand may find the book easier to read than I did.
I did pick up many useful tips on writing a novel quickly, the main one being to trust my own writing process and not to fear writing the forbidden.