ForeWord Reviews

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Write-A-Thon

Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It)

Foreword Review

Dreams of writing a “great American novel” or a nonfiction book that captivates the world has led to a specialized niche in publishing: how to do it. Write-A-Thon is yet another guide to motivating the sidelined author, a step-by-step plan for implementing a twenty-six-day turnover. For the inactive writer who does not feel inspired to work, this title has a special underlying message—inspiration plays little part in the daily stamina required to produce any book.

In a crackdown delivery, this reference tool coaxes the reluctant aspirant to simply write for a designated period of time until the desired project is finished. The results… not a concern—clean up the manuscript later or hire an editor to polish the first draft. This title’s emphasis is on speed and completion, as opposed to slow, methodical, and often painstaking obsession with the use of every word.

Published by Writer’s Digest Books, this practical handbook destroys the myth that only those who have been graced with a loyal muse or a flash of ingenuity will succeed. It’s divided into three parts: training, write-a-thon, and recovery. The guide’s concise, easy-to-read layout will appeal to the reader who does not have patience to wade through literary jargon. Though somewhat gimmicky, each brief section has a catchy phrase to grab one’s attention, such as: Map Energy Flow, Prime Your Environment, Dump the Gremlins, Get in the Zone, and How to Get Your Query Rejected.

In a casual, down-to-earth tone, the author gives pep talks to the resistant writer, cajoling and offering practical encouragement, as in this example: “While some writers face the blank page with energy and hopes of what will be, most of us dread it. The blank page just sits there, mocking us, waiting to be filled with brilliant prose… So what’s a writer to do? Never start with the blank page.”

Filled with quotes from famous and not-so-famous people, as well as anecdotes from Melander’s personal life, the author’s animated presentation will interest creative individuals in all fields who may be contemplating that one important memoir. Write-A-Thon is appropriate for those seeking a rapid-fire or just-get-it-done approach, rather than precision.

This versatile title reaches out to a variety of writers in diverse capacities: “The twenty-six-day writing marathon is designed to get you comfortable with good enough research. Yeah, it won’t get you a Ph.D., but it will get you a pretty good book. Don’t worry about any holes in your research. You can fill in missing information during the revision process.”

Rochelle Melander is a public speaker and the author of ten books. Recognized as the Write Now! Coach, she has earned a reputation among professionals seeking advice on the art of writing fast and getting published.

Melander’s method is appropriate for the writer who does not want to stall or stagnate midstream. Fill the designated number of pages per day and continue until the final page is finished—that is the goal.

Julia Ann Charpentier