Book in a Month

What can you accomplish in 30 days? If you were determined to make the time, if you could put away all of your excuses just for a month, could you write a book? With a structured plan and a focused goal, yes, you can!
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Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days

by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D.
Writer's Digest Books, 2008
ISBN-13: 978-1-58297-486-6
ISBN-10: 1-58297-486-1
$22.99 spiral-bound hardcover, 288 pages (full-color interior)

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Download the Worksheets!
Start writing your book today using Book in a Month’s detailed worksheets to guide and inspire your writing. Click here to view or download the worksheets.

Read an Excerpt!
Making time for your passion isn't always easy. Here are four tips to help you better manage your time so that life never gets in the way of your writing.

Online Exclusive: Q&A With Author Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D.
Accomplished author and writing instructor Victoria Schmidt shares her insights into the writing life in this exclusive Q&A. Find out what common writing mistakes Victoria sees most, what she'd like to change about the publishing industry, and more.

About the Book
Using a combination of flexible weekly schedules, focused instruction, and detailed worksheets, author Victoria Schmidt leads you through a proven 30-day novel-writing system without the intimidation factor. Book in a Month shows you how to:

  • set realistic goals and monitor your progress;
  • manage your time so that your writing life has room to flourish;
  • select a story topic that will continue to inspire you throughout the writing process;
  • quickly outline your entire story so that you have a clear idea of how your plot and
  • characters are going to develop before you start writing;
  • draft each act of your story by focusing on specific turning points;
  • keep track of the areas you want to revise without losing your momentum in the middle your story; and
  • relax and have fun—you are, after all, doing something you love!

So what are you waiting for? If you’ve been putting off your book project, Book in a Month is a fun and useful way to gain momentum once again. All you have to do is start writing!

About the Author
Victoria Lynn Schmidt (www.charactersjourney.com) is the author of Story Structure Architect and 45 Master Characters. She graduated from the prestigious film program at UCLA, holds a master’s degree in writing from Loyola Marymount University, and holds a doctorate in psychology. She also attended film school at NYU and studied independent filmmaking with some of the top artists in the field. When her writing schedule allows it, she teaches English and Screenwriting at several universities around the USA.

Table of Contents

Introduction

How to Use This Book
Goals and Time Management: Supporting Your Motivation
Fighting Off Your Inner Critic
BIAM Online Support
No More Stalling!

The Five Secrets of BIAM

Secret #1: Work “As If”
Secret #2: Leave Out Subplots
Secret #3: Be Realistic
Secret #4: Examine Your Self-Esteem
Secret #5: Trust Yourself

Time Management

Tip #1: Make Writing the First Thing
Tip #2: Adhere to the Pareto Principle
Tip #3: Keep Track of Your Writing Time
Tip #4: Don’t Ask for Time
Tip #5: Make Appointments With Yourself
Tip #6: Buy Your Time (Literally or Figuratively)
Tip #7: Get Out the Axe
Tip #8: Just Say No

Resistance

10 Steps to Overcoming Resistance
Reaping the Rewards of Success
What’s Your Sign?

Setting and Keeping Goals

Knowing Your Passion
Developing Your Story Idea
Writing the Book You Were Meant to Write
Building Your BIAM Goals
Sharing Your 30-Day Goal
Signing Your Book Contract

The Book in Month System

Week 1: Act I
Weeks 2 and 3: Act II
Week 4: Act III
BIAM 30-Day Calendar

Week 1: The Outline and Act I
Week 2: Act II, Part 1
Week 3: Act II, Part 2
Week 4: Act III

Worksheet Index

WD-Poetry-2020-WinnerGraphic

The 2020 Writer's Digest Poetry Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 WD Poetry Awards!

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Your Story #113

Write a short story of 650 words or fewer based on the photo prompt. You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

E.J. Levy: When Your First Draft is Your Best Draft

E.J. Levy: When Your First Draft is Your Best Draft

Author E.J. Levy discusses her journey with drafting and redrafting her historical fiction novel, The Cape Doctor, and why her first draft was her best draft.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 569

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write an "In the Name of Blank" poem.

Writer's Digest July/August 2021 Cover

Writer's Digest July/August 2021 Cover Reveal

The July/August 2021 issue of Writer's Digest features a collection of articles about writing for change plus an interview with Jasmine Guillory about her newest romance, While We Were Dating.

Lacie Waldon: On Writing What You Know ... But Keeping it Interesting

Lacie Waldon: On Writing What You Know ... But Keeping it Interesting

Debut novelist Lacie Waldon discusses how her agent encouraged her to write what she knew, but then her editor made her realize that what she thought was boring might not be the case.

Pedal vs. Peddle (Grammar Rules)

Pedal vs. Peddle (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use pedal and peddle with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Marissa Levien: On Pinning Down Your Novel's Middle

Marissa Levien: On Pinning Down Your Novel's Middle

Debut author Marissa Levien discusses how she always knew what the beginning and the end of her science fiction novel The World Gives Way would be, but that the middle remained elusive.