by Tegwyn Hughes, Canada Blogger jaBlog!
When I was about twelve years old, I heard about NaNoWriMo: a worldwide competition challenging writers to create the first draft of their novel in only one month. As a motivated middle schooler, I knew I could succeed. But when faced with the insurmountable task of writing almost two thousand words a day, and with no concrete idea in my mind of what exactly my novel would be, I gave up within a week.
Looking back now, I wish I’d had Polly Wants to Be a Writer Workbook #4: Write a Novel. This workbook, a brand new addition to the collection based off of Laura Thomas’s amazing writing manual for kids––Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published––is a novel writing workbook that shows us how we can take a step into the big leagues and write our first novel. In only 25 pages, Laura walks readers through the steps it takes to create a fail-proof story, all the while using amazing graphics and creative tasks to get you motivated.
Some devoted Polly Wants to Be a Writer fans may remember literary dragons: the reptilian embodiment of writer’s block. These dragons are back in Laura’s fourth workbook, and she reminds us exactly when to chain them up, and when to let them roam free. The workbook even gets a writer’s creative juices flowing by inviting them to create their very own literary dragon––don’t forget to name it!
Throughout the workbook are idea charts and planning activities to let you really flesh out the characters in your novel and the conflict they will be faced with. One of the first idea development lessons focuses on whether your story is “escape” or “realistic”; I didn’t even know the difference between those before I read this workbook, which was slightly embarrassing.
Laura’s workbook also has suggestions for the technical aspects of writing a novel that every author dreads to think about. Developing plot structure, point of view, and theme are all described in an easy to understand manner. Laura also reminds writers about the editing process, which can take just as long, if not longer, than writing your first draft. With six rounds of revisions described in the workbook, Laura certainly sets you up for success.
What I found the most interesting about the workbook was the interactive aspect of the PDF document that I downloaded on my computer. I didn’t have to print off the twenty five pages of the workbook before I could get started on planning a novel; with a simple click, I could edit any of the worksheets in the document by typing, which was both a time saver and an environment protector.
I have to say that Laura Thomas has definitely outdone herself with the new workbook. It is not only visually pleasing and easy to follow, but it engages the readers and gives them the necessary motivation to get started on an amazing novel. If I had had this workbook back in middle school, trying to write my first novel, I would have fared much better than I did on my own.
You can buy Laura’s new novel writing workbook in the LTC store for only $8.99, with an additional 25% off for LTC Insider Plus+ Members. Laura is also currently doing a giveaway for 10 copies of the Polly Wants to Be a Writer novel writing workbook, running now until January 21st. If you’re trying to motivate yourself to get started on a huge writing project, this novel writing workbook is the perfect solution to your problems.