Today’s book review of Della Galton’s writing guide is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. I reviewed Della’s companion book The Short Story Writer’s Toolshed back in March, and you can read that review here.
The Novel Writer’s Toolshed for Short Story Writers
Originally written as a series for Writers’ Forum Magazine, this snappy no nonsense guide has been expanded, amended and updated. Using examples from her own published work, Della Galton explains how to make the leap from writing short stories to writing a full-length novel.
Subjects covered include:
- How do you know if you have a big enough idea?
- How exactly does a short story character differ from a character in a novel?
- Will your plot go the distance?
- What should be on your first page?
Della Galton is a freelance writer and tutor. She is best known for her short stories, and sells in the region of 80 short stories a year to magazines both in the UK and abroad. She is a popular speaker at writing conventions around the UK and is also the agony aunt for Writers’ Forum. When she is not writing she enjoys walking her dogs in the beautiful Dorset countryside where she lives. Her hobby is repairing old cottages, which is lucky as hers is falling down. Find out more about Della, her books, and her speaking engagements at http://DellaGalton.co.uk.
Just like Della’s The Short Story Writer’s Toolshed, the book is made up of ‘shelves’. The introduction lays out clearly what’s ahead and certainly covers a vast array of essentials.
Della admits that she thought the leap from short story to novel writing would be a simple one; it’s just a different length, right? Wrong… and Della explains why (and shares with us that she wrote four novels before “one that was publishable”.
Shelf One covers ‘planning, plotting, pace and timescale’. I’m what’s called a ‘pantser’, where I get an idea and go with it. I’ve found this is fine with short stories but less so with novels, especially series, and even having written nine novels (most at first draft stage), Della’s advice is really useful.
At the end of each shelf is a ‘Summary of Differences’ so if you only have time to flick through this book (but why would you, it’s only 103 pages long… that’s in ‘real’ terms; I usually read the eBook version but only have this in paperback so it made a change for me) then reading these summaries would be a great place to start.