“You don’t want to be writing the same book for the rest of your life,” says Stuart Horwitz, author of Finish Your Book in Three Drafts: How to Write a Book, Revise a Book, and Complete a Book While You Still Love It. And that’s why he tells authors, “Three drafts. That’s all you need.”
The messy draft: which is all about getting it down.
The method draft: which is all about making sense.
The polished draft: which is all about making it good.
“I find that the idea of three drafts helps you get past the fear, doubt, and confusion that can put you up against writer’s block,” reflects Stuart. “This book is useful for writers who I call ‘outliners,’ who meticulously script every writing session, and ‘pantsers,’ who pilot solely by feel.”
Stuart tested out his “three draft” theory by doing a presentation by the same name at a number of writing conferences, bookstores, and event venues. Finding that his message resonated with his audiences, Stuart decided that this would be the topic of his next book. Finish Your Book in Three Drafts is the last book in the Book Architecture trilogy, and incorporates the highlights of his first two books, including Blueprint Your Bestseller (Penguin/Perigee), named by The Writer magazine as one of the best books about writing. Says Stuart, “After I decided on the ‘three draft’ concept as the basis for this last book, it came together very quickly and the process was beautiful.”
When asked about his goals for writing his latest book, Stuart says his aim was to “…complete the trilogy of writing books that detail my proprietary method for process and revision.” The trilogy of books supports Stuart’s business, which provides ghostwriting and developmental editing services, but can also be used all on their own to help aspiring writers who are not yet at the stage where they are ready for these services.
While some authors self-publish with the hope of getting noticed by a traditional publisher, Stuart did exactly the opposite. His first book was published by a traditional publisher, but he started publishing independently with the second book in the trilogy. Stuart says his decision to self-publish was based on a host of factors. “I wanted to focus on one particular aspect of my method for revision and I wanted to do the book in color. Plus, I experienced a lot of frustration with my publisher’s promotional efforts. Once I got a taste of independent publishing in my current genre, I simply didn’t want to go back.”
Finish Your Book in Three Drafts was produced as both a 7×10 paperback (in color!) and eBook. Of his eBook, Stuart says, “I found for my second book, also independently produced, that the eBook outsold the printed book by a factor of at least 3 to 1.” Authors might be interested to know that Stuart included a code with his book, which links readers to his website where they can view support videos and download PDFs.
1106 Design was delighted to assist Stuart with interior design for the book and the PDFs, eBook coding, and, laughs Stuart, “Lots of great advice! I loved working with 1106 because, possibly like many writers, I can be very deep and informed in one area, and almost idiotic in another. Certain technical decisions or actions that were a breeze for 1106 would have gotten me very worked up.” Reflecting on 1106 Design’s unique service of hand-holding every step of the way, Stuart advises authors to take them up on the offer. “When they say they give you as much hand-holding as you can tolerate, they mean it and you just might need it!”
In addition to advising authors to keep to three drafts, Stuart recommends that authors get “…several rounds of editorial feedback, whether from a critique group, a formal beta reader exchange with a questionnaire (which I talk about in my new book), and/or paid editorial services. Don’t go fast just because you can; if anything, you need to go slower to make sure you are producing excellence, and nothing but excellence.”
His final advice to authors? “You have to believe in yourself first.” Says Stuart, “If you simply love what you are writing, the promotional efforts can also be a joy because you have the confidence to share your own message, which translates to diligence and taking care of the details.” As Stuart loves helping authors and is living proof of the advice he gives in his books, one can assume his promotional efforts will be a joy as well! We wish Stuart the best of luck with Finish Your Book in Three Drafts: How to Write a Book, Revise a Book, and Complete a Book While You Still Love It.
Finish Your Book in Three Drafts: How to Write a Book, Revise a Book, and Complete a Book While You Still Love It
Author: Stuart Horwitz
Author website url:
Facebook page url: https://www.facebook.com/SeekTheMethod/
Twitter handle: @Book_Arch
Fiction or Nonfiction: Nonfiction
Genre: Writing Reference