The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within

The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within

by Alan Watt

Paperback(New Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, November 22


Get the first draft of your NOVEL or MEMOIR down quickly! The 90-Day Novel is Alan Watt's day-by-day guide through the process of getting the first draft of your novel or memoir onto the page. The 90-Day Novel was workshopped at L.A. Writers' Lab over the course of ten years and has helped thousands of writers complete their work. A number of Watt's students have gone on to become bestselling authors and win major literary awards. Many writers credit The 90-Day Novel as their guide, from YA author Allen Zadoff (The Unknown Assassin Series, Little Brown) "Al Watt is a master teacher with a brilliant, intuitive understanding of story," to Ottessa Moshfegh (Man Booker Prize Finalist for Eileen, Penguin, Random House) "I went out and bought a book called The 90-Day Novel by Alan Watt. It's ridiculous, claiming that anybody can write a great book, and quickly too, but it ended up as a Oulipian was actually interesting to conform to the rules." The method was inspired by Watt's own experience. He wrote the first draft of his novel Diamond Dogs in just under 90 days and sold the North American rights to Little, Brown in a bidding war. The book became a national bestseller, won a slew of awards including France's 2004 Prix Printemps (best foreign novel). The 90-Day Novel is structured into three parts. Part One describes the process of getting your story from your imagination to the page and prepares you, through a few simple, powerful writing exercises to access the story within. Part Two is The 90-Day Novel, a series of 90 daily letters that will guide you through the hero's journey. Part Three is a compendium of stream-of-consciousness writing exercises designed to help you access the primal forces in your story, as well as the Structure Questions that will invite up images at key stages in your hero's journey.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937746247
Publisher: The 90-Day Novel Press
Publication date: 02/12/2017
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 269,868
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Alan Watt is an L.A. Times best-selling author and screenwriter as well as consultant to some of Hollywood's top writers and producers. He has won a number of awards for his writing including France's 2004 Prix Printemps (best foreign novel) for Diamond Dogs. He is also the writer/director of the award-winning feature film Interior Night. Mr. Watt first taught a summer screenwriting workshop at UCLA in 1998, and has been teaching and lecturing on the creative process in L.A. and at colleges around the country ever since. He spent three years teaching storytelling to inner city high school students through the non-profit arm of Spoken Interludes. He founded L.A. Writers' Lab in 2002 as a place for writers to deepen their craft by learning to marry the wildness of their imaginations to the rigor of story structure. He has taught everyone from award-winning authors and A-list screenwriters, to journalists, poets, actors, professional athletes, war veterans, housewives, doctors, lawyers, television showrunners, and anyone else with a story to tell.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the story Within 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Arial_Burnz More than 1 year ago
By the way - on Amazon, this book has over 50 reviews and 99% of them are 5-star, so I thought I'd put my review here. I cannot brag or sing praises enough about this book!! The best way to describe Watt's process is this: Writing a book is not a linear process. He believes the story should be written from "within". He shows you, through the exercises he gives you, how to build your novel from the heart. I liken the process to creating a puzzle. You start out with a picture in mind, assemble and create each piece of the story/puzzle, and once you've assembled and created the pieces, you start putting them together. Just like a puzzle, you assemble a section here, work on the edges of the puzzle/story to frame it, find the pieces that fit into that corner over there...and so the process goes. When you're done and you've put the final piece into place, you have your novel. It's quite brilliant and I'm enjoying every step of the journey. The best part about this process is you pull from inside you the things you feel most passionate about. What YOU find passionate are the things your characters find passionate. What YOU'RE afraid of, your characters also fear. All this translates to a story that people can not only relate to, but find compelling to read. If you are new to the process of writing, this is a great place to start. You can finish your first novel in 90 days and be very proud of your first project. If you've been writing for years, you can still benefit from this process and I would wager, your stories will be better than you thought they could be. I thought I had my current novel I'm writing all worked out. Yet I kept getting stuck on dialogue, setting, what happens next...even though I built background, backstory, and outlined the story from beginning to end. I discovered through this book I STILL didn't know my characters enough to complete my book because I didn't really know their PURPOSE and drive in life. This book will help you find that and bring your characters to life!
JennScott More than 1 year ago
The 90 Day Novel is the ultimate writer's tool. Al's instruction reads like a conversation and you really get the feel that you are in one of his classes as he guides you day by day to completing your first draft. The process he encourages is strictly organic. It fluidly guides the writer through the amazing process of writing a novel. I can personally attest that Al's method works. As a member of the LA Writer's Lab I've followed the techniques in the 90 Day Novel and wrote my first draft in 90 Days. It does require discipline, but it can be done and The 90 Day Novel makes you feel as though you are not so alone in the process. I am really thrilled that this book has come out as I will keep it with me forever and probably consult it for the rest of my writing career.
PaperclipsandInk More than 1 year ago
Alan Watt's 90-Day Novel is the most valuable guidebook to compelling story development and novel writing available. Working with this book takes me deeper into the heart of my writing than I ever thought possible, taking ideas and fleshing them out to their fullest, most moving potential. It is a book that gives and gives -- every time I go back to it, I get more and more strength as a writer. I will use it for years to come, keeping it on my desk for quick and ready reference.
Judy_Croome More than 1 year ago
Written in a friendly approachable style, THE 90-DAY NOVEL takes an unusual approach in that it makes a good effort at explaining the unconscious aspects of writing. Combining tips and secrets, quotes and writing exercise, Watt encourages the reader through the dynamic process of completing a first draft of a novel within a 90-day period. His explanation of showing versus telling to add life to a story was very good, as were many of the writing secrets he revealed. At last I feel comfortable being a writer who prefers to write with only the vaguest sense of where the story is leading me! While repetition is a good teaching technique in a live workshop environment, encouraging students to remember core concepts, there was a lot of repetition in this book. At times this was annoying. I’m also not a fan of writing books that have writing exercises as an integral part of reading the book – my only reading time is late at night, in bed, which makes doing writing exercises difficult. Other readers who like doing practical exercises to help them understand may find the book easier to read than I did. I did pick up many useful tips on writing a novel quickly, the main one being to trust my own writing process and not to fear writing the forbidden.
ManyGifts More than 1 year ago
Al Watt's book, The 90-Day Novel, has taught me more about writing than any other book I've read on the topic. With his daily letters, Mr. Watt guides the reader to a clear understanding of story structure and suggests exercises to stimulate creativity and overcome writer's block. Every day there is something new to learn as the book guides the writer to completion of a first draft. My novel had been languishing in a drawer for some years. Now, with the help of The 90-Day Novel, I not only have a first draft, but I'm well on the way to completion of my first book. Highly recommended!
DwayneEConner More than 1 year ago
I've personally worked on my novel for twelve years hitting every writer's road block, insecurity and pothole along the way. It wasn't until I took Alan Watt's class and read his book, "The 90-Day Novel" that I finally had a genuine break through moment! Alan pulls you up and out of your negative stuff. As the title suggests, he "Unlocks the Story Within" you so you can then set it free. He gets you out of the way so your subconscious genius can shine through and work with you on the page. I've written for over twenty years but it wasn't until I read his book and followed his guidelines that I finally put down nearly 200,000 words in my first 90 day session that I started calling myself a writer. Because of his book, I write everyday. I set one week a month aside to finish my novel and I feel sincerely accomplished through his instruction and heartfelt guidance. And lastly, don't walk -- RUN and buy this book for yourself and for everyone you love that has a story to tell BUT is currently stuck writing it. I give Alan Watt's The 90-Day Novel FIVE STARS because it delivers what it promises!
Sasak More than 1 year ago
The 90-Day Novel provides a process which allows even a novice like me, to find a story within and get it onto the page. It is very different from most other books, courses, and seminars on writing I've come across. Alan Watt's methods guide one to tap into a creative source to find the stories you are "uniquely qualified" to tell. When faced with on-going and sometimes massive - fear and self doubt, Al's teachings help calm the beasts, and provides the feeling he has "crawled into the trench" beside me. This often results in words that make me wonder, "Where did that come from?" When that happens I know I can write for at least one more day. This book is a gift. I highly recommend it!
JennaLundeen More than 1 year ago
Writing a novel is difficult, and hard work. I should know, as I've tried (and failed) a few times. I picked up The 90-Day Novel by Alan Watt, thinking I should give novel-writing one more go. I'm very glad I did. This is much more than a how-to book! In the introduction, Watt goes over how he workshopped this method for years, and the result is a process that feels real and organic. It's approachable. It's accessible and gets results. It's not like all the other story or writing classes that I've taken, where the method is calculated and soulless, or free and structureless. This is a method rather than a mechanical approach, but with a road map so that you know where you're going. I found this to be inspirational and teach fundamentals at the same time, which is unique among every writing book I've ever used. As watt says in the book, we are "marrying the wildness of our imaginations to the rigor of structure." The results are startling. I love how there are no rules in this book, rather guidelines and and questions that encourage curiosity about the world you're writing. "Structure is not a formula," Watt says. Structure is an experience, which leads to the understanding of surrender and transformation. The book is divided into 14 weeks, with the first 4 devoted to "imagining the world of the story." This portion was so liberating, and I came to know my characters so much better than before. They became real, well-rounded individuals who surprised me. Every day for the first 4 weeks includes daily stream-of-consciousness writing exercises, and there is a lot of free-writing based on these prompts. If you get bored (or insanely curious, as was the case with me), there is a section of additional questions in the back of the book, and you can pick and choose more things to write about. There is also a series of structure questions, which are designed to illuminate key points in the hero's journey. Day 29, you start your first draft, armed with a fantastic wealth of knowledge as to who your characters are. So many classes I've taken don't address fears properly, but Watt has shown a path where our fears are a way into the story, and that we can work with them to explore where our story is headed. He encourages us to be willing to write poorly in order to get the idea onto the page. Once we give ourselves permission to write poorly, and we resist the urge to go back and rewrite immediately, the story becomes alive. Our idea of the story is never the whole story, and once we get out of the way, the truth of the story appears. After working with this book, I'm left with one question: How is it that I've never read about dilemma in a writing book before? The concept of dilemma was an awakening for me! There is a dilemma at the heart of every story, and if you tap into it, you will literally be flooded with images for your story! It's unbelievable that I've never heard about this before! So did I write my novel in 90 days? Yep. It felt so good to finish! And the stream-of-consciousness prompts have proved extremely useful in the short story I'm working on. Watt's method makes this so easy! I kept having ideas for other stories along the way. I scribbled down my thoughts into a to-be-written notebook. I'll need something to write later, now that I'm using this method!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WritersMind More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book because I've been stuck with my writing and just couldn't get going again. It gave me some ideas that I could use to get myself back in the swing of things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hope his fiction is better than this. What a condescending and insulting book. He goes out of his way to tell you that you need not bother with character profiles, and then asks you to do writing exercises that are... character profiles. I should have known better. Here's the one piece of advice that's useful in the book: get it all down on paper and don't pause to edit or rewrite. One down and dirty rough draft and you're good. That I can understand and use. The rest of the mumbo-jumbo is really silly. But hey, I'm not a writer, he is.