When I wrote my new goals for the year, one of them was to either edit my NaNoWriMo novel from 2012 OR to write a new novel using 90 Days to Your Novel by Sarah Domet. In an effort to decide which I would prefer, I started reading 90 Days to Your Novel last night. I’ve had the book for almost three years now, so I thought it was definitely time to give it a read.
The premise behind the book is that you are given a new assignment every day for the course of 90 days. You start out planning your novel, eventually jumping into writing it linearly. I believe at the end of the 90 days, you should have a relatively polished draft (I’m not entirely sure if this is supposed to be the first draft or not though). Domet is a huge advocate of outlines and planning, so the initial planning stages are sure to help get you to a much more polished draft than you’d have at the end of writing a NaNoWriMo novel the way I did. So all in all, the book appeals to me on principle.
But once I finished reading Part 1, I immediately started to dislike Domet’s writing style. For one thing, her initial assignments didn’t really work for me. She wants you to sit and brainstorm ideas from your life, looking for something that could be useful as a story idea. That may work for other people, but for me, a lot of my ideas seem to pop into my head; I let my unconscious mind do a lot of the initial leg-work for ideas.
I also really didn’t like the way she harps on and on about outlining. I forgave that in the initial section, where she’s trying to convince people outlines are a good thing (and I do agree with her – writing without one makes a scary editing nightmare, as my NaNoWriMo forays have proven to me). But it hit a point in the book where she needed to stop trying to convince me that they’re good.
I realize that I’m probably not her target audience at all with this book, and that’s probably why I ran into problems with it. I didn’t mind reading Part 1, especially when she talked about the different types of outlines. But I don’t think I’m going to be using her book to help me reach my goal. Instead I’m going to just trust myself: I know what I’m doing, and I can rewrite this thing my way.