The Nighttime Novelist...accomplishes more in about 240 pages than a dozen other "how to write" or "craft your novel" books have ever done.

--Helen Gallagher/Blogcritics




Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nighttime Novelist Reviews & News

Things have been way hectic over here--grading done, holiday shopping not so much--but I wanted to pass along a few nice reviews that have come in recently for The Nighttime Novelist. Hope you'll not only click for the full reviews, but also spend some time checking out the sites.

From Curious Villager:
When asked which books one should read to learn how to go about writing a novel, there are two I immediately name:

#1. The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
#2. On Writing by Stephen King

Now I would add this book as #3 to my list. While Elements of Style is necessary for the basics, and Stephen King is necessary for inspiration, The Nighttime Novelist would be the actual blue prints of how to get your story down on paper. [Full review]

Technically, The Nighttime Novelist: Finish Your Novel in Your Spare Time is superbly organized, written in an engaging style that has just the right formula of instruction and fun. Moreover, the design is an outstanding feature of the book with Bates' generous use of colorful pages that are combined with pictorial content, tables and sidebars that wrap the whole book up in a presentation that is extremely pleasing to the eye. As for the text, it is very informative covering a wide range of topics. [Full review]

From Comics Worth Reading:
The book is an easy read — although you won’t want to read it through; instead, you should stop, reflect on the lessons, and try them out. It’s written in a conversational tone, and pages are punctuated with inspirational quotes from famous writers. If you’re looking for an encouraging gift for a creative friend, especially one who just needs the right hand-holding to get started, this might fit the bill. {Full review]

From bellaonline:
Many how-to-write-a-novel books push the same ideas over and over again to the reader but Bates’ approach is refreshing. He doesn’t repeat the same things other books have. He explores how to connect with your characters and focuses on the end of you story by thinking like the reader who may be holding you novel in their hands in a year. [Full review]

Some time before 2011 I'm going to make a Reviews page and keep an updated listing...but in the meantime, I'm very grateful for the kind words, and for the kind attention being given the book.

Also, the book's been featured on the Gotham Writers Workshop site and in their newsletter.

Finally, former student of mine (and wonderful fiction writer) Nora Bonner--read her story "Burying Jeremy Green" in the 2010 Best American Nonrequired Reading--wrote to tell me she'd spotted The Nighttime Novelist on a bookstore Thailand.

Of course I knew that the book's sold all over the world--and I have site visitors come from all parts--but it's nice to get photo confirmation from a friend. (And while there's nothing particularly Thai about the photo, I'll take her at her word that it's Thailand, and she's not just faking the moon landing for my benefit.)

My thanks to Nora, to all the sites that've kindly noticed the book, and to all the people who've worked so hard getting the book out there. And especially to the book's readers...thank you for everything, and hope your holiday season will be merry and bright.


  1. I did a mini-review of your excellent book on my blog. I love your style and the way you talk to the reader. I also love the spiral binding! It lets me sit at my computer and read and practice at the same time. Thanks for producing such an encouraging book!

  2. Thanks so much for those kind words, Travelin'Oma! I hope people'll stop by your blog to read the review, and then stay to browse around for a while:

    Many thanks again!