Wednesday, 30 October 2013

SHORT STORY: From FIRST Draft to FINAL Product by Michael Milton

About the Book

Title: SHORT STORY: From FIRST Draft to FINAL Product
Author: Michael Milton
Publication: Amazon Kindle
Summary: Using the story that gained him an offer of a place on a Master's in Creative Writing, Michael Milton's SHORT STORY: From FIRST Draft to FINAL Product will take you through the process he used from his first draft through to the finished piece of work. 

See the major revisions, feedback given to him by professional novelists as well as years of tips from his writers toolbox condensed into this useful little guide. 

From general writing tips to the details of line-by-line comments, SHORT STORY is the perfect kickstarter to getting your next piece of writing into shape. 

What I Think

What Michael Milton has done in this writers' guide is, as far as I'm aware, unique, and quite brave. He has put in the first draft of his story, The Boathouse, then shown readers line by line feedback and comments (from other writers), then used these to write a second and ultimately a final draft of the same story. It was very interesting to see how this story evolved from being good to excellent. It reiterates the point that leaving your story to settle for a while and getting constructive feedback from others is essential. 

Not only has he shown us this process, but this guide also has lots of hints and tips about writing and honing the craft. Part III of the book is titled: Simple Writing Tips I Wish I'd Been Told When I was Starting Out and it covers elements of 'character building', 'productivity', 'planning your story' and 'editing'. 

Milton also looks at theories of writing, such as Campbell's Monomyth, or The Hero's Journey, and applies this to his story to create a clear understanding of how it can be applied in practice. Also covered is Syd Field's 3 Arc Structure, Gregory David Roberts' Architecture of Shantaram and David Mitchell's herringbone diagram. At the end of each theory is a 'Use If', i.e. the herringbone diagram "USE IF: You want a detailed plan in one place, on one sheet of paper, that can be stuck on the wall above your computer."

Finally there is a long list of resources for writers to use. Overall I think this is an excellent guide for writers and it reminds you of simple good practices as well as introducing you to some excellent new ideas. A recommended read. 

About the Author

Michael Milton is an author and blogger currently completing a Master's in Creative Writing at the University of Kent.

His ebook, SHORT STORY: From FIRST Draft to FINAL Product, became an overnight bestseller for its category on, going on to the bestseller lists in France, Spain, India, the UK and hitting No.1 in the USA.

He blogs about his MA degree and writing here:

And about life here:

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