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Refuse to Be Done

How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts

Matt Bell


List Price: 15.95*
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They say writing is rewriting. So why does the second part get such short shrift? Refuse To Be Done will guide you through every step of the novel writing process, from getting started on those first pages to the last tips for making your final draft even tighter and stronger.

From lauded writer and teacher Matt Bell, Refuse to Be Done is encouraging and intensely practical, focusing always on specific rewriting tasks, techniques, and activities for every stage of the process. You won’t find bromides here about the “the writing Muse.” Instead, Bell breaks down the writing process in three sections. In the first, Bell shares a bounty of tactics, all meant to push you through the initial conception and get words on the page. The second focuses on reworking the narrative through outlining, modeling, and rewriting. The third and final section offers a layered approach to polishing through a checklist of operations, breaking the daunting project of final revisions into many small, achievable tasks.
Whether you are a first time novelist or a veteran writer, you will find an abundance of strategies here to help motivate you and shake up your revision process, allowing you to approach your work, day after day and month after month, with fresh eyes and sharp new tools.

Praise For Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts

Praise for Refuse to Be Done

“Matt Bell reminds us that beyond inspiration lies attentiveness, craft, and revision, revision, revision. Refuse to Be Done is a guide to fiction writing so full of beautifully expressed practical advice, touching on everything from what to write, to how and when to write, that it's, truly, viscerally exciting to read. Perhaps improbably, Bell is as masterly a writer about fiction as he is a writer of fiction. I can't imagine anyone setting pen to paper, or fingertips to keyboard, who won't want to keep this book permanently close at hand.”
—Benjamin Dreyer, New York Times bestselling author of Dreyer's English

“This is the CrossFit of craft books, a literary piece of gym equipment that will help you progress dynamically through your creative projects with agency, clear-sightedness, and a new appreciation for the often overlooked, but utterly essential act—and art—of revision. Refuse to Be Done is a must-have for the writer who is ready to up their writing game.”
—Courtney Maum, author of Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting and Surviving Your First Book

Soho Press, 9781641293419, 168pp.

Publication Date: March 22, 2022

About the Author

Matt Bell is the author most recently of the novels Scrapper (a Michigan Notable Book) and In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods (a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award and an Indies Choice Adult Debut Book of the Year Honor Recipient, as well as the winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award). His stories have appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Tin House, Conjunctions, Fairy Tale Review, Gulf Coast, and many other publications. A native of Michigan, he now teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.