By the numbers
Finish Your Book
ow many drafts does your novel or memoir really need?
What common mistakes do literary agents hate to see?
Why should your book start with SUCK?
This frank, funny guide encourages writers to tackle writing and revisions with a sense of humor and everybody’s favorite Unkind Editor on your side. From big-picture to line editing, finding the mystery in your memoir or placing an em dash, learn how to write—and finish!—your submission-ready manuscript in Seven Drafts.
The Vomit Draft
Getting what’s in your head on the page — without getting stuck.
The Story Draft
Plot, Story, and Structure: making a complete, satisfying story.
the Character Draft
Creating fully realized people your readers will care about.
The Technical Draft
Cleaning your prose at the sentence and paragraph level, and making words work for you.
The Personal Copyedit
Quick tips and easy tricks to polish your manuscript before sharing for feedback.
The Friend Read
How to get great feedback from non-professionals and use critique to fuel and improve your work.
The Editor Read
Getting professional-level feedback on your manuscript — even if you’re broke.
Navigating your book to the shelf through querying, agenting and publication.
The Writing Life
Owning your newfound skills and defining your writing process; being an author in the world.
Allison K Williams @Emirates Litfest 2020.
Get to know the author! At the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Allison speaks about Seven Drafts, and gives her three biggest insights for aspiring writers headed for publication.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will This Book Get Me Published?
Yes! No! Maybe! No-one can promise publication, no matter how good your manuscript is. Fortunately, no-one can say you won’t get published, either. Following the Seven Drafts will help you develop your writing process and skills and create the best book you can.
Where is allison teaching or speaking?
Live and virtual conferences, webinars and events are always listed here. https://linktr.ee/guerillamemoir You’ll also find casual Zoom cowriting times, and can sign up for The Writers Bridge platform chat.
Allison also delivers keynotes and workshops through other organizations. You can request her speaker information through the contact form.
Can she talk to my writing group or book club?
Allison loves meeting writing groups and book clubs both live and virtually when her schedule allows. Please get in touch via the contact form, including how often your club or group meets and how many people participate.
How Can I Work With Allison Directly?
How Can I Support This Book?
Thank you for asking! Authors depend on pre-orders, recommendations and reviews. Please tell your writer friends about Seven Drafts; pre-order at your local independent bookstore or online behemoth; and write your honest review on Goodreads, Amazon, and/or your blog or social media (tag me @guerillamemoir).
Hey, I Saw a Typo!
Good catch! If you spot a new typo and write a review (of the book, not the typo!) send us the typo, page number, and a link to your review, and we’ll send a copy to your best writer friend. To see the style sheet, and typos that were already caught (sorry!) click here.
Imagine you’re at the bookstore, flipping to random pages in the book.
What noted publishing experts, writers and readers are saying about Seven Drafts.
Jane Friedmanpublishing expert and author of The Business of Being a Writer
Allison is one of the most gifted writing teachers I know. She’s like a friend privately taking you aside, delivering the honest truth you need, in a way that makes you enthusiastic to keep on going, even when the work gets very hard.
Christopher Buehlmanauthor of The Lesser Dead and The Blacktongue Thief
Allison understands at a molecular level what makes prose work. As a sounding board, beta reader, and drop-everything-I’m-doing-to-meet-her coffeehouse workshop partner, Allison has made my writing better. Let her do that for you.
Jessica Jarlviauthor of When I Wake Up and What Did I Do?
Seven Drafts is a must-read for ALL writers! The structure makes it easy to skip to the advice most needed—at any stage of the manuscript journey. Incredibly well-written, funny and filled with great examples to help writers improve their craft.
Diane Zinnaauthor of The All-Night Sun
To take a class with Allison K. Williams is to be lifted up and catapulted into writerly community. Now her guide is here to elevate our grammar, style, and storytelling with that same kind of precision and joy.
Rhiannon Navinauthor of Only Child
Anyone, whether experienced writer or complete novice novelist, will find an abundance of Allison’s wisdom and tender loving (motivating, no-nonsense, but sometimes laugh-out-loud funny) care in her wonderful new book, and we will all be much better writers for it.
Ashleigh Renardauthor of Swing
Delivered with hilarity, highlight-worthy tips, and her characteristic loved-filled-but-never-sugar-coated style, in Seven Drafts you’ll barely notice that Allison K Williams is holding your feet to the fire as you forge a story that is worth telling and selling.
Lisa EllisonEditor and Writing Coach
Read Seven Drafts once to understand the writing landscape, then refer to it again (and again) as you make the most of every draft. As an editor and coach, this book is one I wish I’d written and one I’ll refer to and recommend for years to come.
Get your copy
Choose your favorite indie bookseller, or add Seven Drafts to your online shopping.
Add some, or all, of the following titles to your reading collection.
Get Published in
Allison K Williams
Getting published isn't a lottery or a slim chance—it’s the result of a thoughtful, deliberate submissions process. Learn how to identify your publication goals, judge your own level and find journals that are the right fit for your work.
To Hell with It:
Of Sin and Sex...
Dinty W Moore
In To Hell with It, Moore reflects on and pokes fun at the over-seriousness of religion in various texts, combining narratives of his everyday life, reflections on his childhood, and religion’s influence on culture and society.
The Business of
Being a Writer
The Business of Being a Writer is meant for early-career writers looking to develop a realistic set of expectations about making money from their work or for working writers who want a better understanding of the industry.
The Next Horseman:
A Comedy Playscript
Allison K Williams
A "social distance" play for your drama class, theatre camp, or community/small professional theatre! This fast-paced, funny (& ultimately hopeful!) script is designed for rehearsal and performance over any video chat.
Swing: A memoir of doing it all
Swing is helping individuals flip the switch from depleted to filled up in partnership, parenting, and career while inspiring couples to raise the bar for intimacy and communication inside and outside of the bedroom.
Flash Nonfiction Funny (71 funny short stories)
Hazuka & Moore
The seventy-one flash essays collected here are hilarious proof that you don’t need more than 750 words to laugh out loud. Perfect for students of writing and comedy—and for anybody who appreciates a good laugh!