Page One - Reviewed by a proper writer

by Stuart Lennon

Back in October, we had a review on the Page One by Amanda.

She wrote:

“I'm a writer. I've written 8 books. By March next year, 5 of them will be published.”

Therein’s the problem. It is my considered opinion that Dr Fleet is, at least in part, a machine. She’s one of those fabled, “completer-finishers.” A rare breed, especially in the creative world. When she lays out a timetable to take a book from first draft to publication, she includes times, as well as dates. Then she hits them.

Normal people, proper writers, lay out timetables as aspirations, or conversation-starters.

“I’ll be done with the first draft next year some time”, is a perfectly acceptable phrase in those circles. Such vague, non-committal waffle would get short-thrift with Dr F. Trust me, I know. You see, apart from her excellent articles here on Nero’s and her prolific novel-writing, Amanda is my writing-buddy. When Amanda writes me a message, I can actually hear her eyebrow arch at my aspirational nonsense. You see, I wrote a first draft in NaNoWriMo (several years ago), and have spent years trying to wrestle that draft into some sort of structure.

Page One is for us, for normal people, people perpetually “going to write a book”, rather than actually writing one.

“Each Page One is designed for one story you want to tell, divided into easily recognisable sections that will help you plan your story so when that blank page comes calling, you’re ready to answer.”

This book is intended to move you from “going to write” to “writing”. Turning your ideas into concrete elements that constitute the basis of a novel.

For that reason, these books are one part inspiring and one part terrifying. With one of these, there’s no reason not to get started.


The structure of the book is excellent, it acts as a guide. The quality is top-notch, too. I’d like the pen elastic to be bigger, as it struggles to handle a fountain pen, even though the paper is ink-friendly.

If you are a normal writer, like me. Gift yourself this book.

If you know a normal writer, get one for them.

If you are, or know an Amanda, get one for them too. Dr Fleet really liked this book, and wrote an excellent review of it here.

Just let me add - Amanda is an excellent writer, a charming human being and a lot of fun. I’m very lucky to have found her. Go buy her books here or on, or on