I LOVED your golfing story. Read every word. You're a wonderful writer. (Peter Bowerman, the Well-Fed Writer)
Big Things rule! ... and the video of the Airbus is great. (Jim McDonald, Birmingham, UK)
Having enjoyed reading your biographical, They can't take that away from me... I would love to post your article (for my) course for seniors entitled Autobiography and Journaling ... and let them read your article as a good example of what I call the reader's writer, clearly expressed and easy to read. (Howell)
The French language has always appealed to me ... so I enjoyed Lavinia's experiences en France! (Di Sullivan, Perth, Australia)
I am an American and an expat here since 1990. I have been a subscriber to Writing Tip for a few years now and look forward to the Friday editions. I archive by creating topics of the tips relevant to me and often refer. (Mary, Lagos, Nigeria)
Who said Aussies would bet on two flies crawling up a wall? Now I know better! (Bill Denham, Chicago, USA)
I enjoy reading your page every week, Jennifer, it's never boring and there's always something to bring a smile to my face! (Kenny Dima, Tenerife, Spain)
Thanks for pitching in to help clarify the English Language for and with us. (Paul, Portland, USA)
Your story about the evil glasses made my day :) (Edith, Derbyshire, UK)
I enjoy your letter and use it in my advanced writing class here in China. (Bugs, Shenzhen, CHINA)
I always look forward to your Latin quote of the week. (Paul, Mexico City, Mexico)
Aah! Those evil marionettes are everywhere! Thanks for another great laugh! (Jim Fraser, Vancouver, Canada)
Your remarks regarding the alien contact had me in stitches, figuratively speaking, of course. (Dave Wagner, Sacramento, US)
The best part of the missive is the introduction to Australian humour and expressions. (Chaska, Prince Edward County, CANADA)
Like your site...very inspirational when you get writer's block like me! (Peter, Seoul, South Korea)
Nice letter, I was using google for once, twice, thrice and quince, and found this page, great ;) (Marv, Zwolle, NETHERLANDS)
One of the most amusing and erudite newsletters that makes my day. Keep going. (David Vasnaik, Bangalore, INDIA)
Great newsletter - originally found this site after searching for clarification on a contentious point amongst work colleagues. Just had to look at old issues and now look forward to Fridays (Juliet Wallace, Manchester, ENGLAND)
How to Write a 'Darned Good' Novel
by Craig Lock
If you've ever wanted to write a novel, but didn't know where to start, you'll find plenty of help writing your book in this article. Novel writing is just like any other writing in that there are certain skills you must learn and master to succeed in writing your first story.
Time to Start Writing Your Novel!
Me write a novel - impossible!
Don't worry, I had the same thoughts six years ago!
"People just don't think of writing seriously. If I had been going off to teach all day, it would have been different. They wouldn't interrupt your work if you were employed at a grocery store. That's considered serious business. It's because you work at home. People think they can interrupt writing." -Jessamyn West
(People here do it to me all the time...not thinking I'm "working"!).
"I write because something inside myself, inner and unconscious forces me to. That is the first compulsion. The second is one of ethical and moral duty. I feel responsible to tell stories that inspire readers to consider more deeply who they are."
So what is it that makes you want to write a novel?
WRITING THE NOVEL
Firstly ask yourself: Why do you want to write a novel? Do you have a story to tell, a message to convey, or do you perhaps hope to inspire/challenge, entertain, be famous, reach out to others, reach into your own mind. Do you perhaps want a new identity, to reach your potential as a writer? I think that a person's motives often change as your writing proceeds.
It takes a great deal of effort to write, so PLAN ahead. Organize a few hours a day, when you won't be disturbed. WHOOA - hardly likely! The average length of a novel is 60000-100000 words. I've never counted mine. I keep my books short for two main reasons: number one, and most importantly, to tell a story as simply as possible with a message...and for purely financial considerations. I lived without a cent of income from my books for two years, when I started out. So I hurried to get them out, to earn some royalties...and save my family from starvation. Or the embarrassment of the soup kitchen!
So be prepared to make the sacrifices. BIG ones! Are you prepared to work away on your novel every day (and evening, instead of going out and having fun?). I've had a lot of fun writing, even though I may have become a "hermit and social misfit" in the process! Oh well, we'll see if "writing success" changes that!
How do you eat an elephant, or write a novel? In small chunks. So set daily goals for yourself. If you write, say 500 words a day, a first draft of your manuscript will take 120 days or 4 months. If you write 1000 words a day, you will halve the time: it will then take only 60 days. So set daily goals - at least two hours writing. Then STICK TO IT.
PLAN THE NOVEL
Jot down plenty of notes. What characters do you want in it. Draw up a flow chart to help you develop a plot. Then draw up a chronology (big word) of the plot: eg. when were the characters born, where did they go to school, marry and other major events in their lives, etc? It's difficult to remember everything, when your mind is racing ahead. A chronology helps you to keep on track, like ensuring that the ages of the characters correspond with the events. Remember: It doesn't matter WHAT you write - just as long as you ...
DECISIONS BEFORE WRITING YOUR NOVEL
But first there are some decisions to be made: Whether to write in the first, second or third person? Also from whose perspective? What tense? What is the structure to be? There must be a strong foundation, so that your novel does not 'fall down'. What is the climax? Stretch significant events central to the story and shrink unimportant ones. Describe events significant to the main theme in detail. Don't have too much description of a character, who appears only once in the story. Sort out the plot as you go along. I go for walks along the deserted beautiful beaches here and I daydream. Ensure that your novel has a RHYTHM of it's own and events move forward steadily in a logical sequence.
WHERE TO WRITE YOUR NOVEL
Find a comfortable place to write, although I think that an inspired writer can write anywhere. Tolstoi apparently wrote in the village square; because the expressions on the faces of the passing parade inspired him to write.
PITFALLS IN WRITING A NOVEL
Here are some common pitfalls for first novels ... The four main ones are:
Take advantage of world-leading products to help you with your writing ... you don't have to re-invent the wheel!
SIZE (or LENGTH) OF THE NOVEL
The length of your novel? Remember shorter novels are far easier to get published, than a long 'tomb' (or is that tome?) by an unknown author. Try to put yourself in the editor's shoes, when a new long book lands on his (or usually her) desk. Not easy! Did you know that the average first novel here in New Zealand sells only 1200 to 2000 copies and few NZ novels top 10000 sales. (Something to put on the back of chewing gum wrapping paper). No wonder Kiwi novelists are as poor as church-mice, then!
N.B: Keep in mind the expression: 'It's not the size of the wand, but the power of the magician that counts.'
Finally, I believe that nearly everyone can write their own book. If that's your dream, what's stopping you? Just go for it.
How to Write Great Prose
Every novel begins with great prose, click now for an article that explains how you can begin writing great prose today!
If you're not sure about some punctuation, grammar, style or content details, you can browse more than 500 past issues of the Write Way newsletter now.
Write Your Own Best Seller!
This year, don't just read a best-seller ... Write your own using the software program that works in the same way J K Rowling writes her Harry Potter novels!
Click now to discover more about how to write your novel.
YOU CAN DO IT
HAPPY WRITING THAT NOVEL
BOOST YOUR VOCABULARY
Whether you realise it or not, every time you speak, people use your language to instantly "tip them off" about how educated, competent and successful you are. It's not surprising, therefore, that study after study has shown that a powerful vocabulary is directly linked to success, status and income.
How would you like to boost your vocabulary by 1000 words or more in as little as 10 minutes per day? You would? Then click now for the only vocabulary-building technology that gives you 7 easy strategies to increase your word power!
Read articles here to help you improve your vocabulary ...
And remember it's important to edit your work before you send it off to a publisher. Don't undo all your good work!
Want to know more about how to write? Click here for more articles about all aspects of writing.
Why not set your next novel on a golf course?
Copyright 2009 Jennifer Stewart Write101.com