How to write a novel March 16, 2009Posted by philangelus in how-to, Monday Morning Question, writing.
Someone on Twitter asked me for advice about writing a novel. For your Monday Morning Question, let’s everyone give her a piece of advice. Either from the perspective of a writer (if you are) or as a reader (which you definitely are!)
1) Write about something you love, and characters you love. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with them, so they might as well be people on whom you’ll lavish your time willingly.
2) Have reasonable expectations for yourself. And experiment a little at first to find out what those expectations should be.
3) Read a lot. Read widely. Read in the genre you’re writing. But don’t try to write your own version of someone else’s book.
4) Learn the rules before you feel free to break them.
5) Make sure the main character solves the main conflict.
6) Get to know your characters, but leave room for them to surprise you.
7) Don’t let a critic destroy your self-confidence, but if every reader says the same thing, it benefits you to listen.
8 ) Epic battles don’t engage the reader. Individuals within the epic battles do.
9) Don’t share your first drafts. Write crappy rough drafts without looking for perfection on the first shot. The reason to have a rough draft is to have a splendid second draft.
10) Write because your soul requires it, not because you have a “message.” If you have a “message,” call Western Union. If you have a story, write a story.
What else, guys? Share away in the comments box, or if you prefer, on your own weblog (and I’ll link to it).