Feeling lost? The novel writing roadmap will take you where you want to go!
Begin at the beginning and keep on going to the end. There’s a lot of information on Novel Writing Help, but if you follow the articles below, in order, you’ll know everything you need to know to write and publish a your novel.
I’ve divided the information into four phases. If you want to skip ahead, here they are…
- Phase 1: Prepare to Succeed
- Phase 2: Write Your Novel
- Phase 3: Edit Your Novel
- Phase 4: Publish Your Novel
Phase 1: Prepare to Succeed
The information below covers everything you need to do before you write your novel. It lays a rock-solid foundation – not just for the next novel you write, but for your novel writing career as a whole.
Phase 2: Write Your Novel
Phase 1 was all about your writing career as a whole – or all the novels you’re going to write. The second phase focuses on your first novel (or your next novel if you’ve written a book before).
More specifically, it takes you from a blank sheet of paper to a solid working draft. The language may not be that pretty by the time you reach the end, but you’ll have a gripping story full of compelling characters to take forward to Phase 3, where we’ll work on polishing the words themselves.
- What Are Novel Ideas?
- Where Do Ideas Come From?
- Should You Write Autobiographical Fiction?
- How to Find Ideas in 2 Easy Steps
- How to Find Titles for Novels
- The First Rule Creating Fictional Characters
- Minor Characters & Major Characters
- How to Create Character Profiles
- Viewpoint Theory…
- Third Person Narrative Theory
- Writing In the Third Person
- First Person Narrative Theory
- Writing In the First Person
- First Person Narration Using an “Observer”
- Writing a Multiple Viewpoint Novel
- 1st or 3rd?…
- Advantages of Third Person Point of View
- Advantages of First Person Point of View
- 1st vs. 3rd Person: Which Is Best?
- Minor Viewpoints…
- Second Person Point of View
- Omniscient Point of View
- Using an Unreliable Narrator
- Final Decision…
- Past Tense or Present Tense?
- Part 1: The Big Picture of Plot…
- What Is a Plot?
- How Does Your Character Change?
- Three Act Structure
- Part 2: Plotting a Novel in 10 Steps…
- Plotting the Beginning
- Beginning a Novel “In Medias Res”
- Plotting the Middle
- Plotting the Ending
- Part 3: Finishing Touches…
- Adding Subplots to a Novel
- Optional Reading…
- How to Avoid a “Deus Ex Machina” Ending
- Developing a Plot Backwards
- Writing Opening Lines
- Writing Closing Lines
- Nine Examples of Foreshadowing
- Handling the Exposition of a Story
- How to Handle Flashbacks
- Showing & Telling
- Anatomy of a Novel: Chapters & Parts
Phase 3: Get the Words Right
Phase 2 of this process was about what you say – the people, the places, the events and so on. The aim was to come up with a working draft in which what you said was bang on the money, but how you said it (the words themselves) was still a little on the rough side.
Phase 3 is about taking those words and, as Hemingway put it, “getting them right”…
Interviewer: “How much rewriting do you do?”
Hemingway: “I rewrote the ending of ‘A Farewell to Arms’ thirty-nine times before I was satisfied.”
Interviewer: “What was it that stumped you?”
Hemingway: “Getting the words right.”
The articles below are a complete course in how to write with style.
Read them before you write your first draft – to familiarize yourself with the essentials. Or go with the flow the first time around and use these articles to edit the draft later.
Phase 4: Get Published
Finally, the best part of the whole novel writing process – getting your novel published.
Actually, getting published is the easy part. The real goal, of course, is to sell as many copies of your novel as you can!
(Note: This section is in need of a major overhaul, which I’m currently working on. The articles below will get you started, but stay tuned for a more up to date look at how to publish and promote your fiction.)
- Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing
- Legacy articles…
- Finding a Publisher vs. Finding an Agent
- Submitting a Mss to an Agent or Publisher
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