13 Ways to Write a Novel

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With NaNoWriMo coming up in a month and a half’s time, I’m surprised that there hasn’t yet been a swathe of NaNo How To’s posted across the web. As I’m also in a pre-NaNo preparation phase, here’s my effort – 13 Ways to Write a Novel.

1. Outline

This is a massive subject. I’m currently drafting up a list of outlining methods as a Tumblr Masterlist. The post offers everything from structured outlining, plotboarding, templated outlining, index carding, to some simpler ways to plan before, during and after the first draft. It’s title so far? 111 Ways to Outline…and counting.  I’ll link to the post once I have posted it on my E4W tumblr blog, but in the meantime – some more ways to write a novel below.

How: Sketch out plot, characters, settings, and important plot turning points (called anything from story beats, signpost moments or plot, pinch or turning points). The most important to get a grasp of – the inciting incident or moment that takes your main character from their normal world into the story.

Pros: Outlining saves time in the long run. It gives you the confidence that you know roughly where you’re going, and the structure is better than if you begin just writing organically. This means there may be less redrafting and rewriting than for discovery writers who wrote without any kind of outline.

Cons: The typical argument against outlining comes from purely organic or discovery writers, who argue that outlining beforehand takes the passion and thrill out of the writing, and consequently the writing becomes predictable and boring. This is something I can example – as a new writer I used to outline a lot. This helped me immensely at the time, but as I gained experience, my long-winded outlines found me losing passion for the actual draft by the time I came to it. In fact, there was one outline – perhaps my third – that totally devastated me of any impetus to actually write the story. I was done with it.

Another consideration with OTT Outlines is the fact that a good few writers use the outlining process as a procrastination or avoidance tool. It’s easy to do – outlining, if you use tools like storyboards, mindmaps, colourful index cards or sticky notes, not only takes care of your office supply fetish, but is fun and free-form and oh, yes – fun! Writing, however, actual sit-on-your-butt and add a sentence, then another, then another – not fun at all. That’s work, and hard draining work at that. No wonder so many of us stay in the outlining process for too long.

But it’s simply a matter of amount and method chosen for outlining. Nowadays I use different outlining methods at different times in the process, and am still open to writing an outline and never looking at it again, as I discover the draft taking me in different directions.

2. Word Count

Setting a word count target for a session of writing is a tried and true writerly way. It’s built into the premise of NaNoWriMo itself – a month’s writing at 50,000 words = 1667 words per day, every day of that month.  If you aren’t doing NaNoWriMo, and want to use the method to write a novel over a year, my own 2 Years to a Book formula may work for you. There are several others, working with from 500-1000 words per day.

Note: My 2 Years 2 a Book was initially released as an infographic back in 2013. This year I worked on the same material in an illustrated zine class. More coming up in a later post.

How: Set a word target for each writing session. If you’re into maths, work out what your ultimate target is for the first draft (realising many of those words may be written out on rewrites). Your novel target should be relevant to genre guidelines or something like the NaNoWriMo challenge. Then divide it by the number of days or writing sessions you will set to complete the first draft in.

Permutation: Word Ceiling. Set a word count as both a target and ceiling for the day. Some writers vouch by the ceiling because it forces you to stop mid-way through a writing passage, meaning that when you return to the next session, you’ll have something to immediately get on with.

Pros: Word targets mean you can achieve something each writing session, giving you that boost of feelings of accomplishment, and the much needed motivation to continue writing.  NaNoWriMo lives off this, by providing you with a word count input field, and graphs and widgets to share the slow growth towards the ultimate target. If you’re not in NaNo, there are plenty of shared spreadsheets, and wordcount widgets for your blog, to allow you this self-analysis and motivation.

Word counts are also one easy method for competitiveness, should you want to involve yourself in things like word sprints or community group forums.

Working to a word count target also takes away the perfectionism or quality aspect. You can allow yourself to write a horrible first draft as long as you can feel you are making progress.

Cons: It’s the lack of quality aspect that finds criticism from some around writing marathons like NaNo. Some question what the point is of setting targets to write horrible wordages which are likely to have to be rewritten anyway. Aiming to meet word targets may help if you’re into fast writing, and have some sort of pre-thoughts or outlines.  But if you’re a slow writer who works by discovery and steeping (or letting new ideas mature) you may find yourself settling on less than great ideas just to meet the target.  Welcome to most writer’s lives, where that first draft is always going to be a “shitty first draft”, to quote Hemingway and Lamott.

3. Timed Writing Sessions

Similar in principle, and often combined with setting a word count target, setting a time on your writing can sometimes work as a way to motivate output. The practice has been emphasized lately with our busy lives, where many writers find themselves confined to writing in the time-frames available to them – around work, lunchtimes, night-time or early mornings.

How: While many writers may set an hour writing session, others may be confined to grabbing a half hour, or even 15 minutes, to write in. It helps if such times are scheduled or booked in, and therefore set at the same time each day, so that measures can be taken to avoid interruptions or distractions.

Permutation: Pomodoro or Timed Clock sessions. There’s been a lot of studies on clocked sessions, natural working cycles and productivity which appears to enforce the principle of working for 20-25 minutes, then taking a break for five, then returning to that cycle. The 25-5 cycle is called a Pomodoro, which is a registered trademark, although you’ll find tomato timer apps and tools all over the net.  Another similar principle which I work with more naturally is the 90 minute cycle before a bigger break to refresh my engines. 90 minutes is the Ultradian Rhythm. Both Pomodoro and Ultradian systems were written about in 2013 in a series on writing productivity here.

Pros: Timed writing sessions are a necessity for many writers with busy external schedules and demands. Like word count targets, having a time target of spending a certain amount of time solely on writing can provide a sense of accomplishment and progress – dependent on what is actually done during that time. Which is where other targets or goals should be set.

Timed writing targets are also a reasonable method – provided you have the discipline to accomplish your task – where other writing stages are worked in. Whereas the drafting writing process can be quantified with word count statistics, stages like editing – where wordcount can fluctuate, or even reverse itself – can be quantified by the time spent in those tasks.

Cons: The most valid con to working with timed targets is the debate that sitting somewhere and simply writing something may not achieve anything. There are stories of people sitting down at their writing desks for an hour and looking into space for that entire hour, perhaps achieving one typed sentence. This is a productivity issue – set other goals for that writing session if not accomplishing sufficient writing is a concern. Although sometimes, spending time thinking is a required process of being a writer – just make sure it’s thinking about the writing project itself.

4. The Sprint or Burst

Yes, this is another way of repeating the Pomodoro or Ultradian Cycle methods discussed above. But it’s more than that. Pomodoros or the like are a productivity technique for a repetitive cycle of timed activities and breaks. Typically they should be scheduled in as a process, and work with tools like timers which stop you going longer on the task at hand.

How: Sprints or burst writing is a similar method, but may not be repeated or cycled. Typically a writing sprint or burst will take 30-60 minutes. Writing groups can set out a scheduled and timed “Writing Sprint” where the participating writer should stop on the clock, but if you’re writing individually in a burst or sprint, it’s up to you if you stop on that timeframe, or complete the sentence, paragraph or train of plot you find yourself in.

Permutation: Warm Up Writing – Exercises, Prompts, Journals.  There are a good lot of writers who never commence their writing day without first warming up their writing by doing a burst of writing on writing exercises, choosing a prompt, or even entering 3 pages worth into their morning pages (ala Julia Cameron). I’m not one of those writers – I find spending time on writing away from my fictional WIP means I lose passion for the actual writing. However if you do find you enjoy morning pages or the like so much, but aren’t making progress on your novel, consider the worth of where you are spending your efforts writing.

Pros: Setting a short time-frame or burst of writing allows you to freshen up. This can work well if you find yourself stuck in a plotting problem in the middle of the draft, or sitting with writer’s block in total. This is where choosing a warmup write may well work to either resolve your problems, or at least get you back into a writing flow.

Setting a burst may also work to provide a motivational deadline you can live up to. Professional writers with editors and publishers often work to deadlines. New novelists need to learn how to set such deadlines as a motivational driver for themselves.

Cons: Timed writing cons are shared with pomodoro or other scheduled writing methods. You can write horrible writing within these burst periods, just for the sake of sitting down and typing out something. Knowing the time cutoff is coming up, you may look for excuses to stop or windup your writing which could also affect the quality. And if you find yourself in the middle of a great writing flow, and a clock or buzzer goes off, you may lose your writing flow completely.

5. The Immersion

All writing and only writing, all of the time. This one is often combined with some kind of timed writing method, simply out of practicality and place. It’s where all distractions and interruptions are risk-managed, and you enter a world of writing that only involves you, your WIP notes, and some kind of distraction-free writing software and hardware, where possible.

How: Shut off the internet. Use distraction-free tools (here’s my Ultimate List of Distraction Blockers, 2014) that do this, or rip the cord out of the modem. Turn off the phone. Shut the door, and put a sign out telling your family (save emergency fires) to keep out. Some writers immerse for several hours, others for a dedicated hour.

Pros: Eliminated distractions mean you can relax into your writing, and you also may have the dedicated time and peace to think over problems. There is also a value-add of feeling more professional and productive in your writing, and this may also be recognised in your family members who learn your immersed writing time is as important as any other commitments.

Cons: If you immerse for too long (say 3-4 hours) this could negatively effect your writing. You can end up grinding out writing just to meet the time target, rather than going with the peaks and troughs of normal flow. Family members who have had to “put up” with you being MIA for sometime will also have some expectations of seeing something witnessably achieved in that time, and by that I mean expecting to see a pile of printed writing papers or tangible outputs. These perhaps unrealistic expectations of proving what you’ve done, must also be managed around.

6. Writing in the Park or Coffeeshop

Some of the places we go to write come from that old “artistic lifestyle” that we buy into. There are many stories of famous quirky writers who wrote their masterpieces in coffeeshops, parks or even prone in their bathtubs. Nowadays much of taking our writing on-the-road is for the sake of seeking out a distraction-free place for immersion (as above).  Although nowadays with mobile or free wifi or smartphones, even that scenario can be thwarted.

But there are many studies suggesting there is great value in seeking out places like parks to write in, or even taking exercises through parks, or traveling from one coffeeshop to another – all of which can increase our creativity. On the E4W tumblr blog there is an occasional post series on methods for unsticking writers’ block. Two posts confirm these studies – Changing Rooms, and Color Therapy Part 2 – Walk in the Green.

How: Find a quiet place, a park, or coffeeshop, library etc, to go regularly to write in. Take your writing on-the-go by taking your laptop, using one of the many mobile writing apps, or simply taking an old-school notebook and pen. Prepare and set targets for your writing beforehand.

Pros: Studies have shown that exercising and the colour green (as in natural greens found in parks and outside) both increase our creativity. Many writers swear by the white-noise background found sitting in coffeeshops (which also help in providing caffiene and other nourishment rewards for writers). Changing places and regularly taking your writing out to somewhere else may break you out of a funk or block, and re-energise your writing.

Cons: My own obvious con, having tried writing in public places like coffeeshops is just how distracting I find these places. Being a people-watcher naturally, I find any movement or irregular noise (like chairs scraping) makes me look and watch, so I inevitably end up with much less quantity to my writing compared with writing in my nice quiet study back at home. Another issue with writing in places like these, is the sheer public-ness of it. People either think you’re a nutter, or take too much pains to come over and gaze over your shoulder to see what you’re doing. Waitresses hover, awaiting your next coffee order. Dog walkers in parks decide you need to pay attention to them, or their dogs, as you’re taking their bench.

Some of these things can be managed, however – by developing a working relationship with a favourite coffeehouse, or providing a fake coffeeshop ambience back home (with one of the many coffee noise apps).

And if you find you get a lot from writing out in a park, but can’t deal with the public distractions, set up a writing spot outside (if you have access to a garden). At least you will know the dog.

7. To Noise or not to Noise?

That is the question. Many writers need noise – be it white noise (You can find some awesome Rainy Sound apps) or music. There are many shared playlists of relevant music for specific moods or genres you may be working on – search for writer’s playlists through 8Tracks, Youtube, Spotify and the like.

I, on the other hand, need quiet. Apart from the natural noises that come from outside (believe me, Australian native birdcalls are more akin to being surrounded by pterodactyls than robins), my writing study is peacefully quiet. Save for the tapping of keyboard, and hum of my hard-drive, this post is being written quietly.

How: First, work out if you are a more productive writer with or without background noise, and if so – what kind of noise? For those like me, setup a quiet place dedicated for your writing. For those into sounds, there are many methods and solutions to how this can be provided.

Importantly, your likes and what works may alter over time, or with differing stages of the writing process. Set aside some test times, and try out new elements of sound.

Pros: If you find the correct playlists, these can have energising or motivational results on your writing. Even I, the noiseless one, occasionally put on a self-created playlist if I want to generate a mood or genre for my writing.

On the other side, if you normally find background noises (as found in coffeeshops, for instance) too distracting, putting on visible headphones to deaden the noises has an associated affect – people are less likely to interrupt you if you’re wearing headphones, even if you’re not playing anything through them.

Cons: A noiseless office can never be totally noiseless. The so-called quietness may actually emphasize distractions and take you out of the flow.

On the other side, if you listen to somebody else’s engineered playlist of genre music, you may equally be distracted by encountering a song or lyrics you’ve not heard before.

A solution to this is to create your own playlist in advance – something that can take a lot of time away from your writing, but on the plus side – can also be used for later promotional work if you look into licensing etc).

A final con – if you do use one of the  ambient noise apps like Rainy Day or Fireside etc, these can become monotonous after time – to the point where you can be distracted by the music loops and repetitions.

8. The Discovery or Journey

Life is a journey and live it by the seat of your pants – and any other mixed metaphor relevant to this method. Many writers consider themselves pantsers or best when discovery writing. This is, by many definitions, the opposite of an outliner or organised writing approach. Discovery or Journey writing is where the writer simply starts writing, with no plans, and sees where the story takes them.

When I say no plans, however, that’s not quite true – there has to be some idea of something – perhaps a character or setting, perhaps a plot point, beginning or end?

How: Find that nutshell of an idea (some writers actually start from one of the many writing prompts available nowadays – you will find these on websites, in books or many apps offer exercises or prompts). In this case, you are looking for an idea – character, setting, situation, etc – which is good enough to write a novel from. Sometimes that’s a difficult thing to find – an idea could fill out a short story or other short form but not have enough to it to write 100,000 words from.

So, once you find that novel idea, you begin, and write. This can be from beginning to end, or you may write out of order, and attempt to clasp the scenes or sections together into a novel at some later point.

Pros: Discovery writers (like, famously, Stephen King) talk about the excitement of discovering the story as they write. It’s exciting to see, and to feel like the story is telling itself. Note that Stephen King is an incredibly experienced writer who started out in more structured writing which taught him the craft of writing. So, King and other reputedly organic writers who write without an outline, already have a sound structural knowledge to build story upon.

Cons: With true organic writing, the discovery that you don’t have a full novel’s worth of idea may come 20K into the drafting. What you initially thought a worthwhile novel idea may turn out to be better written in short-form.

Discovery writing also provided the very great possibility that you might write yourself into a hole, or create an unholy mess that isn’t fixable with many rewrites. On rewrites, it’s been found that organic writers spend more time rewriting (unless you’re King et el) and redrafting from that zero draft than those who started off with some kind of reasonable outline.

How do you stop this, as a new writer? You learn your writing craft – in fact, writers should never stop learning craft – and with a reasonable knowledge of structure, character development, universal plot points, how to describe things, etc – then you have a working chance of stringing together a zero draft worth fighting with.

Or, even better, you outline, even as you prepare to throw out or redevelop that outline as soon as you begin writing. Enter, the hybrid:

9. Hybrid Writing

Hybrid, when used a few years back, used to mean a combination of old-school and digital ways of doing something. Nowadays very few writers write a full novel in the old-school way of hand-writing or even using a typewriter. Most of us start off using software on a computer. So, being digital natives (in terms of writing, anyway), hybrid writing now means a process of writing which sits somewhere along the line between a true outliner or organised writer and a true organic or discovery writer.

It’s a big line between those two top end wings. Most writers fall somewhere along that line, and for most writing projects, our levels may vary.

As I said above, as a totally new writer I started off as a true outliner. I followed somebody’s outlining and novel planning process step by step. The work helped me learn the craft of structuring a novel, but those learnings continue to this day. After crashing a novel through over-outlining I jumped the wrong way, and tried not outlining at all. My organic efforts created such a mess 1/3 of the way through the story that it took me a year to sort it out.

Yes, that was my NaNoWriMo effort of only last year. It was almost totally a discovery writing experiment. I had a bare nutshell of some ideas. Because of my general writing craft knowledge, I had managed to write in some good plot points and turns, and had a reasonably good character cast. But…I had no ending, and at that point, no drive to get to that non-existent ending.

So, I embrace the hybrid nature of what is needed here. The disastrous plot has become a possible series, although my NaNo effort this year will be to totally rewrite that stand alone first book, to make sure it includes the plotlines, characterisation and themes I’ve now begun to develop through my outlining process.

I have also embraced the fact that all my efforts to outline and plot and plan may well never be re-read again by myself until going back into the draft to rewrite it. That’s okay, and the way I intend to work. It’s got a name – parsing. The outline and preplanning, although written down, is simply to solidify some strategies into my brain. I may or may not consult the work as I write. I may use it as a map at certain points. I may not. I certainly will parse the outline at a later date.

There are various writing coaches who work in hybrid fashion. Some suggest they outline plot, but leave characters to the discovery writing process. Some build from a character development process, and discover the plot wrapped around those characters as they go. Some go for a minimal approach to outlining – perhaps only one page of summary sentences about what needs to happen; others use creative tools and play with moving around coloured sticky notes.

And that covers pretty much the hows, pros and cons of a hybrid approach. However, there is one thing to be stated as a feasible pro for reasonable outlines –

10. Out of Order Scenery

Many writers write sequentially – start at the beginning, go through the middle, and end at the climax and resolution. It’s a logical order to story (unless you’re writing a reverse ordered story like Memento, or something even more irregular).

Sequential writing has a lot of pro’s –it’s how the reader will embark on the story, after all. But writing sequentially also means you can be bogged down in writing passages that don’t excite you, but which you believe – at the time – are necessary to setup for more thrilling scenes. Who knows – many of those scenes may well be killed off later anyway, but in the meantime, you have to write them.

So, sometimes it can help to write a scene or portion of your novel in jigsaw fashion, and piece together later. Of course, this is much more easily done if you have a rough outline, and know what scenes are needed. In fact, this knowledge helps immensely at points where you lose motivation.

How: If you find yourself losing motivation, or stuck, jump to write a scene you’re passionate about, or have been waiting to write. This will be an exciting scene for you.

Pros: Writing piecemeal fashion may allow you to avoid the issue of  too much detail – in some drudging scenes this may have derailed you, taking you out of flow. Jumping to a more exciting scene can rekindle your writing. And, for those with a higher organic writing level, jumping to an exciting point may also allow you to discover more story.

Cons: The jigsaw scenes you write may not transition well into the scenes around them. Putting the puzzle together at the end may take more time and effort – and rewrites. New ideas that you wrote in at later stages may require more rewrites of earlier passages to include foreshadowing and concepts your story now covers. Also, if you consistently write the scenes that interest you the most, you may well find writing the scenes you left even more difficult.

11. Step by Step

As I mentioned above, this is how I began writing novels. It’s how a lot of people begin to write novels, or learn fiction writing craft. For new writers, and those about to commence their first writing marathon with NaNo, I would recommend this approach.

How: Find a step by step process and follow it. There are many good expanding processes which will start you off from a story idea or concept statement, and expand out to characters, themes, plot points and an outline. Some of the more popular for a new novelist –

  • Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success – by K.M. Weiland. There is also a Workbook.
  • Rock Your Plot: A Simple System for Plotting Your Novel, by Cathy Yardley.
  • How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson. Or find The Snowflake Method at the website.
  • The Plot Skeleton by Angela Hunt uses a skeleton analogy for a bare boned approach beginning with the skull as character.
  • No Plot, No Problem – Chris Baty – written for earlier NaNoWriMo participants, the book remains a simple one to follow and get out that first story.
  • The Busy Writer’s One Hour Plot, by Marg McAlister.
  • Outline Your Story in 30 Minutes’ by Alicia Rasley.
  • Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing by Libbie Hawker.
  • First Draft in 30 Days‘ by Karen Wiesner builds a first draft which is really a detailed outline.
  • Book in a Month’ by Victoria Lynn Schmidt.

Pros: As with any system, these formula produce a rough outline, so come with all the pro’s and con’s found with outlining in the first place. However, for newbie writers following the steps found in these books will at least grant you a fighting chance of completing a first draft, and learning enough of the concepts to allow you to develop your own writing process for later work.

Cons: Some of these books above won’t suit your own thinking styles, or sit well with you. It’s worth browsing through several of them to find a writing coach with ideas you can apply.

For instance, I find Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method too longwinded and repetitive for me. Some of it is very useful, but when it comes to several days worth of expansion on characters, that portion doesn’t work for me (I prefer to develop characters inside of drafting).

Like many other writers, I also always struggle with getting my concept or logline one sentence statement down well. Any How to Write a Novel (outline) book which washes over that process also falls into my own wastepile.

But that knowledge only came from experience and consulting many of these books, and website blog posts over many years. Which is why I suggest that if you have any spare time, consult many of these types of writing craft books, and note down the takeaways which appear to work for you.

12. Group Think

Writing, by reputation, is and must be a solely individual (read: lonely) job. There’s only one person who can type into a manuscript at any one time. Or is there? Nowadays there are quite a few novels being written as collaborative efforts – sometimes by a pair of writers who live entire countries away from each other.

But, that’s not what is normally possible. So let’s talk about using today’s global village aspects to cut through the loneliness of being responsible for a 100,000 novel.

Other writers can be used in many ways – local writing groups for critiques, social and learning craft discussions; web forums and boards for online critiques and writerly discussions; even writing coaches are making their courses and mentorships available online. For the new novelist, I would suggest using group think for the following –

How:

  1. Find yourself a writing group or forum for general community writing discussions. This is great when local, and you get to talk with real life writers, but many of us expand our writing world via online groups.
  2. Find yourself a writing buddy – this can be someone who is at a similar or higher level of writing their own novel, somebody off or online. Your writing buddy could agree to simply offering a sounding board for writing problems, to discuss your novel with. Or they may offer peer review or critiques of your novel.
  3. Reciprocate with your writing buddies and group members.

Pros: Talking with somebody who understands writing is critically important. The ideas and acknowledgement may inspire your own writing, and add to your own body of work. Just knowing that somebody else is going through similar problems – that you are not alone – is often the most powerful benefit of all.

Cons: Finding a good loyal and long term writing group or buddy is an extremely difficult thing to do. Sometimes you just go different ways, or find you have little in common or don’t work well together. Sometimes peer reviews or critiques take you along the wrong path – it’s only one person’s opinion, after all. Other times you may not take their advice to jeopardize your own work. Writing groups – particularly larger ones, can become caustic or poisonous with cliques and spammers.  Some local writing groups can be a waste of time, or not fit your own personality style. And the reciprocity of having to critique other people’s work, or spend time building those relationships and participating in work can distract you, or take you from your own work in progress.  There are a lot ( a lot!) of writers out there who spend so much time attending to their social media platforms like Facebook, or writing group chats, that they have not actually published any work.

The cons to group writing aspects can be many. But with experience you may well learn to judge and work with only groups and people who fit well with you. And this will deliver the immense benefits of community into your writing.

13. Steal One

Lucky last. I don’t actually mean steal a novel – that would be plagiarism, and is illegal. But stealing a universal story idea is an age-old writing device used by many writers historically and in modern times. Shrek is Cinderella in disguise. In fact, Cinderella is the age old Poor girl made Rich story. Star Wars, Harry Potter, even Hunger Games, all follow the traditional patterns of a Hero’s Journey. Just about any story you can think of can be linked with others.

So, I’m talking about the analysis, deconstruction and application of using a universal story to inspire and create your modern day interpretation.

How: take some of the fundamental themes, ideas or structure of a well known story, movie or fairytale, and transpose to your own story. We’re talking transposition. You don’t even have to do the analysis or deconstruction of a story yourself anymore, there are databases for your perusal, listed in a E4W miniguide: Deconstructing and Recycling Story Resources

Pros: If you have a character, and very rough idea of what you want to happen, re-using some basic plot structure from a well-known story, if done well, will give you a unique story with universal appeal. To make your story unique will be the hard task – create plot twists and pov treatments which change-up the story.

Cons: There are a lot of re-tellings of universal stories which don’t step far enough away from the originals. If that original story is easily identifiable, you’ve done it wrong. Another issue with transposition is found when writers follow the story elements too precisely, without realising that some of those elements have become expected tropes of the genre, if not cliches. If you’re going to transpose a popular story, don’t do it to follow a trend – the market will be gone by the time you’ve written it. Make it whole-heartedly unique.

Credits:
  • This post was inspired from one at Aerogramme Writers’ Studio, Max Berry:15 Ways to Write a Novel. I have borrowed some of the ways in my own post, but also added several, and augmented with resource links.
  • The graphic used here is from a Steam game: The Novelist. It’s a lovely game to play, should you find the time away from actually writing your own novel.

4 thoughts on “13 Ways to Write a Novel

  1. I’d write more at home if I had a proper writing space but unfortunately there’s no room! When I get my own place, I think I’ll probably write more at a coffee shop. I currently write a lot at my office (I’m a casual note-taker but I’m always free to come in). Does wonders.

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