Showing posts from August, 2012

How To Write A Novel Part 3: The Planning Stage

Know Your Numbers At this point, you know what sort of a novel you want to write, right? So you should have a good idea of the genre and category (MG, YA, Adult, etc.) There are certain rules to the size and shape of things in the writing world. 50,000-words is fine for a middle grade novel, but it’s not even close to an Adult novel’s requirements, and 250,000-words is just too long for anything (unless you happen to be George R.R. Martin or J. K. Rowling – which you’re not. Not yet, anyway.)
As a general rule there is a number and then there’s a range. For most adult novels the number is 100,000-words, while the range is 90-110k. Basically, you have a 20,000-word leeway around the number. So, plan accordingly. (Epic Fantasy will have a higher number as you have to worry about epic world building, but it’s still likely to be in the 110,000 range)
Here’s a brief post on an agent’s thoughts on w/c.
Outline Outlines can be done in a myriad of ways… We all remember them from high school no …

How to Write a Novel Part 2: The Initial Burst

As a plotter, it might sound a little strange to start the writing portion of a novel before you get to the real meat and potatoes of the planning. But I’ve found that that initial burst of idea, needs to be capitalized on, so at this point I write.
I may only end up with a handful of disjointed paragraphs that are pulled from all over the story, or I might end up with 10,000-words from the front end.
This is the stuff that gets piecemealed together, or pulled apart and reworked more often than not, but it’s a really good way to get things out and thought about… because the next step requires that you know what general direction you want to take the story in.
Sometimes this initial burst comes months, before I end up starting the actual first draft – and that’s usually because I don’t have time for it. A plot bunny bounds into my head and I’ll take a day or so off from what I’m working on to make sure I get what needs to be gotten down on paper and then I go back to what I need to ge…

How To Write A Novel Part 1: The Idea

***This is how I go about writing a novel, it’s probably different for other people and if you do it differently, feel free to tell me how in the comments. This works for me. Something else might work better for you.***
This might seem like a no-brainer, but in order to write a novel, you need some idea of what you plan to write.
I know, I know, you’re rolling your eyes at me right now, but it’s true. And here’s why:
Plot requires conflict > Conflict requires thought > thought requires thinking.
In today’s publishing industry, writing a hundred thousand words isn’t enough. You have to have a coherent story and you have to make it brilliant.
So, why waste time writing out languid lines of prose describing the verdant hues of a forest…. when you don’t have a plot. First things first: you have to see the plot for the trees. (Sometimes, I write things down like that and I think, what are you on??? Anyway, that’s why we have editing! But that’s for another post)
But is an idea enou…