Reader question: How can I write a good novel?

There are steps to creating a novel:

  1. Decide which fiction category your novel will fall into. Mystery? Romance? Action/adventure? Whatever category you choose should be one you are familiar with.
  2. Design a main character and at least one secondary main character. Don’t spend too much time on this, a few sentences is plenty but make sure that the personality traits that will be important to the story are included.
  3. Decide what problem the story will deal with. That’s what the theme of the novel will be. Again, don’t go overboard on this, just jot down a sentence or two.
  4. Decide how the problem will be resolved. This will be the conclusion of the story and knowing how it should end will influence everything that happens along the way.
  5. Plot a path from ‘problem’ to ‘conclusion.’ One way to do this is to story-board the plot. This is how you storyboard (a simplistic explanation): Draw a calendar with 5 ‘days’ to a ‘week’ and enough ‘weeks’ to be right for the length of your novel. A novel of 50,000 words would normally be 5 ‘weeks.’ More for longer novels. The last ‘day’ of the 5 day ‘week’ is a turning point that takes your story in a different direction that still heads towards the conclusion. The first 4 ‘days’ are scenes leading up to that turning point. The first ‘day’ of the book is the opening scene where the main character starts dealing with the book’s problem. The crisis will be somewhere in the last ‘week’, leaving only a few ‘days’ to clean up any details. Maybe the crisis will be on the last ‘day.’
  6. Write the book.
  7. Edit and rewrite until you are satisfied you’ve done the best you can do.
  8. Market your book. Good luck, this is harder than writing!

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