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Ken Brosky

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A beginner's guide to writing a novel
By Ken Brosky
Last edited: Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011



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Recent articles by
Ken Brosky

• Five places to find a plot for your novel
• Creating a realistic setting in your fiction novel
• How to build your author web site
• 4 tips for beating writer's block
• Places to find an agent or publisher
• Tips for re-writing and editing your writing
• How to give your narrator a voice
           >> View all 26
Everyone interested in how to write a novel should follow this list of novel writing tips in order to make their story appealing to readers and publishers.

Writing a novel is not an easy thing to do. Unlike many non-fiction works, publishers will not accept a novel unless it's completely finished. The more a writer knows about the basics of how to write a novel, the more easily the novel will be put onto paper and the more interesting it will be. Writers should attempt to incorporate all of the following tips in order to make their novel as good as possible:

Start The Novel With a Conflict

One of the best ways to hook a reader is to start in the middle of action. It doesn't need to necessarily be something crucial to the overall storyline, either. A lot of stories start out with something small, a conflict or an instant that simply serves as a jumping point for the remainder of the plot. This can be something as simple as an introduction of a mysterious character or an event that forces the protagonist into the action.

Create Interesting Characters

A man with a square jaw isn't going to keep readers interested. A woman with a mysterious past isn't going to go very far, either. Writers should take a good look at the people in their own lives and ask what makes them interesting. Characters can be created by combining features of dozens of people in the real world if a writer so chooses. Interesting characters go beyond cliches and take on a life of their own as the novel develops, drawing in readers. For more on character development, try this article.

Keep the Novel Pacing Fast and Tight

Readers don't want to spend 50 pages reading information that doesn't have anything to do with the overall plot. If readers are forced to follow digressions too often, they'll give up on the book. So will publishers! To ensure that the pacing is fast and tight, writers should adhere to a strict 300-page limit and try to plot out the story ahead of time. Let a copy of the plot sit on the desk overnight, then come back to it the next morning and look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. Eliminate anything that slows down the overall story.

Make Your Story Unique

Every writer's story should stand out from competing novels. In order to do that, writers should look to their own life for inspiration. Every writer has faced a unique set of problems and overcome unique obstacles and can incorporate those conflicts into their stories to ensure originality. The phrase "everything's been done already" may be true in a general sense, but that doesn't mean a story can't still be unique.

Read While You Write

Reading not only helps writers develop their own skills, it can provide them with invaluable information on what's selling, what kinds of characters are working in a novel and what kinds aren't, and gives writers ideas for their own story.

Web Site More tips at Final Draft Literary
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