Several of my acquaintances have long desired to author a novel. Some actually begin to compose a set of notes for the composition. They read that some 100,000s of books are written every year but only a handful of successful authors are published. So their interest is thwarted from the start. Today there are many forms in which to be published and this barrier has all but disappeared
Huehy! If you desire to write in order to become famous then you have missed the point all together. The rewards and enjoyment of penning a large work is second to none in artistic satisfaction. It is a real learning, soul fulfilling, and healthy enterprise. Besides why would one want to become famous for never trying?
The first decision to be made before one begins to write is the verbal tense! Believe it or not the book must flow through several hundreds pages and make sense in time to the reader. It is unusual to write a novel in other than past tense but it is done successfully. The writer must be very comfortable here from the start.
The second decision is the actual topic. The notion of the work must not be too restrictive. It should be a view, a setting for the work to grow and alter in content. Consider the analogy of building a home with just a kitchen as the only room and then trying to live in it.
The beginning and ending are always the most difficult. Some authors try to wow the reader in the initial pages. Others lead the reader into a deepening interest through a chapter or more of prose. This is the author’s choice in style. You the writer must be comfortable with the chosen form. The ending is often a preconception but it need not be so. Some author’s never know how their work will end till they get there!
The third and important choice is the list of characters. This maybe preconceived or developed on the go. Style is everything. The characters make the story, give it life, and interest. Some authors say that strong characters once introduced actually unfold the plot and the author then just takes notes. Thus begins the creative effort and joy of writing.
The mechanics of the work such as editing, form, and structure in the novel are best taken at the start from some published work that suits the first time author. It should not be an unalterable road map but a set of guide posts upon which your writing flare may confidently be framed.
The most important effort is rewriting. Develop a style that allows ease of rewrite. Simple sentence structure is one aide. This effort will sharpen with practice.
The personal time needed for the writing a novel varies of course. Some authors may limit themselves to 100, 000 words or less others let their topic’s content be loosed without restriction. In general, 250 words fill a page. This takes but a few moment in real time to scribe. However the inspiration for this page may require meditation of thought over several days or weeks or may come forth immediately. Hence the writing effort should become a welcomed diversion from life’s drudgery. Many authors have found writing a healing effort during a divorce or lengthy period of grievance.
So get started and keep at it. Save your work in more than one folder. When the novel is finished don’t bury it. Someone will want to read it perhaps many some ones.
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