Someone asked me to give more examples of how to write a novel. In my first blog on this subject, I was not as specific as maybe I could have been. Though I think it gave food for thought.

Today, I will begin by digging a little deeper, maybe together we can discover what you can do to begin writing a novel.

I didn’t realise until recently that there was a formula written by Debra Dixon. How embarrassing is that? Oddly I use the system without thinking about it. Most likely because I was told about it way back when…

May I suggest with every question posed, you start bullet pointing your answers. I hope you will be pleasantly surprised how much work you find yourself achieving.

Here goes:

1. Goal – what do your characters want to achieve or do?

2. Motivation – What drives your character – think about this for a moment.

3. Conflict – what stops your character from getting what they want or achieve?

If we consider those three simple, yet not so simple steps, you are well on the way to having an idea where you are heading with your story.

In fact, I would suggest that G M C may well mirror the whole of your own writing experience at some time or other.

These three elements are essential.  Without all three the suggestion is that your novel will be linear, flat, uninteresting.

Of course, you will need to consider each step carefully. Now ask yourself:

What do you look for in a book?

The answer you give will help you to think outside the box and discover your interests, (if you haven’t already given it much thought).

Now ask yourself this:

What makes you want to write?

I know I’ve said this before, but if you’re not invested in what you’re writing, it’s unlikely you will finish your story or inspire someone to want read it.

The next step: What genre do feel you want to write in?

What makes you feel comfortable to read?

What do you enjoy reading? Remember to bullet point each answer.

Do you have some ideas for your story? Bullet points… nagging I know.

Now take a break and imagine you are resting on the beach. Maybe dipping your toes in the water…

People Playing on Rocky Beach

I assume you have a feel for a certain genre. That is not only helpful, but essential. Read everything you can get your hands on. Take a reflective view on what works for that author and what you like about it. Emulating a style is fine, but be you, writing is about you, for you, and how you feel about yourself when you are writing it.

I did a blog post on developing characters – you can check out that post. I hope it helps.

Last bit for today – there’s a billion ways of getting a plot down – do what works for you. Here are some ideas:

Post it notes

A large sheet of paper and scrawl all over it

Type it

Bullet points

Mind maps

In fact anything that works for you.

Another term was called brainstorming, I used to use that, until I was told it was politically incorrect. Arghh. BRAINSTORM IF IT WORKS FOR YOU.

So much to share, so much to talk about so much work to get on with for now.

Here are three more things I need to say:

  1. I promise to develop this post a little further and hope this gives you a start.  Also, there is an earlier post called ‘so you want to write a novel) please check that out as well.
  2. I have a couple of lovely authors I’m spotlighting shortly.
  3. My second book: The Twenty-One-Year Contract is launched worldwide! Pinch me again.

Please feel free to share with your friends and enemies… Thank you!

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