Monday, April 19, 2010

How To Write A Novel

How to write a novel

I'm currently working on my 14th book, and I'm regularly asked for advice and help on how to write so I thought I'd set this down. This is what works for me, how I do it:

1. Write the OUTLINE of your story--a summary that includes at least one problem/conflict to be solved/resolved and at least one theme.

2. Detail your SETTING--this is the where and when your story happens.

3. Detail your CHARACTER(S)--this is who drives the story; you should also decide who is telling the story: is it the main character, another character or someone outside the story?

4. List your EVENTS--these are the moments of the story, e.g., Robert hits Keith, Thuli gossips about Futhi etc.

5. Plot your EVENTS--that is, decide in which order you will show the events to your readers; this is the shape of the story.

6. Decide on your main THEME(S)--this will determine the slant/bias/perspective you use in your revealing of the events.

7. Begin WRITING.

8. Keep WRITING--set a manageable target for yourself: 3 pages, one page, one paragraph to be written every day until the story is finished.

9. EDIT/REWRITE until you're happy with what you've got.

10. CIRCULATE copies of your story to a few readers and ask them to give you feedback.

11. Write the OUTLINE of a new story.


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