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.