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Behind the Scenes of a Novel Day One

Updated on September 2, 2012

Getting Started

At the keyboard
At the keyboard

Day One

I am starting something a bit different with my hubs. I am going to try to daily take you through what I go through to get from the beginning to the end of a novel. If I don't do it daily, I will at least make an attempt to write a hub weekly on the topic.

Expanding an Idea

I wrote a short story several months ago that dealt with abused women. I have decided to expand it into a novel. First, I had to reread the short story. As I did so, I made edits and changes. I can give more back story in a novel than I can in a short story.

The idea actually came out of the Underground Railroad used in the 1860's to help escaped slaves reach freedom in the north. My main character has inherited her grandparents' home which at one time was a stop for slaves. It is up to her to update and make secure the tunnel and sleeping chamber used over 100 years ago. Since she is remodeling the house it is easy to work that in.

The person doing the remodeling has a history with my main character. So I am expanding this to allow their relationship to develop into something more. Both of them have feelings from an earlier relationship and both are a bit insecure as to where the relationship might go now. It adds a dynamic to the whole thing.

What makes someone get into helping abused women and children escape? That's another part of the back story. Something happened while my main character was in college to cause her to major in law. She has had experiences since that put in on the path to helping women in bad situations. Could this put her in danger? Most likely the answer is yes.

Introducing Other Characters

I am pulling a character from my current series to help with the law enforcement side of this issue. She and my main character have a history. I believe I will have them meet in college and keep in touch over the years. I'm still working on that.

There is also the housekeeper who has been with my main character's family for as long as she can remember. She is kind woman who tends to mumble, bringing laughter to my main character. She is training a new girl to help her out with the household chores. It too adds a dimension to the story.

There are also members of the City Council my main character will come up against. First, she is going to practice law out of her home and not the courthouse. Second, many of them knew her as a child growing up in the town and have preconceived notions of what she should be like now. Coming home to live is not always an easy thing. My main character will learn this the hard way.

While she is a successful attorney, she does cases for women in trouble pro bono...for free. This will not make her popular with court appointed attorneys and those who would charge. She is seen as a crusader, which will not be popular in a small town. It will be exciting to see how she handles it and who stands beside her.

Tying it all Together

This is often the hardest part. Making sure all the pieces fit and the story flows. It will be something I deal with in later hubs.

If you are a first time novelist, maybe you will find something useful in these articles. I get an idea and I run with it. I know what I want to say and I know where I want the story to go. I do not outline, except maybe in my head. I am what is referred to as a seat of your pants kind of writer. I get an idea, sit at my computer, and start typing. I get as much down as I can and then I start fleshing it out. That doesn't work for everyone. Sometimes my characters change the way the story is heading. As long as it's in character and fits, I let them run with it. You need to find the way that works for you.


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    • Duchessoflilac1 profile image

      Rebecka Vigus 5 years ago from Johns Island, SC

      Glad you like the idea. I have been trying to come up with something worthwhile.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      This is a great idea. I like to write like that as well. I never knew it was by the seat of your pants kind of writer, but I don't like to outline much either. I would rather just go with it. I'm looking forward to your next hub on writing a novel. It may inspire me to get back to work on the one I'm writing.