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Novel Writing

Updated on November 16, 2015

Suggestions to writing a novel

In the past year, I have written five novels. Three of them are published while the other two are in the process of publication. I always find it amazing, if not astounding, how many people desire to write a book, yet they let there fears prevent them for fulfilling their dreams. Unbelievably, though, putting and penning your thoughts on paper is not that difficult. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.

First, you need to have some idea about what you share with your audience. It has been my experience that everyone has a story to tell. Everyone fantasizes about some aspect of life, whether it is about romance, drama, tragedy, or what have. The difficulty in selecting a topic is choosing something fresh. In other words, be original and be creative. There is no reason to recreate the wheel.

Furthermore, take some time reflect on the characters, the course of the book, as well as the climax (or ending). I have learned that many writers either stop their work or never get started because they try to write their novel's in its entirety. That is a big, big mistake. It is overwhelming and daunting. What I suggest is to start the book and allow your creative juices to flow naturally. That is, do not restrict yourself to a certain set of perimeters or parameters. You need to be willing to adapt and adjust the novel as it begins to reveal itself.

Though I want to encourage aspiring authors to pursue the pen, I hate to say that research is very instrumental and important to writing a great piece of work. If you are going to share facts, then it is imperative that you make sure you ducks are all in a row. Do not misinform your readers about certain people, things, or events that are either prejudicial or false. That's a no, no! While fictional books offers more latitude and longitude, ethically you will still need to research the material: especially when it pertains to real life events or people. For instance, if you are describing a certain setting, study the geography of that location. Become acquainted with the habitat: the vegetation, animals indigenous to that area, the life's of those who live in that area. Then, you are free to build upon the foundations of your research. You are then free to expound and embellish to your heart's content.

Do not be afraid to become a participant in the story. In other words, write the story as if you it is unfolding before your very eyes or as if you are the character you are betraying. Get your readers to see what you are seeing.

It is also best if you read over your material periodically. Ask yourself if your novel flows fluently. If not, then what is the dam that impedes the flow? Ask others to read your work for ideas and suggestions. By all means, proofread what you have put on paper. Trust me, I know. It is hard to be perfect. But please know this. There is a 5% margin of error allowed in publishing. It is extremely difficult to write a perfect book. Permit yourself to be human. As I say this, it does not excuse the author from not going over his or her material to make corrections.

Which brings me to my last point. you need to really think about your audience. Who do you want to read your work: youth, adolescents, and/or adults and by what means are willing to attract them to your book? Once you decide your audience, it is a must that you write in a way that is comprehensive to them: not you. Words that are either uncommon to most of the population, though impressive, are indiscernible. You will definitely lose your reader.

After completing your work, set it down for a day or two, or maybe three, and read it again. You will know whether or not it needs amending. If something seems awkward, do not be ashamed or embarrassed to ask someone to read it for you. Hopefully, he or she will be honest and tell you what needs to be either added or subtracted.

For more ideas, please contact me. I would be more than happy to help. Though writing may seem to be somewhat strenuous, publishing is a completely different matter.

God bless and good luck.

Killing Me Softly by L. C. Markland


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