How to write a Novel?

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  1. FirstTimeV2 profile image61
    FirstTimeV2posted 2 years ago
    At first, I thought of writing a novel is a piece of cake, but when I actually started to do it, I encounter a lots of problem and ended as a failure. Now I want to make a come back and try it one more time, that's why I write this discussion to get some Idea, information and guidelines on how to write a good novel. 

    The question is? Are you willing to share your thoughts and help a stranger to solve his problem?

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
      TessSchlesingerposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Writing a novel is easier for some than others. For me, I follow a very simple method. I sit down at my computer, start typing, and the story just comes. I kid you not. It's that simple. For me, the more difficult part is if I stop writing for any length of time in the middle of the novel because then I've forgotten what happened. I  have to do it over one time period and write every day.

      Apparently, most bestselling writers use this method. The story just downloads into your mind.

      Okay, that said, there's the usual stuff about finding a nice place to work, outlining the story, having a backstory on characters. All of this can be read in dozens of books on how to write.

      My biggest tip would be to have an incredible amount of factual knowledge to draw upon. I covered this in my recent articles on why good writers read. Without that large database of factual information, it's incredibly difficult to write because one does't have sufficient information to draw upon.

      I think the reason myself and other writers simply 'download' is because we read so much.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image95
        Marisa Wrightposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        The only thing I'd say about that is that it is - as I'm sure you know - only the beginning of the process.  Once the story is down on paper, that's when the real work of editing and polishing starts!   

        I think that's especially true for inexperienced writers. I've been critique partners with a few newbies, and those who claim their writing "just flows" often don't have lovely prose - they have verbal diarrhea.  I'm the opposite - I tend to overthink and over-edit as I'm writing, which make for very slow progress and sometimes, a stilted result. 

        The bottom line is that we are the worst judges of our own writing, and learning to accept and learn from critique partners and editors is the most important lesson you can learn as a writer IMO.

        1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
          TessSchlesingerposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Well, that's what you have painfully pedantic sisters for! She will spot the most minor grammatical error, etc. smile

          However, I find the polishing to be the nicest part. I generally don't do a second draft because most of what I write comes out pretty okay.

          That said, Marisa, I have been writing for more than half a century and have been acknowledged by many as having a particular talent in that area. I've learnt a lot along the way, and the more one does it, the easier it is. I don't think a day has gone past in 50 years where I haven't written 5000 words.

          Remember, I don't talk much because I have an auditory processing disorder so ordinary conversation is difficult and distressful for me. I cope by writing.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image95
            Marisa Wrightposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            I'm just saying that when talking to writers without your many years of experience, it's important to remember that your ability now is at a much higher level than when you started out.

            I don't have anywhere near your experience in writing books, in fact I have yet to finish my first novel.  Where I'm at right now, I know I'm a bad judge of my own writing.  And that's the case for most writers IMO, until they have a LOT of experience under their belt.

            CritiqueCircle has really highlighted that for me - a month ago I picked up a novel I wrote several years ago and I thought, "hey, this is good, I'm going to finish and publish it".   After posting the first 5 chapters on CC, I was soon disabused of that notion - they got picked to pieces.  However, the criticism was constructive and you know what?  They were absolutely right.   I've now plugged the plot holes they noticed, and addressed other shortcomings, and I think the story is vastly improved as a result. 

   … -pottinger

            I think this article is great advice for brand new writers:

   … ditor-yet/

            1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
              TessSchlesingerposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              I'd like to see what you wrote. Can you send me a chapter?

     … words.html

              Certainly work has to be edited by a professional editor. I understand that but it's not what we were speaking about. You were speaking about second and third drafts. I don't do second and third drafts. I do one draft, do an edit (I worked for two publishing houses in London as an editor), and would submit for publication then (after my sister had a read through).

              That's me.

              With regard to new writers, I truly don't kow what to say except to share my experience of writing.


              Just thinking. My first book which both my sister and I edited was only a first draft. It got through the first round of the Amazon book of the year, or whatever it's called.

              I spent about 3 months writing books during that time. One book got to the top 50 of itunes in Australia. Still another was a series and I uploaded a chapter ever Thursday night at midnight. There were 500 downloads within an hour. It was quite regular. I never did second or third drafts. Some of them I edited. My sister edited two books for me.

              That was it.

              So while I understand that's not the way other writer's work, it's the way I write.

      2. FirstTimeV2 profile image61
        FirstTimeV2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I envy your writing ability, Maybe If my english can compare at least half, I can write a good one and After reading your comments and ideas, I realize how poor and badly my english. Now I'm sure for myself, I have a very long way to catch up.

        1. TessSchlesinger profile image94
          TessSchlesingerposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          But you have to start somewhere. Reading books you enjoy will help you absorb language without even thinking about it.

  2. Marisa Wright profile image95
    Marisa Wrightposted 2 years ago


    I have a novel which has been sitting in my virtual bottom drawer (i.e. in a file on my PC) for far too long.  I'm finding CritiqueCircle is giving me the tools and the motivation to get it up to standard and to finish it.

  3. FirstTimeV2 profile image61
    FirstTimeV2posted 2 years ago

    The site looks helpful for me, Thanks for sharing.

  4. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    There are a lot of different factors that can stop people from finishing a novel.  For me it is important to have a basic plot, and especially the ending, worked out in advance.  But I know other people can just make it up as they go.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I'm in that category.   I once followed the advice on a writing site, and sat down and wrote a plot outline for a novel.  Once I'd worked out what the ending was going to be, I lost interest in writing the story.  I still haven't written it!

      1. psycheskinner profile image82
        psycheskinnerposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, many of my writer acquaintances said the same thing.  Whatever advice one writer might give, another will have had the opposite experience.  Basically it comes down to each of us working out how to get the job done.  I have written several books now and each one had its own set of obstacles.  Persistence is key.

        1. FirstTimeV2 profile image61
          FirstTimeV2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          I agree, Persistence is the most very important thing to all writers.

        2. TessSchlesinger profile image94
          TessSchlesingerposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          I would agree with that.

    2. FirstTimeV2 profile image61
      FirstTimeV2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      First, I want to thank you for sharing your idea. Second, You're right, Plot is important it may bring the whole story, and keep on writing like you can foresee the future.

  5. Paxash profile image98
    Paxashposted 2 years ago

    I've been struggling to write a first novel for years. For me, it's a matter of putting in the time and being persistent in hammering it out. For others, it might be different.

    I find writing advice generally isn't very helpful since it tends to boil down to "it's different for everyone," but I do quite like the advice Chuck Wendig gives out on a lot of his blog entries at So that may or may not be worth checking out in your case.

    1. FirstTimeV2 profile image61
      FirstTimeV2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      There's a lot of sense to your comment, It may be hard for the others to compare their work, because they have different aspects on writing. I'll give a try and look for this Chuck Wendid  blog. Thanks for sharing your idea.


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