The Best Way to Write a Novel: Your Way

The Best Way to Write a Novel: Your Way

Want to write a novel? If you do, please realize that you can do it YOUR way. There’s no “right” way to write a novel.

Do what works for you. As long as you’re writing, it’s going great. Every novel you write is different, and you’re different with each novel. Everything you write teaches you something. When you’re just starting out, you see one way to write something. As you gain experience, you see more ways to write.

I enjoyed Max Barry’s Fifteen Ways to Write a Novel, in which he says:

If there were a single method of writing great books, we’d all be doing it.

There’s no single, best way. Do what you intuitively feel is right for you. If you’re stuck on your novel, write a short story.

I ghostwrite fiction for clients, as well as writing my own fiction, and usually have one book I’m drafting, while I revise a couple of others — four others, at the moment.

My current way of writing a novel

I spend a couple of hours each day writing rough draft material, either at the beginning of the day, or in the late evening. My sole aim is to get words on paper. I use the super-easy outlining method.

My first drafts are always a discovery process. Everything goes right into the draft: character journals, notes to myself, ideas about character arcs.

I try to write straight through from the beginning to the end of the book. However, if the plot shifts in a major way, I’ll delete scenes and chapters, and write new scenes and chapters.

For example, one novel I’m revising, working title, Wilderness, started out as a paranormal, with time-travel elements. I was a quarter into the first draft, when I decided to eliminate all the paranormal material, and turn it into the first book in a contemporary series.

That was a major switch, but it worked out well. I deleted some scenes, wrote several new scenes, reworked the beginning, and carried on with the draft.

(A tip of the hat to Scrivener, which makes it easy for you to switch things around, as many times as you like.)

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Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

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Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 3
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How To Write Novels And Short Stories Readers Love: You're about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you're writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily. More info →
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Updated: November 1, 2016

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.