This post is the sixty-seventh post in a series about writing a novel. And now it is time to wrap up this series…
In August of 2017, I started a series about writing a novel. I’ve covered everything from story ideas, setting, story/character arcs, dialogue, pace, and characters to name just a few of the topics. From writing the story to editing, publishing and then marketing, I’ve covered many aspects of writing and publishing your story.
And now, after 66 posts, I think I have covered most of the topics you would need to complete a novel. Some of the areas can obviously be gone into with more depth. If you see areas that I missed, please list them in the comments, and I will cover them.
Writing a Novel
Remember that there is really no one way to write a novel. You can plan everything out or write on a whim. You may develop characters as you go or write detailed back stories for each of your main characters. Your first draft may turn out horrible, and you throw out most (or all) of it. You may finish your first draft in a few weeks as your write daily or it can take you months if you have to squeeze writing into your already busy daily life. and what works for one author will not necessarily work for you.
Also, remember that writing takes time. It takes time to write, edit and polish your work. Do not be in a hurry to publish. You want to have a quality product rather than a work riddled with errors that turns off the reader.
Here is a list of the writing topics that I have covered.
#1 – Deciding to write a novel – Writing Myths
#2 – Three areas to develop before starting to write a novel
#3 – Finding a Story Idea and How to Know if it “good enough”
#4 – Developing Characters for your Novel
#5 – Major characters? Minor Characters? Where does everyone fit in?
#6 – Developing the Setting for your Novel
#7 – The importance of developing conflict in your novel plot
#8 – To Outline or not to outline
#9 – The importance of a story arc
#10 – The importance of tension and pace
#11 – Prologue and opening scenes
#12 – Beginning and ending scenes in a novel
#13 – The importance of dialogue…and a few tips on how to write it
#14 – Using Internal Dialogue in your novel
#15 – More dialogue tips and help with dialogue tags
#16 – Knowing and incorporating back story into your novel
#17 – Hinting at what is to come with foreshadowing
#18 – Tips for writing different scenes in your novel
#19 – Dealing with Writer’s Block
#20 – Killing a Character in your Novel
#21 – Keeping things realistic in your novel
#22 – Establishing Writing Goals and Developing Good Writing Habits
#23 – Using the five senses and passive voice in your novel
#24 – The benefit of research in fiction writing
#25 – Novella or Novel, Trilogy or Series – decisions for writers
#26 – Avoiding Plot and Character Clichés
#27 – Novel Writing – Endings and Epilogues
#28 – Fantasy Novel Writing – World Building, Dragons, Magic and More
Editing a Novel
Now you have your first draft done. As I said above, it may be worthless, or it could be a diamond in the rough. You need to be able to step back and evaluate what you have written. You may need to rewrite or even delete scenes that you spent hours writing or that you really love. But you are now in the part of editing stage where you are polishing your work, cutting, trimming, tightening and finally getting your story into a publishable form.
How many drafts you do or how long this process takes will definitely depend on each author. If you are on your sixteenth novel, it may go easier than it will for the newbie. If you planned and outlined your work, you may have fewer corrections. But again, this is not an area where you want to hurry. You want to make your story to shine. You want to refine your word choices, keep the action hopping and give the reader satisfying ending.
Here is a list of the editing topics that I have covered.
#29 – Finishing your First Draft
#30 – Your Second Draft and Beyond
#31 – Picking Stronger Words and Watching out for Homonyms
#32 – Omitting unnecessary words in your novel
#33 – Beta Reader, Proofreaders and Copy Editors
#34 – Knowing your grammar or at least using a grammar checking program
#35 – Using a Revision Outline during your Novel Editing
#36 – Editing Techniques: Taking a Break and Reading Aloud
So, you have written your novel and edited and revised it until you are sure it is ready to be published. Next week, I will wrap up publishing and marketing your novel.