Saturday, August 7, 2010

Finishing Writing A Novel - A Novel Idea


This post is at the request of a friend Nirvana Mamma, who is just the coolest person ever. She has a passion for writing and had some questions about finishing a novel that you have written. So, lady...this post is for you.

Writing, Finishing and Publishing A Book (Fiction)

So you have an idea for a book and want to put pen to paper. More accurately, you are probably going to type it since we have moved into the computer generation and forgotten what the #2 symbolizes on the yellow stick. The first stage of writing is to actually have a story in your head complete with characters and plot. Often times I have a character that I really like and I work a plot around the character. If you have ever written a fiction book you know that your characters really have a life of their own and a story that is their to tell. (If you have never written a fiction book, that sounds downright creepy)

It's best to write down everything about your character first. Age, location, personality, family member, etc. Get to really know your character before you start working on the plot. Sometimes the plot you think will work for your character, doesn't work at all in the end. If while writing you feel your character going in another direction, go with it. Always finish every plot line that comes to you. This can always be another book later that you can go back to. Some things I always consider when giving my character their story:

  • their purpose
  • conflict
  • resolution
  • torture (sometimes I torture my character for the sake of seeing them pull through it)
  • Character growth
  • cause/effect (what does my character's choice do to those around them)

Now you are writing your character's story. Once you are writing in this manner, you will find that your story just starts flowing. This is where writers become famous for late nights, lots of coffee and a jittery personality. Night after night your character's story starts growing and "fleshing" out. You will find yourself starting dinner only to have a wonderful idea and go back to the keyboard for more. Your family will probably begin to dislike you at this point, but its all going to be worth it in the end.

So you are coming to the end of your character's story and you think now what? Often times you have put so much into getting to know your character that it is almost sad to see it end, but it needs to. Unless of course you are going for the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest book ever written. You have resolved all the conflicts and its time for your character to ride into the sunset. Let it go peacefully. As I mentioned before, if there was another storyline for your character; feel free to write a sequel or another behind the scenes storyline.

So you just typed "The End" and now what? There are so many options now for publishing that range from almost free to high end marketing/publishing. I'm not going to give you a suggestion here, because it is going to be at your preference and budget. The biggest thing is that you have breathed life into this character and story. This is an accomplishment in itself. Bravo!!!

If you have any questions about writing/publishing a book; feel free to ask. I am in no way an expert, but we can always find the answer together.

9 comments:

NowWhatDad said...

Now I know where to go when I am ready to start writing a book. This is something I have always wanted to do, and I definitely have a lot of characters in my head...or are those just voices? Regardless, you did a great job laying out the groundwork for getting started!

desk49 said...

If you make a million on you book good for you. If not, so what.
You did what you wanted to do. It took me two years to do 37 chapters of my book. Four people have read it cover to cover. That is three more then I thought would. My editor is now my friend. Get someone that is not family to edit it for you. Someone that will point out the Bad and good. Now why did I say bad first. If all they say is good good good good good good you’re the best writer in the world and you don't need them. Editors are like books, there’s a few good one, but a lot more bad ones. It’s okay to fire a editor.

ModernMom said...

What a fabulous post. Sigh. Someday!

papier et encre said...

Thanks! That is really helpful. At the moment I have a story in mind, but am having trouble building the characters and giving them any real depth. (I've traditionally been a technical writer and it's hard to transition to more than listing the facts in chronological order)! :)

Maureen said...

Hopefully someday when I have enough guts to go with this I'll look back to this post! :D

Btw, congrats on being SITS BOTD! Your blog rocks, totally!

Selena said...

This is awesome advice. I can see that your character driven approach has more potential that just sitting down and trying to tell a story ... if you just go with the flow you'll never get stuck! This sounds like a great way to approach NaNoWriMo in November...

Victoria Lewy said...

Thank you for the great tips. When I start writing a novel I'll keep your suggestions in mind.

Victoria

Nirvana Mamma said...

You're awesome! You know that? I started with a plot a few times and it didn't work out. But, now I have this crazy hippie, new agey girl chatting away at me. Strange right? Maybe I'll find a plot for her, but for now, she's taking over my blog. I like her. She's fun.

MariaMedia said...

Great blog.

Here's another idea for your readers. There is a really fun program every November called National Novel Writing Month or NANOWRIMO. Thousands of people do it every year and the challenge is to write a novel in the month of November. Check out their website at http://www.nanowrimo.org/

It got me motivated last year to start writing and now I'm self-publishing my own e-novel at http://www.mariamedia.net/no-songs-for-men/

Keep up the great work!

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