Let’s talk about novel writing today.
I know, I know.
Writing a novel is HARD. I did it. I was a mess. And my novel is probably really bad. I mean i know it’s bad but it’s probably really bad.
But I won’t know until my beta-readers are done with it.
Anyway, I want to talk a little about the process. Obviously there are tons of books out there that can help you, but hey, they cost money. This will help you get started, then you can move to the more in-depth books.
Duh, right? Ok, so you need an idea for a story. My friend Nick Thacker, another author who I reference often, has a great post over at K.M. Weiland’s blog Word Play about writing your novel in two sentences here. It goes through how to choose a protagonist and a conflict to set up your novel. It’s a good map for getting started.
The second thing that can help you with your novel is knowing how you want the story to end. I started writing my novel with no end in mind, and the story just went wild. With nowhere to aim, I literally fired into the air and eventually hit something. It was brutal. Having an ending in mind will help shape your story.
The protagonist is important, but the cast as a whole is what makes a story great. Think about it. Who are the most memorable characters from Star Wars: A New Hope? Han Solo and Chewebacca, supporting cast members for that movie. R2-D2 and C-3PO, also supporting cast.
Now go to Star Trek: The Original Series. Scotty, Uhura, and Chekov are all supporting cast, but they are beloved characters. They were so vital to the series, that they could have whole stories revolve around them, but they were still supporting the main trio of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.
Firefly. The argument could be made that the entire cast is in a supporting role and the protagonist shifts from episode to episode. This is mainly due to Joss Whedon’s expertise in writing ensemble casts. Dude is a genius. If you don’t believe me, watch Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the Avengers movie.
I hope these three things will get you started. I know that they would have helped me greatly when I wrote my first novel. I’m currently working on a second, we’ll see if they help. Keep writing!