Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tips for Writing a Novel

The end of 2012 is fast approaching. In preparation for that all-important New Year’s Resolution, I’m reviewing my notes from workshops and presentations I’ve attended during the year.

In January 2012, my local SCBWI chapter (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators North/Center Northeast Texas chapter) was privileged to have Paula Laroucque speak to our group.

Among other things, she gave us some practical advice for writing a novel.
  1. Make a road map. Skipping the planning often results in getting lost or taking the long way around to finishing your novel. Start with the destination (major problem), add a handful of possible routes (very brief action sentences), and then create bios for characters that will accompany you on your journey.
  2. Get organize so you can spend writing time writing. Put the actual manuscript in one place. Organize scenes, cuts, and “in the wings” themes in another.
  3. Allow yourself to write a really terrible first draft. Lower your standards because it is a FIRST draft and chances are you’ll end up throwing a lot of it out anyway.
  4. Write in scenes, not necessarily in consecutive order.
  5. Don’t tell everything. Let the reader fill in the details. Hold out a little. It will build suspense and keep readers reading to find out what happens.
  6. Read! (Not necessarily in the genre you’re writing.)
  7. Join a critique group!!

Visit Paula’s blog at:

It’s loaded with great articles and advice for writers of all skill levels and genres. 

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