Saturday, 22 January 2011

how to write a short novel

Just a few tips I have picked up on How to write a short novel.  These are mainly a reminder to me to keep on track, and a warning to anyone reading that what I put down in the next couple of months is a rough draft.  So please excuse any spelling and grammar errors, because there will be lots.

  1. Choose your genre. (Crime, Horror, Romance, etc) The genre I have chosen is fantasy drama. And the Title (for now) is Riders - Missing.
  2. Create the main cast - Think of one to three main characters who are interesting. Write a Character Breakdown (describing the looks, personality and history of each major character). They should be as familiar to you as your best friend, brother, sister, mother and/or father. Once you do this, your characters will talk for themselves and they may even surprise you by what they say. When this happens, you know your characters are interesting.  My three main characters are Zoe, Thanatos, Gaia with a number of secondary characters who you will meet.
  3. Plan your short novel in a notebook or on your computer. An outline of plot points (places where important events happen) can be detailed as you want. I have read somewhere that the plot is not that important.  If your characters are good, that is what you need. This is the area I have been struggling with, as I wasnt 100% happy with were my original plot was going - so I changed it.
  4. Choose a place and a time for the setting (say London 2010). Make it as interesting and attention grabbing as you can. The place and setting is The World - past, present and future.
  5. Develop the plot. Think of a really good and original storyline for the characters to be involved in. This can be done with the epitomous 'fish out of water' story where the character suddenly is in a situation they know nothing about (ie: Castaway). Or perhaps something happens to them or a family member and they have to deal with it. But be aware of obvious storylines. This is an ongoing process.
      • Don't go over the top with the storyline! The simple ones are usually the best.
      • There are four parts of a story: setup, conflict, climax and resolution. 
        • Your set up shouldn't be very long; just long enough to introduce the characters and the situation.  
        •  The conflict is then what the character has to deal with and solve.
        •  All this leads to the climax of the story where the situations reach a head.
        • The resolution ties up loose ends and sends the story out.
  6. Write. Remember a book should have a minimum of one hundred pages, but more would be preferable. Remember, you do not have a deadline so take your time!
  7. Keep writing and then, once finished, put it away for a few weeks, a month even. Come back to it and then rewrite, rewrite and then rewrite some more. First draft publications are rare, impossible even. Much of the magic of prose come from rewriting anyway
  8. Once you've edited and finalized your short novel, find a publisher to show your short novel to.

Hope you are all on your toes now in excited anticipation! (Can I use lol here?)
Enjoy, I am.

No comments:

Post a Comment