General Question

ChaosCross's avatar

Tips for writing a novel?

Asked by ChaosCross (2340points) October 10th, 2010

To any writers out there. I am in the middle of my third novel and I would like some tips you use for writing your books.

Thank you.

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9 Answers

muppetish's avatar

A few months ago, I read Coraline by Neil Gaiman and the copy I happened to be reading included an interview. He noted that he would write 100 words of the story every day in order to get it finished, little by little. I think that is good to advice for anyone who has an idea for a story, but feels suffocated by a lack of time to clear their head and focus purely on writing their story.

Another good tip is to carry a notebook and pen with you everywhere. When I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. I cannot tell you how many times the perfect sentence has popped into my head while I was taking a shower or just as I was on the verge of falling asleep. Keep track of all your ideas big and small, no matter how trivial.

Austinlad's avatar

Two words: Live. Write.

tranquilsea's avatar

Join the Nanowrimo forums. There are tons of ideas on what to do when you run out of ideas, are looking for some obscure fact, or just need some like minds to talk to.

November is Nanowrimo’s write 50,000 in 30 days and it is a hoot.

There is a software out there Write or Die which basically gives you different levels of punishment when you stop writing. One level (I can’t remember which one) will actually start deleting what you have already written if you don’t start typing fast.

TexasDude's avatar

Universal themes…. make your book have something in it that transcends human existence that everyone can relate to or feel.

Show, don’t tell.

Details, details, details… Little details that most people would miss are what it takes to be a great writer. Put things in your book that most people might even skip over, but that one occasional reader might see and go “AHA!”

Austinlad's avatar

Check out the WRITERS AT WORK book series, edited by George Plimpton from his interviews over the years with famous writers of the 20th century for the Paris Review. You’ll find that each writer had his or her own way of writing. It was a total revelation to me to discover that there’s no one “right” way to write.

hobbitsubculture's avatar

Everything that @tranquilsea said, but also check out ywriter, a program that allows you to organize your writing by chapter and scene, as well as keep track of character and setting info. I’ve used it for a year and a half now. It’s free.

Research everything. Assume nothing.

downtide's avatar

@hobbitsubculture I’ve just started using ywriter for planning of my third novel, and I love it. I don’t know how I managed before. I do tend to find though that it’s a bit of a procrastination thing – I spend so much time fiddling with things on there and not enough actual writing.

ChaosCross's avatar

Thank you everyone! This is some stellar advice!

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