Once you have an idea for your novel you need to start writing it. Once you have started to write it REMEMBER to make things happen in it.
You can have loads of stuff happen in your novel, the death of a pet, a sneezing fit that leads to the main character having to buy more tissues, an old woman opening a jar, someone driving somewhere, a young child finding a fish finger down the back of the fridge, two people having a conversation about something, someone looking at a collection of rubber bands, a lady telling someone she likes The Beatles, a man sitting, someone walking in a big field, an old man saying ‘no’ and shit like that.
So many things ‘happen’ so PLEASE make sure things happen in your novel. If nothing happens in your novel maybe you should stick to writing manuals.
When writing a novel it is important to make sure that every scene has a reason for being there. Each scene must move the story along or help to develop characters.
This is a mistake many newbie novelists make when they are starting out, along with not having the correct pen and not giving any of their characters believable surnames, (seriously, DO NOT give your characters surnames like ‘Mangofart’ or ‘Vulvabacksweat’!!)
Below are two sentences, see if you can work out which one moves the plotline forward the best.
‘Dave Vulvabacksweat entered the kitchen’;
‘Dave Vulvabacksweat entered the kitchen, tripped on a mango and died instantly’
Can you spot which sentence moves the storyline forward?
If you are still not certain how to make every scene count, watch the film ‘Crocodile Dundee II’ staring Paul Hogan and copy it.
What do you do before you start a new scene? Obviously you check that your pen still has ink in it and that you are physically awake. You may also check if you have a spare pen, in case the one you plan to use runs out of ink during the writing session.
But another thing you will do before setting off on an uncharted voyage into a new scene is to ‘visualize’ the scene.
This means to visualize stuff and shit like that.
And when I say ‘visualize’ I of course mean ‘imagining’ buy using your ‘imagination’. The word ‘imagination’ is a word you have no doubt seen or heard quit a lot since you decided to write a novel and the reason you keep hearing (or seeing) it, is because ‘imagination’ is really, really, really important.
To make a scene believable, the place where the scene takes place has to be believable to the reader. Below are two examples of the beginning of a scene, which one is correct:
‘The woman walked into the dimly lit library and could instantly smell chips’
‘The woman walked in’
Which one gives you the better ‘visualization’ of the scene? This can be your homework for today.
REMEMBER humans are visually orientated so we need to ‘visualize’ scenes and shit like that. If we weren’t humans and instead were bats, our books wouldn’t be ‘visual’, they’d be ‘soundual’ because bats are blind as shit, I am sure you have heard the famous expression ‘as short-sighted as a bat’…yes? Have you heard of it? Great..
What I am trying to say is the market for novels written for bats is a very small market and they are extremely difficult to write, so stick to writing for humans.
In order for your novel to be relatable you MUST give ALL of the characters in your book a name, like we have in real life.
Names such as Bob, Jill or Peter are all acceptable, as are Zach, Ron and Kylie…in fact all names are acceptable as long as you make sure you give male characters male names and female characters female names.
Below is a list of some other names you can use for characters;
If you can’t think of a name, just close your eyes and think of a friend…do they have a name? Great, use that!
Sometimes you can also use your own name BUT REMEMBER don’t use the same name for every character, otherwise things could get very confusing for the reader.
Do you know what ‘dialogue’ is? No? No problem. I will tell you (even though you could go and look it up somewhere like a dictionary or some shit like that).
‘Dialogue’ is when one or more people say things out loud.
You will use ‘dialogue’ a lot in your novel (if it involves humans talking), so it is good to understand it better.
In real life people are always using ‘dialogue’ such as, “Go on without me, I’m not going to make it”, “I’ve lost my cheese” and “What are you doing with your life? You just sit in your room pretending you’re some kind of writer but you’re just a loser that watches too much porn!” Some ‘dialogue’ can be invented by using your imagination or, like one of the examples above, some of it can be from words that you have heard people say.
Below is an example of ‘dialogue’
So, now that you know what ‘dialogue’ is you can write some.
Remember, all plots need a beginning, a middle, another middle, another middle with a slight twist, another middle bit where the previous twist wasn’t an actual twist, something that feels like another beginning but can’t be because its a middle, another short middle, something that feels like the ending but isn’t, an ending, a huge twist, the actual ending and an epilogue.