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.
“Argh, I am so stuck! I haven’t written for over 12 minutes! I have terrible writers block”.
We’ve all been there, we’ve all suffered from the feeling of emptiness in our brain, when no thoughts manifest. The crippling fear of whether it’s ‘there’ or ‘their’ that you should write. The awful feeling that makes us wonder if we’re good enough…
So, I thought I’d take a moment to write some great quotes from some of my favourite writers to help get you motivated and push you on to achieving amazing things in your writing career!
Pick up the pen, you idiot – Dave Flippers
When one has no inspiration…you..er…erm.. – Tony Maltesers
To write is to live, to live is to write so if you don’t write you may as well be dead – H.S. Plopping.
Throw that tuna salad out of the window! – Gillian Photocopier
Write, right? – Anne Laser
Writing is easy, it’s defrosting the freezer that’s hard – Bill Dickface
Oh just shut up and at least turn on the computer, you fool! – L.L.L.L. Hugedancer
You can do it…what? Oh, yes that does sound bad…never mind! – Cherie Asparagus
Inspiration is 12 per cent perspiration, 68 per cent sugar and 32 per cent…no hang on that’s not right…hold on…erm… – Kevin Waste
Is dranghyerpfff a word? It is now – Deborah Banktransfer
Have you thought of becoming a mime artist? – Flannery O’Flannersterflan
A writer is always listening…pardon? – Doug Products.
Writing is the souls way of hiding all of the awful, awful things that happen in your life…you’re life is truly awful!! – Terry Flange
Can I borrow your pencil, mate? – Ursula F. Nur-ma-nur
Learn to actually read before writing, you twat! – Suzy Whiteboard-Markerpen
What is writing? Seriously…what is it? – D.I.K. Head.
Writing is like sex. It rarely happens and when it does its over within 4 seconds, isn’t it…isn’t it? – Frank De De Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Words…words. Words, words, words. I like how they stroke my bum – Sylvia Fingercat
My pen has run out of ink…Oh no and that was the last pen in the world. Oh well, I’ll just stop – Kramer Tadpole
No one else actually cares about your bloody novel! – Trevor Breath.
So there you go writers! I am sure all of these quotes struck a chord and will inspire you to go on and produce work of outstanading quality!