How to Write a Novel

1.    First you need to come up with an idea. You can try reading other books, watching movies,        listening tomusic, etc. for inspiration, or just waiting until that perfect idea “hits” you. The        best ideas come when you aren’t trying to think of anything.
2.   Write down all your ideas for characters, events, places, or anything else. Later you can       reference this list when you are ready to begin writing.
3.   Decide what you want your book to be about. At this point you just need to know the basics.       Who will the main characters be and what will they try to accomplish.
4.   Think of a setting for your novel. Choose the year, the genre, and other “beginning details.”
5.   Create your protagonist. Remember, the protagonist is not always the “good guy,” they’re        simply the main character; they are the person your story is about. Make sure you create an       original and believable character. To be believable, they need to have a past, fears, hopes,       dreams, desires, family, job/family troubles, friends, associates, and a present.
6.   Develop your plot. Is your protagonist trying to accomplish a goal? What steps do they need       to take to get there? This is called the main conflict. What is the problem? Does trying to       solve it create more problems? Plot advancement. Is your protagonist going to be a different       person the end of the book? Make sure your plot ties in with the theme of the book and       leaves lots of wiggle room for things you might want to change later.
7.   Create your supporting characters and antagonist. They should all have an important role in       the book, or be part of the scenery. Don’t include people that don’t move the story along in       roles with lots of action or dialogue. It’s boring and weighs down the story. They need to be       believable too, just like your protagonist. Even if their fears, wishes, hopes, desires, motives,       and past are not revealed to the reader until the end or never, you still need to create them       so the characters can be revolved around them. Characters are people too, at least if you       want to be a successful writer.
8.   Rewrite. The story is really written during this part. Editing and rewriting is what makes the        story good — a first draft will almost always be bad. Just rewrite. There is really no limit to        the amount of time spent rewriting, so just keep doing it.
9.    Show someone what you’ve done. Friends or family can help, as can some online        communities. Consider joining a weekly or monthly creative writing group to get some more        feedback.
10. Keep rewriting. A great story is never truly finished, and as an amateur, you really don’t        have any time restrictions. If you don’t have the patience to write a good novel, you probably        shouldn’t do it.

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