How To: Write A Novel

 

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Introduction

    As a shorter novel writer, I have had to research a lot about novels like: How Many words make up a novel, or what is a novel, and things like that. Recently when I have expanded my descriptions of Characters, and the environment around a setting, I have done research about How to properly describe Characters, how to properly describe the setting, Here are some writing tips I have for writing YOUR novels.

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Basic Needs of A Novel

    Most novels are above the wording of 75k words, 50k is a shorter novel,which tells the story, yet details are left out, 75k novels are normal sized, they tell the major plot points without leaving a trail of detail out, anything higher than 100k holds detail in almost every chapter, not a single detail is left out. A novel above 150k words has the likely hood to hold repetitive aspects, for example a fight, since Superman V Batman just got out, that is the most recent example for me, It would be repetitive for the director to have an hour or more of Superman and Batman fighting, sad to say, if it were just them fighting the whole movie, there would be no plot. This brings up the next part of a novel, or any story for that matter, The Plot-line, or the Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, falling action, and the resolution, like in our example of Batman V. Superman, the exposition was where Superman saved Lois Lane from the terrorists, Batman had his mother die, and the moment when Batman's father died in the city of Metropolis, the rising action was the build up to the climax, where Superman and Batman learn about each other, Superman tells Batman to quit being a hero, they prepare to brawl, Batman starts to hunt Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman (Dianna) is introduced, Batman finds the meta human files in Lex Luthor's computer, and finally, Batman and Superman duel it out. The Climax is the scenes where Batman nearly defeats Superman, when Superman tells him about the situation that Lex Luthor put him in. They start to work together, when Lex Luthor starts up the whole Doomsday deal, Batman goes to handle Superman's Earthly mom's rescue, and Superman goes to stop the Kryptonian ship from activating Doomsday and he goes and faces Lex Luthor. The next part of the climax is when they fight doomsday together (They= Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman) though it ends with Superman's 'Death', The Falling action is everything that happens after Superman dies, up to his burial. The Resolution basically told us about the Justice League, which will more than likely be The Justice League vs Darkseid, when Batman (Bruce Wayne) tells Wonder Woman they need to find the other meta-humans, and soon a powerful and evil figure will make his appearance, the resolution also holds what almost everyone who didn't read the comics were asking "Is Superman really dead?" the answer came at the ending when the dirt on top of the casket started to hover, this is due to Superman having an Anti gravitational aspect when he flies.

    That is the basic breakdown of that plot line, make sure you make your own and don't plagiarize another's work. There is a fine line from say you created a Super hero story-line (Not Suggested) and for example, my own superhero story-line, Templar, DC comics has it's own Templar Villain, it is not the same if My Templar follows a whole other story-line, and is the protagonist of the story.

    Now, I did ask myself "How will I write over 50 thousand words? I have never written pass a whole paper before!" that was when the quote by Stephen king "Write a page a day, only 300 words, and in a year, you will have written a novel." that helped me, as time goes by, if you follow that, you will find yourself writing pass 300 words, into the 400s and then farther down, now I write three thousand words on a slow day.

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Characterization

    For some, writing just seems to come naturally, like those annoying people that can sit down at a piano, play around with it for a few minutes, and then dive into something by Mozart. For the remainder of us, writing is something that takes practice and a willingness to learn; to elicit and take feedback for what it is, a chance to improve.

    One of the most difficult aspects of writing is accurately, and even more importantly effectively, describing the people and places around us. Sounds easy, but being able to convey a mood, a sense of who a person is by their description is an acquired talent for most. Knowing how to write descriptions of people is one of the keys to being an effective story-teller, whether you write fiction or non-fiction. I’m reminded of a line in a book by Tom Clancy, one of my favorite authors until he started writing books with movie adaptations in mind; but that’s a story for another time. Anyway, he wrote in one of his books “…when you shook his hand, you knew there was a man at the other end…”  The point being that he didn’t mention anything about the size of the hand, the smoothness or coarseness of the skin or anything along those lines, and yet it gave the reader a clear image of what this guy was all about. Therein lies the rub: how to give readers a sense of a person in a way that keeps them engaged. 

    With (all) that said, here are a few things to consider when writing descriptions of people.

    First and foremost, write with all the senses in mind, not just the specific attributes. In other words, show don’t tell.

    For example, skin isn’t “perfect,” it’s “…milky white…” Perfect doesn’t evoke a picture as clearly or descriptively as milky white.

    Next, ask yourself why you’re writing the description, what is it you want to pass on to the reader? Do you want the person portrayed as kind, mean, angry, humble? Let’s say your objective is to describe your Mom and her cheery outlook on life: “Somehow, the lines around her eyes made them sparkle all the more. Here’s a lady that doesn’t take herself to seriously” What picture did that evoke? Hopefully, an image of a woman with a good sense of humor and a fairly positive outlook on life. We don’t know what color her eyes are, if they're too close together or too far apart, but we do know about her. 

 A couple of other considerations; use adjectives to describe an attribute or emotion. As with the example above, skin isn’t perfect, it’s tan or milky white. Also, try and avoid words like “beautiful” “splendid” or “delicious.” These aren’t descriptive, they are the result of SOMETHING, but what? Descriptions of people that share with the reader what makes the face of a young child beautiful are effective, not simply that it is. An example: “Her face glew with an innocence only a child can feel…” says more to the reader than “She’s beautiful girl.” When it’s all said and done (and it nearly is), descriptions of people should evoke an image and elicit an emotion from the reader.

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Classic Storyboard

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Creating Your Characters

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A heroes Journey

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Expositionary Background

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Point of View

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Killing a Character

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