So there you are with a story clamoring to be set free. You’re so ready, you want to jump in and type it from beginning to end today! Well, okay, maybe not all today – but if it were possible, you would! And this story is so good, you just know someone’s going to snap it up and publish it straight away!
Then reality sets in. The odds of that? Not so good. I don’t presume to say that it won’t happen. If it does, I want a referral to your agent!
Even the good off-the-top-of-the-head, seat-of-the-pants stories can benefit from the input of those who know how to write excellent novels. Knowing what a novel should include ahead of time makes for a better story in your first draft. That makes the editing and rewriting process a whole lot more pleasant.
Maybe you’ve been sheltered from some of this information. If so, it can be a little overwhelming. I recommend my post about focus to help you get past that and keep writing, keep up that all-important momentum. It’s also why I’m only going to post a few, very informative sites.
- Victoria Mixon’s Guest Blogger Post on Everything You Need to Know about Writing a Novel, in 1000 Words: Great post. Readable, understandable, doesn’t knock your knees out from under you. Highly recommend it.
- How Not to Write a Story is a terrific article about… well… what not to do. Listen to it. Follow the advice. Get past the submission process… maybe.
- Again, what *not* to do: 17 Reasons Book Manuscripts Are Rejected is a useful, informative list of things to avoid at all costs in your novel. Some are no brainers (or should be). Others aren’t quite as obvious.
- Those are just a few to get you started. Here’s one to lift your spirits with some fun. The more careful readers will find some nuggets of wisdom hidden among the amusement. 50 Reasons No One Wants to Publish Your First Book.
Believe it when I say that your heroine has been smacked upside the head a few times, dear Reader. She’s gone back to the drawing board several times with her WIP.
However, at some point one has to take all the advice and just write the story. Yes, you can edit — WILL edit — later. But the story has to be written in order to be tightened and polished, right?
Take these suggestions into account and go from there. Know them and still write from the heart. A great story wins out in the end. Knowing these things will help you to make your story even stronger.