The Craft of Writing

So, what are the secrets to writing a novel?

1. Have a story to tell.

2. Know your characters? Flesh them out with character sketches. They will now begin to tell you their story through the details of who they are. Cast the characters with the movie star they most resemble. That will help you visualize your characters and keep the nuances of their personalities fresh in your mind. Write out a full biography of your major characters and most of your minor characters.

3. Research on the time about which you write. Events in history will influence your character and will help you flesh out who they are by their reactions to those events.

4. Research climate and geography in which your story is set.  If you are writing historical fiction, you must be familiar with the total environment, the geography of the area, the weather on the days about which you write, the surroundings in which you place your characters.

5. Don't procrastinate because you don't know where to start. Choose a character and begin. You might have to change that viewpoint later on, but whatever you write will not be wasted. 

6. Don't ever let anyone tell you that grammar does not count. Do you like to look at a person with a wart on his nose? You cannot hear what they are saying because you are focusing on that defect. That is what happens when an editor attempts to read a manuscript filled with grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors.

7. Remember to add the details enabling your reader to hear, see, and feel the moments of your scenes.

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