12 Simple Steps to Complete Your Novel

So you want to complete a novel?

Writing a novel is a long process and many people get lost along the way. In order to complete this process follow these 12 simple steps. By having a structure to follow you will not only complete your novel but have fun at the same time.

12 steps to your novel

  • Step one is to create a work space. Decide where you will write your novel and develop the space to maximise your concentration and imagination. You could be working in a home office, your work office on a lunch break or a mobile device as you travel. Look at the environment you are going to work in and ask yourself how you feel in that environment. Are you focused and motivated to get to work. If not, why not.
  • Step two is about scheduling your work sessions. A big reason a lot of people never complete their novel is that they allow the days to pass by and never quite get around to writing. Decide when in the day writing will happen, even if you can only spare twenty minutes. Commit to this time and show up for it like you would to any other important commitment in your life.
  • Step three is a very simple step. Your novel must have a beginning, middle and end. Don’t start off writing reams of words relating to a beginning or specific part of the novel until you know the progression of the story. Writers have many thoughts and ideas every day, if you try and follow all of them you will get lost. Have a basic idea before you start writing so you can filter out the ideas that are going to help you accomplish your goal.
  • Step four builds on step three. Flesh out your plot. Use diagrams and notes to build on your basic plot. It is as important as writing the actual text to spend time working on the detailed plot breakdown. This gives your time and writing a sure direction to go in.
  • Step five is to set your imagination free. Certainly tight prose is where you want your writing to end up. However that prose will be fairly bland if you haven’t spent time on the imaginative process. Use the technique of writing ideas down in a raw form. Write short, unpunctuated sentences to develop ideas about conversations or character’s thoughts. This process sets you up for writing your prose.
  • Step six is to add realism to your characters. Create a written “sketch” of people you know or see in the world around you. What kind of physical characteristics do people have? Their manner and speech are all forming individual portraits. If your own characters don’t have these attributes they will not seem real.
  • Step seven is to write back stories for all your characters. The back story may never be fully revealed in the eventual novel but you have to know these people fully in order to bring them to life. Characters without back stories come across as one dimensional.
  • Step eight is to develop an idea of what your character wears on a daily basis. This adds another layer of reality to your work.
  • Step nine returns to your plotting process. To take this to the next level you need to have the novel plotted scene by scene. You now know exactly what will happen and in what order.
  • Step ten is concerned with creating a rough draft of your novel. Rather than going through your scene plan and trying to make everything perfect allow yourself to move quickly through the scenes and create a draft. You will make many drafts in order to complete your novel. They will slowly approach the perfect end product you are seeking. Trying to write the project straight off will cause problems.
  • Step eleven is to complete your final draft and give yourself time to read through it. Many people find that after they finish their novel they are too involved with the text to assess it properly. Take as long as you need before you start editing.
  • Step twelve is to get others to read your work! Show it to friends and family and balance feedback with your own thoughts on what the book should be.

    Now you’re ready to find a publisher!


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Rejection Letters to Famous Authors

Hard Work is not Good Enough

Quitting is very easy but that’s just it, it lasts forever. If the road to success was easy, no one would have an excuse to not achieve his goals. But that is not the case. Even as you read an enjoyable book, the writer may have had to go through so much to have the book published.

Rejection is painful. But sadly, a majority of the bestselling authors have had to taste its bitterness at one time in their lives. Some of the authors, who publishers rejected before, are now writing giants. It is consoling to know that rejection did happen to the best of authors.

Here are some of the writers who received rejection letters:

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway is the author of “The Sun Also Rises”. He received a rejection letter from Mrs Moberley Luger of Peacock & Peacock publishers when he first sent this book for publishing. The letter was dated June 14, 1925.

In the letter, there was abusive language that referred to the book as tedious and offensive. It also went on to say that the book could have been written while the author was in a club, with a beer on one hand. The letter claims that the work lacks innovation, is boring and lacks heart. The characters in the book also failed to stand out according to the letter. It also said that the characters are hollow.

The sentences and wording also failed to match up the publisher’s expectations. They were two dimensional and compared to a child’s writing.

Herman Melville

It is hard to imagine that Herman Melville “Moby Dick” got a rejection letter from Peter J. Bentley, an editor at Betley & Son Publishing House, Britain.

The rejection letter said that the manuscript was impaired. It questioned the characters in the author’s book. The publisher also recommends a change of the theme from mystery and plot to antagonism. The publisher’s also fails to associate with the full persona of some of the characters.

The publisher’s disagreed with the choice of words saying that it will affect sales. The letter also critiques the dress-code of the book’s characters.

William Faulkner

William Faulkner wrote the book “Flags in the Dust”. This book did not find its way easily into the market. When sent for publishing to Boni and Liveright, a letter of rejection came back instead. Horace Liveright’s wrote the rejection letter which claimed that the book had no story to tell. So this made it not worthy of publishing.

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut presented three manuscripts for publishing in 1949. He sent his work to The Atlantic Monthly and got a rejection letter for his three samples. An editor of the publisher, Edward Weeks, wrote the letter. What a blow.
The letter said that none of the writing matched up to the publisher. All the samples were not compelling enough to demand publishing. The letter continued to state that the author should find another line of work.

Tim Burton

Tim Burton wrote “The Giant Zlig” and presented it for publishing in 1976 to Walt Disney Productions. He was 18 then and his book was a children’s book. Jeanette Kroger rejected the writing and wrote a letter to Tim Burton.

The letter praised the story for its simplicity yet criticised the grammar and spelling. It went on to say that the book lacked originality and was a version of Seuss’ works. The writing could not find market, it said, although it was enjoyable to read. The letter praised the book for the layout, charming character and ingenious.

Rejection is a Test

A significant number of new authors have been served with demotivating and nasty rejection letters for their book-writing. The letters of rejection for renowned authors are a source of encouragement to new and aspiring writers. They also mock the publishing companies which rejected the now acclaimed works of art. The big names faced the difficulty, hostility and blows that you may be going through.

Rejection is synonymous with writing which the publishers have contributed greatly to this. Good writing does not make it good enough to the publishers. The publishers at times misunderstand, lack to associate with or fail to see writing as a good fit.


Techniques for Writing More than 1,000 Words Each Day

Some people write for a living, while others create written information in their spare time. In both cases, writers normally have a limited amount of time during their day to complete what they start. Especially, when they are trying create written text that’s equal to at least 1,000 words per day. With this being said, here’s 3 techniques that can assist writers with achieving their 1,000 word goals.

Writers Should Write During the Best Hours of their Day

One of the first things that a writer must remember is virtually everyone has a specific time during the day that they perform their best. For some people, the best hours may be early in the morning just before the sun rises. Others may find that they write their best late at night after everyone in the home has gone to bed. Because these hours are based on personal preferences, people will need to identify the times that will fit them best. By choosing the most productive time, people can get much more done in the shortest amount of time.

Work in an Environment that Minimizes the Possibilities of Unnecessary or Continous Interruptions

Even though working without interruptions is often easier said than it done, if the writer wants to accomplish the goals that they have set for themselves on a regular basis, it is important for them to control their writing environment. This is why every writer must choose a specific place that will allow them to work with minimal interruptions. In some cases, the writer may also tell others around them (family and friends) that they do not want to be disturbed during these premium hours. Once this practice has been established, most people are more apt to follow this person’s wishes so that they can get their work done without unnecessary disturbances. Fortunately, in these situations, the writer can write freely while their thoughts are constantly flowing instead of having to constantly start and stop. Starting and stopping will not only waste valuable time but may also lead to feeling frustrated.

Develop a Feasible Plan to Complete the Book-Writing Project

Sometimes the writer may have a commitment that they must meet with their clients by a specific time. These kinds of commitments can often be very difficult to meet when the person has not developed a feasible plan. By establishing a plan in advance, the writer can tackle each section on a daily basis. Which means, if they are committed to producing 1,000 words a day instead of trying to write the entire book, they will have a better chance of being successful in their efforts. In cases where an individual may also be a spontaneous writer instead of methodical, this plan should also leave room for being creative during other times as well.

Writing 1,000 words a day may not be as difficult some people may think. In order to be successful in these efforts, however, it is important for writers to utilize several proven techniques that will assst them with getting these writing assignments done. Three of the most invaluable techniques include writing during premium hours, minimizing disruptions and developing a feasible plan to complete the project.