Jul 112013

Question by Just another Ameteur Novelist: Any tips or ideas for writing a novel?
I already have my plot, characters, and scenes figured out, but I just can’t seem to find a place to start. Any suggestions, tips, or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Best answer:

Answer by sadness of heart
Just start from the beginning and make it a long story

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  One Response to “Any tips or ideas for writing a novel?”

  1. How to Start Your Novel with Dialogue
    I rarely start novels with dialogue, mostly because I can never think of anything important enough to say. However, sometimes dialogue is the best way to get your novel off to a running start. If your characters are in the middle of a fight or if there’s something you want to get right out in the open, dialogue can thrust your reader right into the opening scene of the novel.

    That said, you have to be careful. Resist the urge to start your novel with dialogue like, “How are you feeling today?” If you plan to open with dialogue, it must be intelligent and important and captivating.

    My only real advice for starting your novel with dialogue is to have only one line of speech before you insert some explanations. Even if the characters are in the middle of a conversation, don’t confuse your reader by failing to give details.

    How to Start Your Novel with Action
    Obviously, action is the most popular way to start a novel. It’s exciting, intriguing, and it lures your readers into the story before they even know what hit them.

    This is especially true with mystery and suspense stories. In those genres, readers expect to be hooked from the get-go, and they want to be shocked from paragraph one.

    How to Start Your Novel with Prose
    In this case, “prose” really refers to description. Some of the most powerful novels of all time have begun with languid and lyrical description:

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

    - Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

    “A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories…”

    - Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

    Description is my favorite way to start a novel because it eases the reader into the storyline. There are no expectations, no assumptions; your reader becomes immersed in the fictional world that you have created, and at your own pace; no one else’s.

    The only problem with this method is that you must find a unique way to describe the opening scene. My advice is to think about the characters and the setting and to pick out a remote object on which to comment. This takes your reader from a very specified place – the object – and into a more complex scene – your opening. For example, one of the books that I ghosted several years ago began like this:

    “In a room filled with beautiful antique furniture and ancient artifacts from Egypt and Rome, the digital clock radio stuck out like a sore thumb. It’s flashing green digits called attention to the clock as if to say, I may be new, but I’m still important. It struck me as odd that someone as refined and as old-world as Cunningham Thompson III would rely on such a technological timepiece.” By drawing your readers’ attention to something mundane, they will be twice as captivated when you get on with the plot.

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