How to Write a Book

Although you may be tempted to begin by simply forging ahead with the first paragraph of your draft, I caution you against it. One of the fundamental keys to success when writing a draft in a condensed period of time is making sure you do enough pre-thinking, pre-writing, and, importantly, outlining before you even pen your opening line.

Creative Exercises:

  • Minor characters help reveal the personality traits and values of major ones. Write ten character bios for ten different minor characters. Don’t worry if you don’t have a place for these characters in your novel yet.
  • Spend twenty minutes free-writing about your most interesting major character.
  • Write a scene that introduces a character likely to be your protagonist. How can you reveal information about your character’s appearance, his story, motives, and desires to your reader? How can you use a minor character in this scene to reveal something about your main player?
  • Write a list of all the potential conflicts in your novel.

These creative exercises came from the course Building Your Novel.

Objectives: How to Write a Book

  • How to develop “novel worthy” ideas;
  • How to create compelling, complex characters;
  • The fundamentals of narrative arc;
  • Techniques for outlining your novel;
  • Proven strategies for writing your novel, start to finish, scene by scene


Learn More About Building Your Novel.

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