How to write a novel

The great American dream is to write the great American novel.

One thing great American novels are built on is a foundation of knowledge, and the easiest way to gain that knowledge is to study not only the work of other writers that you admire, but also their words about the craft of writing.

Can you create a great work of art without studying what others have said, or gathering writing tips from professionals that have gone before you? Yes, certainly you can. But, the effort required may need to be greater, and without the guidance of professionals, you may have to take many losses before you can win.

Will reading a bunch of books about how to write a novel make it any easier for you to actually write a novel? The answer is both yes and no. The actual work of writing the novel will still need to be done, but once you know how to write a novel, many of the steps will be easier. You will also be able to gain a knowledge of why a particular story works as a story. In other words, you will have a better idea of how to get published.

There is a danger here, and it is basically the same danger than exists in every other endeavor. We can easily get so wrapped up in reading about how to write a novel, that we fail to ever actually write our novels. Writing books can be addictive and the quest to find the one book that will unlock all of the secrets of how to get published, how to write books, or writing children’s books can be time consuming and costly.

The trouble that I have found in my own quest is that I never know exactly how useful a book will be for my given level of competence. That is why I started Writing Books For Writers, because I have read half a hundred of these books and I have some idea of which ones to look for and which ones to ignore.

One thing I have learned is that price doesn’t mean much. Some of my books have been fairly expensive and some have been dirt cheap. Often the cheap ones are as helpful as the most expensive.

I have started the review blog with a few reviews that I had written well before starting this site, and I will be commenting in the future on all of the books that I have read. I hope you enjoy your stay and when you leave I hope you have a better understanding of how to write a novel.