How To Write Your First Novel

How To Write Your First Novel

by Sophie King

NOOK Book(eBook)


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Let best-selling novelist Sophie King guide you through the whole process of writing your first novel and getting it published.

This revised edition takes aspiring novelists through the steps of writing a novel, from finding that initial idea, to keeping the plot going and crafting the perfect ending. With helpful exercises in each chapter you will learn how to:

- Develop a brilliant idea for your first novel
- Create characters that will make your novel come alive
- Plot your novel so that your readers simply have to turn the page
- Unravel the mysteries of viewpoint
- Create realistic dialogue and settings so your readers feel they are there
- Find your own voice.
- Most importantly, the book includes tips and advice on how to get published.

This new edition also includes a ten step guide to revision so that you can polish your novel to be the best it can be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848034693
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 07/01/2011
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 525,297
File size: 611 KB
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Sophie King is author of such novels as The School Run, The Supper Club and The Wedding Party for Hodder. She also writes under the name of Janey Fraser for Random House. Her other How To Books are How To Write Short Stories for Magazine, How To Write Your First Novel and How to Write Your Life Story in Ten Easy Steps. Sophie is an active creative writing tutor and attends many of the annual writing conferences as a speaker.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

1 Are You Ready to Commit? 1

Writing every day 2

Finding your best writing time 4

Yes - writing is working! 6

Writers' block 7

Writing tools 10

Are you sitting comfortably? 11

How do you know it's not a waste of time? 12

How to give yourself more writing time each day 13

2 A Novel Idea! 16

How to think of that winning idea 16

Tricks and tips on how to find a novel idea 17

Still not sure your idea will work? 34

3 Finding Your Voice 37

But how can your find yours? 38

4 The Killer First Sentence 46

So how do you come up with one of your own? 46

Can you live up to the promise of that first sentence? 49

Full circle 51

5 It's All in the Plot: Part One 54

What's your problem? 54

I don't believe it! 56

What is a sub-plot and do I need one? 57

The mechanics of plotting 58

Plotting a book - the Sophie King way! 59

6 It's All in the Plot: Part Two 68

The A-Z method 68

Throw and scatter method 71

Feeling board? 72

Tree diagram 72

Plotting your beginnings and endings 78

Does an ending need to be happy? 79

Research 80

How to plot flashbacks 80

7 Who Are You? How to Create Convincing Characters 83

What's their problem? 85

Who's who? 88

Are they believable? 89

My family and other animals 92

Make the most of your baddy 93

Minor characters 94

First date rule 94

Choosing a name 94

Have you missed their birthday? 95

How well do you know your character? 97

Going back to the beginning 98

8 Viewpoint 101

First person, third person or omniscient narrator? 107

Combining plot and viewpoint 114

9 De-mystifying Dialogue 118

Too much dialogue? 118

Too little dialogue? 119

How to make dialogue sound natural 121

Show and don't tell 125

Accents 126

Grammar 127

10 Setting 131

Going abroad 132

Don't overdo it! 133

Trawl your memory 135

11 How to Show and Not Tell 138

Use strong words and phrases 138

Internal dialogue 139

Doctor, doctor! 140

Double-checking! 141

Watch your language! 142

Get inside your character's head 142

12 Sense and Sensibility 147

Smell 147

Colour 148

Sound 148

Touch 149

Taste 149

13 Humour 153

Humorous example 155

14 Different Genres 158

Historicals 159

Contemporary romantic fiction 159

Crime and thrillers 159

Sci-fi 159

15 How to Keep a Timeline 161

Special occasions 162

Seasons of the year 163

Counting down the years 164

16 The Art of Revision 166

Print out 167

Read out aloud 167

The red pen 167

Computer hassles 168

To cut or not to cut? 168

Enjoy it! 169

17 Synopsis 171

18 The Title 175

Tips on how to choose your title 175

19 Revealing All! 179

Writers' courses and groups - good idea? 180

Literary consultancies 181

Literary festivals 181

Writers' holidays 182

20 How to Get Published 183

If at first… 184

Do you need an agent? 186

Romantic Novelists Association 186

The internet 186

Competitions 187

Dealing with rejection 187

Self-publishing 189

21 Writing the Next Novel 193

22 Don't Skip This! It Might Help 195

Definitions 195

Commonly asked questions 196

Useful organisations 198

Index 201

Customer Reviews