Hi Jerry Jenkins, here talking about writing, I'm assuming this video appeal to you, because you have a story idea and a message you longed to share with the world.
You've come to the right place.
Now I don't want to insult your intelligence, but let me clarify that novels are fiction.
Some people don't know that and refer to memoirs or some other type of nonfiction as novels some even refer to fiction novels, as if there's another kind.
There isn't so now that we're clear on what we're talking about here, if you're, still interested in writing fiction.
I'm guessing people have told you.
You have a way with the words a knack for storytelling and you dream of proving them right, but privately you're worried fearful.
You don't have what it takes to read an entire novel or that, if you do finish one, you won't do it justice and no one will want to read it well stay with me for a few minutes and I'll show you how to breakthrough self-doubt and fear And write your novel, I've been doing this my whole adult life and, through my blog at Jerry Jenkins, calm and the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild. 00:01:01
I help writers, like you craft, compelling stories today, I'm going to reveal my proven step-by-step novel writing process that even a beginner can use to create the best fiction you can imagine and avoid decades of trial and error.
You may be surprised that even I still worry whether my story idea can carry a whole novel and that I battle big league procrastination and that I fear my writing won't be good enough and I remain overwhelmed by the competition and an ever-growing marketplace.
So how do I succeed? In spite of all that, I use the repeatable novel writing plan I'm revealing today.
Now let me urge you to stay with me to the end, because I have a bonus, novel writing step.
That includes a free checklist.
You can use to make sure you're happy with every word before you pitch your word to agents or publishers, so stay with me to get that bonus, step and free download.
Here we go the first step to writing.
A novel is to settle on a winning story idea.
We creatives often have myriad novel ideas, so how do we decide which one to pursue the answer begins and ends with your passion? Naturally, a winning idea has to be waiting enough to carry an entire book of 75,000 words or more and keep the reader fully engaged the whole way.
You need to prioritize your favorite ideas until you've landed on the one for which you have the most passion, the one that will get you up in the morning, draw you to the keyboard and keep you there, even when the writing comes hard.
Your passion for the project must carry you through what I refer to as the marathon of the middle that Center half of your novel between your opener and your ending.
This is where the story and the writing must not fade or falter.
Beginnings and endings are easy compared to this, because too many writers forget to keep the middle laden with drama tension, conflict action and setups that demand payoffs.
You must trust your gut when working your way through the marathon in the middle.
If something bores, you it'll put your reader to sleep.
If it feels flat, you'll lose your reader.
If it chokes you up, your reader will sob.
If it makes you smile, your reader will be warmed to his heart.
Now you'll likely grow discouraged, become frustrated and feel like giving up more than once during the writing process.
Only your passion for the idea will carry you through.
I write novels, based on only those ideas about which I'm most passionate.
That's what keeps drawing me back to the keyboard, alright, once you've settled on your winning idea, step 2 is to determine whether you're an outliner or a pancer.
If you're an outliner, you prefer to map out everything before you start writing.
You want to know your characters and as much of what will happen to them as possible from beginning to end.
If your app answer you write by the seat of your pants, you begin with a juror of an idea and write as a process of discovery.
Stephen King, probably the most famous Pancer, advises putting interesting characters in difficult situations and writing to find out what happens and neither option, outliner or pan, sir, is better than the other one.
We'll simply feel most natural to you.
But many writers are hybrids needing the security of an outline and the freedom to let the story take them where it will do what works best for you regardless. 00:04:33
You need to follow some form of structure to keep from burning out after 30 pages or so I'm a panther through and through, but I never start a novel without some idea where I'm going or where I think I'm going.
I recommend using as a guideline what best-selling novelist Dean Koontz calls the classic story structure in his book.
How to write best-selling fiction.
Koontz recommends these simple basics.
First, plunge your character into terrible trouble as soon as possible. 00:05:07
Second progressively make matters worse, despite your character, trying everything he can to get out of the terrible trouble until third, his predicament appears hopeless, fourth and finally, complete your hero's character arc by his calling on every new muscle and insight he's gained along the way.
So, in the end, he wins the day.
Whatever basic structure you follow, you must grab readers by the throat from the get-go and never let go all right step 3 and how to write a novel is to create an unforgettable character.
Your protagonist, also known as your lead or hero - and I use the masculine reference here to also include females - must have a character arc, in other words, become a different, preferably better person.
By the end, that means he has potentially heroic qualities that emerge in the climax. 00:05:59
Unless he's a superhero, he should also have flaws, but not annoying or repulsive ones.
You also want an antagonist, a villain as formidable and compelling as your hero take care that your bad guy isn't evil.
Just because he's the villain most villains, think they're, right and heroic.
So give him believable reasons, motivation for why he does what he does you're important orbital characters must also be more than just caricatures from central casting to help you develop.
These I've created a list of questions to ask about each potential character.
Now, if you're, a panther you'll find yourself wanting to get to the writing and let them reveal themselves as if the story develops.
But here are the questions.
What do they want, what or who is keeping them from getting it, and what will they do about? Then? Most important to remember about creating characters is that to be unforgettable, they must be believable.
How do you achieve this by injecting them with authenticity start by naming them distinctly, in other words, no similar names unless there's a point to that in your story, make sure they even have different initials and make them look and sound different from each other.
The last thing you want is readers unable to tell your characters apart. 00:07:19
Unnaturally, your lead character will face an outward problem, but his inward turmoil makes him come alive.
He must face a real fear and have to overcome inner weakness to achieve his obvious outer goal.
Okay on to step four, and how to write a novel and conduct a thorough research.
Now, though, fiction by definition is made up, it must be believable to succeed even fantasies and science fiction books must make sense to keep the reader willingly suspending disbelief.
That's where research comes in specific factual detail adds flavor and authenticity.
You get geographical, cultural or technological details wrong, and your reader loses interest in your story.
So here are some research resources, atlases world almanacs encyclopedias YouTube the Soraa interviews, whether in-person by Skype or by phone.
Google and similar search engines never shortchange the research process, but also be careful not to overload your story with every esoteric fact.
You've learned add specifics.
The way you seasoned food research adds flavor, it's not the main course.
Your story is the main, naturally, with a futuristic book you'll, be making up many of the technical details, but make sure that makes sense and are consistent.
Okay, the next step, number five is to determine your point of view, character, from whose perspective you tell your story.
Can be complicated because point of view involves more than simply deciding what voice to use between first person, I'm a second person, you you're or third person, he she or it it also involves deciding who will in essence serve as your story's camera.
As your point of view, character, the cardinal rule is one perspective character per scene, but I prefer only one per chapter and ideally one per novel readers experience.
Everything in your story from this characters perspective. 00:09:30
What your point of view character sees hears, touches, smells tastes and thinks is all you can convey you're in his mind, employing his senses and emotions.
Now many beginning writers, mistakenly assume this limits them to a first-person voice, but it doesn't in fact most novels are written in a third person limited to that one perspective character, your lead.
That means the story is limited to one perspective character at a time and that character ought to be the one with the most at stake in each scene.
Now it's true that writing in the first person makes it easier and sound more natural to limit yourself to that one perspective character.
A third person limited is most popular for a reason, while an omniscient viewpoint would allow hopping in and out of the heads of several characters in each scene.
This style so popular a hundred years and more ago has become archaic and extremely hard to sell.
Yet many beginning writers, who grew up on the classics, mistakenly write their first novel from a god-like omniscient viewpoint and then wonder why publishers aren't interested.
That's an error.
You can't afford to make. 00:10:38
Don't assume that first person or third person limited makes it impossible to reveal your orbital characters, study contemporary fiction to see how successful authors accomplish this through the perspectives of their main characters? Okay, before I get to the sixth step in how to write a novel, let me remind you of the bonus step at the end of this video.
That includes a free checklist.
I use every time I write a book so be sure to stay with me to the end, to get those now step six and how to write a novel begin in medius race, which is Latin for in the midst of things, you must grab your reader by The throat from word, one that doesn't necessarily mean with bullets flying or a high-speed chase, though that might work for a thriller, but it does mean avoiding too much scene setting and description instead of getting to the good stuff, the guts of the story, the goal of Every sentence, in fact of every word, is to force the reader to read the next.
You do this from the get-go by writing.
A great opener here are four types of opening lines you can use for your novel and I've included.
My favorite example for each first is the surprise opener a great example of a surprise.
Opener comes from George Orwell's 1984, which read like this.
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking 13 I'd want to keep reading.
Wouldn't you second is the dramatic statement.
Toni Morrison wrote a great such opening line in her novel paradise, which reads they shoot the white girl first Wow, I'm reading on.
Aren't you third, is the philosophical and one of the most well known philosophical opening lines comes from Leo Tolstoy, his classic Anna Karenina. 00:12:26
It reads: happy families are all alike.
Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way and finally poetic.
This example of such an opener comes from James Crummles, the last good kiss when I finally caught up with Abraham Traian, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named fireball Robert and a ramshackle joint just outside of sonoma california drinking the heart right out of a Fine spring afternoon, regardless which type of opening line you choose, don't stop there.
Many novels begin strong and immediately fizzle as the author slips back into explaining, describing scene setting, etc.
Once you have the reader by the throat hold on till the end, alright step number seven trigger the theater of your readers mind. 00:13:16
If you ever noticed that the movie version of your favorite novel rarely lives up to the book itself.
How often have you heard or said yourself? I liked the book better.
I think the reason is obvious, even with all its high-tech computer-generated imagery Hollywood can't compete with the imaginative and dramatic theatre of the readers mind our job as writers is not to force readers to see things as we see them, but rather to trigger their own imaginations. 00:13:44
Suggest just enough to engage their minds, that's where the magic happens, give the reader of role in the experience, so he can deduce and see.
What's going on without spoon feeding him every detail.
The key to this is showing, rather than telling you've likely heard this before, but don't despair.
If it confuses you here, is the difference between telling and showing telling simply informs your reader rather than allowing him a role in the experience by deducing.
What you want him to know by what you've shown you're telling not showing when you simply report that a character is tall or angry or cold or tired? If your character is tall, your goal should be to show others looking up when they talk to him or have him duck to get through a door that way the reader deduces.
That he's tall without your having to tell him rather than saying your character is angry.
Show his face flush, his throat tighten his voice rise or show him slam his fists on the table.
When you show you don't have to tell.
Rather you engaged the theatre of your readers mind and involve him in the experience. 00:14:57
Okay, step number eight and how to write a novel is to ramp up your main characters.
Trouble you've grabbed your reader with a riveting opener and plunged your hero into terrible trouble. 00:15:07
Now make sure everything he does to get out of that trouble.
Only surge to make things progressively worse, too many amateurs make their hero's life too easy.
The way we want our own real lives.
To be say, their main character is a private eye.
They give him great, looks good health, a nice car, the latest most powerful handgun, a happy gorgeous spouse, a beautiful apartment of plush office and a rich client with a juicy case to solve now, unless you're spoofing the genre that's going to make for one boring story.
When you run into a brick wall and your story lies flat after 20 or 30 pages, you'll discover you've made things too easy for your lead character.
If you take nothing else from this video remember, this conflict is the engine of fiction.
Rather than setting your hero up for success by supplying him everything he needs.
Try the opposite.
Try pulling everything out from under him, give him an injury that Mars his face.
The disease that plagues him have his car stolen his weapon go missing.
His wife leave him his business dry up, so he can't pay his rent his office burned down and that client who shows up with the juicy case she's destitute.
What's he going to do now? All of a sudden, you have a real story.
Conflict keeps your reader on the edge of his seat, the next step number 9 and how to write a novel is to make your hero's predicament appear.
Reading, coach and novelist angela hunte refers to this crucial plot.
Point is the bleakest moment: it's where even you wonder how you're gon na write your way out of it.
Here's where the once reprobate lover, who has become a changed man and a devoted fianc, falls off the wagon the night before the wedding caught red-handed doing drugs and drinking and cavorting with another woman.
He sees his true love, storm off vowing to never speak to him again. 00:17:05
Imagine the nadir the low point, the bleakest moment for your lead character, your ability to make things look irreparable, can make or break you as a novelist.
This is not easy.
Believe me you'll, be tempted to give your protagonist a break, invent an escape or inject a miracle. 00:17:24
Don't you dare the bleakest moment forces your hero to take action, to use every new muscle and skill developed from facing a book full of obstacles and prove that things only appeared beyond repair the more hopeless you can render the situation the more powerful your ending will Be step 10, then, is to bring it all to a head.
The ultimate resolution, the peak emotional point of your story, comes when your hero faces his final test.
The stakes must appear insurmountable and failure and irreversible option the conflict building throughout now, crescendos to an ultimate confrontation and all the major book-length setups are paid off.
Give readers the payoff for which they've been set up, reward they're sticking with you and let the fireworks play out in full, but remember the climax is not the end.
That's still to come in step 11, where you leave your reader wholly satisfied because climaxes are so dramatic, endings, often just peter out.
Don't let that happen.
Great endings have two things in common: they put the reader first honoring his investment of time and money, and they keep the hero the hero on stage till the last word.
Now the ending won't be as dramatic or action-filled as the climax, but it must be every bit as riveting.
It should tie up loose ends sure, but it also needs to back an emotional wallop, don't rush it take your time and read a fully satisfying ending that drops the curtain with a resounding thud all right.
It's time for your bonus step and your free download on a step 12 for how to write a novel is to separate your writing and editing. 00:19:10
I recommend editing and revising as part of your daily process, so you don't write an entire graph before you decide.
What might need adjusting, but it's also crucial you keep these two elements entirely separate, otherwise your work may slow to a crawl.
When I'm writing my first draft I take off my perfectionist cap and tell my inner critic to shut up. 00:19:30
I get the story down not stopping to worry about cliches redundancies or even lacks of logic.
I tell myself that the next morning I can let my perfectionism take over and rewrite to my heart's content.
My goal is to be happy with every word, so I become a ferocious self editor while revising.
I always follow this 21 part checklist and fine-tune every word, and it's yours, free to download and use as you revise your own work, simply click the link on the screen.
I also put the link in the description of this video, alright that wraps up this training on how to write a novel.
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Meanwhile, I wish you all the best with your novel and I'll see you next time: , .