Novel Writing (PDF)

Novel Writing (PDF)

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You'll Love This Issue If:

  • You are interested in writing a novel
  • You're looking for writing exercises to improve your story's plot, character, or dialogue
  • You want guidance on how to write an effective novel synopsis

Whether you are brainstorming, writing, or revising a novel, you'll find articles with techniques, tips, and advice on novel writing in Novel Writing presented by Writer's Digest Yearbook. This special PDF issue brings you all the information and ideas you need to either get started writing the book you’ve always dreamed of, or to find the courage and confidence needed to turn that unfinished manuscript into a complete, polished work.

As Executive Editor Tiffany Luckey writes in the editor's letter, "Kick off your novel-writing journey with our Starting Points section, which offers tips for focusing your ideas into one cohesive concept and mapping out a plan for your story. Then, in Story Building, get the secrets to sustaining suspense, hints on the best ways to add satisfying depth to your story through subplots, and many more strategies to help you on your way."

If you're looking for techniques to bring your protagonist, your supporting cast, and even your villain to life, this issue can help. Or if you're looking for writing inspiration to get you motivated to write—plus insightful advice from several bestselling authors, including The Color Purple’s Alice Walker— read the section on Momentum & Inspiration.

If you're editing and revising a novel, The Final Draft section provides a painless five-step process for revising your completed first draft, as well as plenty of tips for reining your style. And when your manuscript is in submission-ready shape, we’ve got you covered there, too.

Learn what it takes to get published in the section titled, The Submission Process, which will help you write a query letter and synopsis, understand what gets an agent’s attention, and even find book publishers open to new writers.

With this guide in hand, getting started writing a novel is easier than ever before. All you need to do is turn the page. Download Novel Writing today!

In This Issue You'll Learn:

  • How to improve plot, dialogue, and character through writing exercises
  • How to create a story map for a novel
  • 6 techniques for creating and maintaining tension in a novel

What's Inside This Special Issue:

Taming the Beast
The best ideas can start out running wild—but you’ll need to train them onto the page if you want to write that novel you have inside of you. Here’s how. by N.M. Kelby

Build Up Your Writing Skills
Need a creative spark? Try these innovative exercises to improve plot, dialogue, character and more. by Mike Nappa

Vantage Point
Not sure who should narrate your story? These tips will help you decide. by Nancy Kress

Your Novel Blueprint
Turn your dream novel into a reality by taking some tips from the worksite. by Karen S. Wiesner

Map It Out
Regardless of your experience or how far along you are in your novel, a story map can be a vital tool. by Nancy Ellen Dodd

Story Building
5 Steps To Stronger Scenes
While crafting your novel, you may find that some scenes are falling flat. Try these simple methods to give your story dimension. by James Scott Bell

6 Powerful Ways To Maintain Suspense
Keep your readers captivated with these no-fail techniques for creating and sustaining tension. by Steven James

Spin Subplots Like A Master Weaver
Whether you’re planning the fabric of a new story or looking to thread depth into one that’s falling flat, try these 7 methods to craft a tightly woven plot. by Elizabeth Sims

Layer Your Novel With Backstory
Learn how to incorporate backstory with these 6 practical strategies. by Hallie Ephron

The Final Breakaway
Build suspense by knowing when to end your chapters. by Aaron Elkins

Clinch Your Closer
The ending of any story is crucial. Try these simple techniques to help seal the deal in your novel. by James V. Smith

Character Development
Namedropping
What’s in a character’s name? Everything. Here’s how to master the neglected art of moniker-making. by Elizabeth Sims

Raise Your Characters Above The Status Quo
Sometimes the best way to add dimension to a story is also the most overlooked. Here’s how to enhance your fiction through the subtleties of characterization.by Steven James

Crafting The Unforgettable Villain
Creating a memorable villain is challenging. But with these 3 techniques, your bad guy (or gal) can stand out from the rest.by Hallie Ephron

More Than Words
Amp up your story’s dialogue through emotional beats. by Todd A. Stone

Put Your Minor Characters To Work
Use these tips to make the most out of your supporting cast. by Joseph Bates

Momentum & Inspiration

Get Your Novel Back On Track
Sooner or later, we all get stranded in the middle of our manuscripts. Use these 6 steps to jump-start your story so you can keep on driving. by John Dufresne

10 Steps To Productivity Bliss
Put these success strategies to work to help you write more, boost your creds and grow your writing life. by Sage Cohen

Legacy In Purple
Decades before her groundbreaking novel The Color Purple, Alice Walker was already a distinctive voice in American and world literature. Decades later, she remains an inspiration to writers everywhere. by Jessica Strawser

Books To Remember
For Nicholas Sparks, the secret to success on bookshelves and the big screen is as simple as knowing that a good story just isn’t enough. It has to be memorable, too.by Jessica Strawser

In Her Blood
After 20 years of publishing, Charlaine Harris wrote the book she’s always wanted to write—and hit a vein with readers everywhere. Here’s the author behind “True Blood” on writing, above all, for fun. by Zachary Petit

Masters Of Thriller
In an exclusive dual interview, Ken Follett and David Morrell share lessons learned over lifetimes devoted to writing—and why they’ll never tire of telling stories. by Jessica Strawser

The Final Draft
Ready, Set, Finish!
You need stamina to transform that out-of-shape first draft into a story with staying power. Use these 4 revision strategies to make your novel go the distance. by Lin Enger

The Geyser Approach To Revision
Revising is a natural balance of creative eruptions and quiet analysis. Use this 5-step method to channel its flow to create a finished piece that will make a splash. by James Scott Bell

10 Tips To Bypass Cliché And Melodrama
Overused plots and stereotypical characters are older than Methuselah. These techniques will help you avoid them—like the plague. by Peter Selgin

Brush Up On Your Style In 10 Minutes Or Less
Make your writing crisper and more precise with these simple tips. by Brandon Royal

The Art Of Entitlement
These 7 tips will help you nail the perfect title for your fiction. by Jacob M. Appel

The Submission Process
Questions & Quandaries
Get answers to some of your questions about submitting your novel. by Brian A. Klems

Submission Workshop
Would your manuscript hold an agent’s interest? Learn when (and why) reps stop reading in these real-life first page critiques. by Kristin Nelson

Your Guide To An Effective Novel Synopsis
Some agents and publishers require a synopsis along with your manuscript submission. Learn what a synopsis is—and the best way to craft it. by Chuck Sambuchino & The Editors Of Writer’s Digest Books

Sneaking In The Back Door
A first-time author offers 4 strategies to connect with editors and sell your manuscript—without an agent. by Diane Kelly

Standout Markets: Book Publishers
Start your search for the perfect publisher with this roundup of small and independent presses—all of which accept unagented submissions. by Tiffany Luckey & Vanessa Wieland

Back Page
Before They Were Famous
The oddest odd jobs of 10 literary greats. by Alex Palmer

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