Novel Writing

Novel Writing

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Writer’s Digest Yearbook presents:

NOVEL WRITING

Starting Points

Map Out Your Story Drafting an outline for your novel can be daunting, but it’s well worth the effort. Whether your style is to map out an exact route or a flexible path, here’s how to do it in 7 simple steps. by K.M. Weiland

What’s Your View? Understand the inner workings of the most popular genres to find the best POV for your novel. by Alicia Rasley

Raise Your Voice Find your most natural writing voice by using these 3 simple techniques. by Larry Brooks

Figuratively Speaking Amp up your writing by using figurative language effectively. by Theodore A. Rees Cheney

The Elements of Literary Fiction What makes a work of fiction “literary”? Here’s a close look at this hard-to-define genre. by Jack Smith

Story Building

Fiction in Focus Use the powerful lens of POV to frame stronger scenes. by Tanya Egan Gibson

Young Adult or Middle-Grade? Miss your mark with your target audience and you won’t be making the grade with the pros. Here’s how to ace the key differences between MG and YA. by Marie Lemba

Making Sense Master description in your novel through sensory detail. by Elizabeth Sims

Creating Conflict Keep readers hooked with these 5 simple tools for building tension. by James Scott Bell

Build Subplots From Multiple Points of View Add complexity to your plot by fleshing out secondary characters. by Donald Maass

Character Development

Taking the Stage When introducing your cast of characters, keep these 3 moves in mind. by Les Edgerton

From Ordinary to Extraordinary Are your characters falling flat? Try these 4 steps to add depth. by Steven Harper

Standout Series Characters for Young Readers Learn how to craft a compelling middle-grade or YA series character who goes beyond a single book and becomes a household name. by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Breaking Bad Here are 6 ways to make your bad characters better. by Laura DiSilverio

Your Supporting Players Use these tips to get the most out of your minor characters. by Hallie Ephron

Momentum & Inspiration

The Power of Pairs: A Roundtable We brought together four of today’s most successful co-authors to discover what goes on behind the scenes when writers collaborate—and how two heads really can be better than one. by Zachary Petit

Anne Rice & Christopher Rice: Blood Bond She’s the writing legend who gave vampire fiction new life. He’s one of today’s most promising young thriller authors. In this dual interview, mother and son discuss the family reunion of sorts where their writing paths are crossing for the first time: the supernatural genre. by Zachary Petit

Secrets From Debut Authors First-time novelists share the lessons they’ve learned about breaking into publishing. by Chuck Sambuchino

Catherine Coulter: Heart-Stopper She can pull readers’ heartstrings with her romance novels and make their blood run cold with her FBI thrillers. Meet the prolific and versatile Catherine Coulter. by Jessica Strawser

The Once and Future King Joe Hill set out to prove that you don’t have to be the son of the most famous writer on the planet to be heir to the horror throne. But it just so happens he’s both. by Zachary Petit

The Final Draft

How to Fix the 5 Biggest Fiction-Writing Mistakes Start your revision by addressing these pitfalls, and you’ll immediately change your novel for the better. by James Scott Bell

Your Guide to Foolproof Revision Use these 7 steps to anchor your journey on a path to a complete and final draft. by Don Fry

Title Trauma Try these 5 tips to find the right name for your novel. by Cindy Callaghan

“It Has Merit, But…” Here are 10 common reasons why agents might pass after requesting your full manuscript. by Marie Lemba

The Submission Process

Sizing Up Small Presses Don’t overlook one of the most viable ways to get your work into print. Take a peek at how small presses fit into the big picture of today’s publishing. by Robert Lee Brewer

Agent Spotlight Get to know 5 of the industry’s top literary agents and what they’re looking for in submissions. by Kara Gebhart Uhl

Ask the Agent An expert answers your questions about submitting your work to the pros. by Barbara Poelle

Standout Markets: Book Publishers Prefer to go it alone? Then check out these 7 small and independent publishers that are currently accepting unagented work. by Tiffany Luckey

Last Word

A Step-By-Step Guide to Agent Response Times An agent likes your query letter and/or sample chapters enough to request your full manuscript. Congratulations! Track your progress through the waiting period with our handy tongue-in-cheek timeline.