Posts Tagged ‘Bret Burquest’

This year my resolution is to complete my novel that has been sitting on hold for the past 6 months. I have 12 months to achieve my goal but since I tend to put things off I think I better get started now.

I ran across author Bret Burquest’s article ¬†on “How to Write a Novel” and I loved his tips. Here are just a few of his thoughts, be sure to check out the entire article for more details.

1 ) To write a novel, you must be a persistent self-starter with thick skin and high self-esteem.

Self esteem? Thick skinned? Not so much, but I am persistent and maybe that will pay off.

2 ) You should have a unique premise or idea or twist for a novel.

Unique premise? Check.

3 ) Almost all novels have a distinct structure. There are three acts — a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning usually opens with an enticing (exciting or mysterious or bizarre or whatever) hook to compel the reader to continue past the first line and first paragraph and first page. Then something happens (plot point #1) to propel the narrative into act two, the main conflict. A second plot point eventually occurs to launch the story into the third act, the resolution. All scenes and dialogue should advance the plot line or help define the characters; if they don’t, they should probably be deleted.

Whew! This is the one I need to look at more closely. Can a New Year’s resolution last for two years?

4 ) It helps if the characters are three dimensional, rather than stereotypical or predictable.

No one wants to read about flat characters doing predictable things, luckily for me my life is filled with some crazy people to model my characters after.

5 ) It helps if the dialogue is authentic and unique to the characters, rather than stereotypical or predictable.

“So what do you want to do?”

“Uh… I don’t know. You?”

“Uh… I don’t know.”

6 ) It’s best to throw the main characters into a situation and let the story evolve from there.

Start the story with Bessy falling off the train rather than waking up and brushing her teeth. Got it.

7 ) Once you’ve finished writing the novel, ¬†rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until it flows in a fluid, poetic manner.

Fluid and poetic? I think I am going to need to work on it a little longer.

8 ) You must know when to quit. Every time you read it you’ll find little things to change or fix. At some point you must pronounce it finished. This is very hard to do but you must be decisive.

Hmm this might be tough.

I plan to begin the revision process later this week (I’m a procrastinator you know) and I will try to keep you posted on my progress. I still have over 11 months to achieve my goal and I am really going to do my best to complete it.

Special thanks to Mr. Burquest for the tips.

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk

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