So you want to be a writer? Or maybe you’re already a writer, but can’t seem to get that novel written? Or you’ve written a few books, but the thrill is gone. Is there a trick, you wonder, to writing a great book, or even finishing a so-so book? Why, yes—there are three tricks, actually, that veteran writers like me keep top secret (shhhh!):
The list probably isn’t the romantic, idealistic answer you were hoping for, but I wrote this book with the idea of dispensing daily inspiration to get you to think about your story—and to write. Because I know from experience your motivation will give out before your imagination will. This book is structured to ease you through the life-cycle of creating a full-length novel, from broad stroke advice and self-evaluating questions, to more specific tips when you get to the planning and writing stages. I’ve also included pitfalls to avoid, lessons I’ve learned and techniques to help you manage your writing time.
If you like guarantees, writing isn’t for you. That said, if you write a novel and put it out into the universe, I guarantee you will:
And that’s cool. Ready? Let’s do this. ~
Try to minimize the number of points of view in a story—only the most important characters should have a POV. I prefer to limit POV to three characters, but it’s a matter of author choice. Some popular writers give a POV to lots of characters, including minor "walk-on" characters. That style of writing can work, but the writer risks losing or confusing the reader by giving page to characters who don't matter and take time away from characters who do matter.
If you do use multiple points of view, try to stick to one POV per scene or chapter. If you jump from one person's POV to another person's POV in the same scene, it's known as "head-hopping"—it's distracting to a reader and dilutes your writing because the reader doesn't get the chance to stay in one character's head long enough to get to know the character.
Head-hopping is the sign of a beginning writer and—okay, I’ll say it—a lazy veteran writer. It’s easier to head-hop than to show what the non-POV characters might be thinking through body language and dialogue.
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