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How to write a novel

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The first thing that you need to figure out while writing your story is what kind of story you are going to write about; or to be more specific what genre will it belong to. Will the story be in the romance genre or a sci-fi; or would you opt to write a dystopian fiction altogether?

The best way to decide is to check your bookshelf and see what kind of novels are you inclined to read more. The genre that you usually read more is the one you are pretty familiar with. You will have sufficient content and ideas for a beginner which will easily help you tune into the writing process. For example, you are a fantasy freak and you decide to write a fantasy novel. In that case a lot of the elements would have already been embedded in your subconscious. You would be already familiar with the different kinds of world building used in fantasy novels. Some of which are based on legends across the world; some from real history such as that of medieval Europe, Renaissance era or Native American folklore and some may be a world totally invented from the author’s imagination.

Next we have the different kind of supernatural rules that operate in the fantasy world. You will observe that the author uses this consistently throughout the book – almost similar to a formula. You would have been familiar with different styles of magic used and the tone of characters – meaning the language they use. So finally all you have to do is sit quietly, reflect, may be meditate and you will find random ideas dangling in your mind’s cosmos. As you quickly jot down points, you find these ideas take shape into a rough outline where you can gradually imbibe the different elements such as the settings, the plot, the theme, the style, the characterisation, the point of view and the tone into your novel.

On the contrary, in case of a mystery novel, the learning curve for crafting out a mystery novel would be pretty steep as it will not be your familiar territory. You have to start with reading more crime novels, get familiar with the crime terminology, research how detectives work, study the techniques used and understand how the author keeps the suspense element strong all throughout the crime novel.

Next you need to find an idea for your story. Many people have different ways of picking story ideas. For some there are so many that it gets difficult to choose that one particular idea that they would like to hone into their novel. For the rest of us who are not yet inspired we have to go browsing for one – browse the unlimited free shop, meaning our universe. For that you may have to go out for a walk in the park, or a beautiful natural area with a lot of scenic beauty around. Listening to music, going for movies, taking a bath, spending time with children or simply day dreaming – are some other ways to be inspired. You can also draw out your own experiences in life or add a twist to the folk tales handed down by your grandparents. Keep your mind prepared to absorb signs from the universe and let your subconscious know that you are ready to receive ideas. You can even keep a dream journal as some ideas may come to you through your dreams! Your ideas may come to you as an image in your mind’s eye. Sometimes a particular setting in a restaurant or a classroom may set off an image.

Another way to get your ideas is through research. For e.g., if you are writing about fantasy, you can research about mythology, esoteric beings in the other world, different forms of folk magic used across cultures such as Wiccans, North American Indians, Africans etc. If you are writing about crime novels then your research will involve learning about criminal terminology, watching crime documentaries, DNA analysis, pathology, forensic anthropology, forensic criminology and so on.

To summarise, each of us have our own magic trick to be inspired. All we need to
explore is our own channel of self-discovery.


Get in touch with the author :


Pratibha R DH

Pratibha R DH is a novelist and has authored children books, fantasy and paranormal crime novels. Her latest release is a paranormal crime thriller: Child of Paradise (Listen to your dreams).

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