Home Language Learning The way to Write a Novel in 7 Steps, With Examples

The way to Write a Novel in 7 Steps, With Examples

The way to Write a Novel in 7 Steps, With Examples


For those who’re questioning the best way to write a novel, maintain the next in thoughts:

  • A novel has a starting, center, and finish.
  • A novel has characters, plot, setting, and battle.
  • A novel should discover no less than one theme.

Earlier than you begin working in your novel, familiarize your self with the weather that separate novels from different sorts of writing. A novel is greater than a protracted story; it’s a definite kind of story that has a number of “transferring components.”

What’s a novel?

A novel is a book-length story. Sometimes, novels are between 50,000 and 110,000 phrases, however this could fluctuate by style. Due to their size, novels typically inform pretty complicated tales, with in-depth exploration of characters, themes, and settings. Novels could be for adults, teenagers, or kids and may match into all kinds of genres. Nevertheless, not all novels match neatly into one style—some straddle two or extra, and others don’t belong to any style.

Novels are fictional tales, however they might be primarily based on historic figures or occasions. That is what separates a novel from a e-book: Whereas a e-book could be any sure piece of writing, a novel is a particular kind of e-book that tells an in depth fictional story.

The way to put together to write down a novel

A novel has seven literary parts:

  • Concept
  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Plot
  • Narrative
  • Themes
  • Battle

Each novel begins with an concept. Concepts can come from wherever: conversations with mates, real-life experiences, writing prompts, troublesome questions, thought experiments, literature you’ve learn, and even the straightforward want to write down one thing entertaining.


As you generate concepts about the best way to start your novel, let your thoughts wander. Attempt freewriting to see the place your preliminary ideas can go. Different prewriting methods embody creating an overview hitting all the weather or plot factors you wish to cowl, diagramming or mapping characters or story arcs, or creating lists of stuff you wish to embody. You would possibly decide which sorts of characters will seem in your novel, the setting that fits them greatest, and the kind of battle they’ll encounter. Don’t fear about getting all the pieces “excellent” at this stage; simply discover your concept.


Characters are the individuals (or animals, monsters, inanimate objects, and so forth.) who take motion in a novel. Most novels have a protagonist, also referred to as the primary character. That is the character who experiences some kind of private change via the novel’s battle. Opposing your novel’s protagonist is its antagonist, which might be one other individual, the protagonist’s atmosphere, and even a facet of the protagonist themselves. The friction between the protagonist and antagonist is the novel’s battle.

Most novels embody multiple character. Non-protagonist characters are collectively known as supporting characters, and so they play a wide range of roles within the novel.


A novel’s setting is the place and when it takes place. Listed below are just a few examples of novel settings:

  • Tokyo, 1973
  • Mars, 2144
  • Center Earth, T.A. 3018

Novel settings could be actual or fictional locations. They can be set prior to now, the current day, or the long run.

Plot and narrative

Two vital components of the novel-writing format are plot and narrative, which, regardless of intertwining, aren’t the identical factor. A novel’s plot is its literal sequence of occasions, for instance:

  • Archaeologists uncover a beforehand unknown civilization.
  • As they uncover it, they understand this civilization remains to be thriving.
  • The archaeologists meet the civilization’s mysterious chief.
  • After they spend time with the chief, they be taught historic secrets and techniques in regards to the civilization’s hyperlink to extraterrestrial life.
  • As a substitute of publishing in regards to the civilization and historic information, the archaeologists select to turn out to be a part of the civilization and defend its secrets and techniques.

This bare-bones plot define offers a normal sense of the novel’s story, but it surely reveals nothing about how the novel tells the story. Is it narrated by one of many archaeologists? Is it instructed via a collection of journal entries? Is it instructed as a linear sequence, or are there flashbacks interspersed with the characters’ current day? These particulars are a part of the novel’s narrative, which refers back to the novel’s storytelling.


Final, a novel has no less than one theme. A novel’s theme is the broad query it makes an attempt to reply or the idea it goals to touch upon. Utilizing our instance above, the novel’s themes would possibly embody educational publishing strain, isolation versus acculturation, the possession of data, and humanity’s place within the cosmic panorama. It’s potential to discover all of those themes via utterly totally different plots, which is a vital attribute of themes in fiction. Themes are not often said explicitly; they’re typically made clear via the characters’ experiences and growth over the course of the novel.

The way to write a novel in 7 steps

When you’ve labored out the best way to start to write down a novel by familiarizing your self with the seven elements that compose each novel, it’s time to get to work. The method for the best way to write a novel is sort of just like the writing course of for different kinds of labor: It begins with growing materials and, via a number of drafts and revisions, ends with a ready-to-publish piece.

Generate concepts

You doubtless brainstormed to find out who and what your novel can be about. For those who really feel like you’ve a well-developed concept to your novel, there’s no want to do that a second time. However in the event you really feel such as you nonetheless must fill gaps within the plotline or increase the stakes within the battle, take time to work them out earlier than you write an overview.

Create an overview

The following step in writing a novel is writing an overview. A top level view can assist you visualize the novel-writing format and keep away from feeling overwhelmed as you write. Similar to an essay define, a novel define is a bare-bones framework that merely lists your novel’s key plot factors and some particulars beneath every heading. In contrast to an essay define, although, a novel define is solely to your personal support. You don’t want to stay to any explicit format or embody any certain quantity of element; no one goes to test or grade your define.

Write a primary draft

Utilizing your define as a roadmap, begin writing your first draft. Warning: It’s going to be messy! Don’t fear about having good grammar or constant pacing or a story with zero plot holes: Simply write. You’ll revise your work later; proper now, your purpose is to get the story out of your head and onto the web page.

The following 4 steps are essential components of the novel-writing course of, however they don’t essentially have to be completed within the order we’ve listed them. It’s typically in your greatest curiosity to hunt vital suggestions in your writing earlier than you try to publish it, however you may not really feel able to share your uncooked first draft. That’s completely wonderful—a number of authors revise their work earlier than sharing it with vital readers.

Search suggestions

Whether or not you share your first draft or a revised draft, it’s essential to produce other individuals learn your work and offer you suggestions on it. It may be useful to share your work with different writers, however in the event you don’t know some other writers, sharing it with non-writer household and mates is OK too. When different individuals learn your work, they’re studying it from a distinct perspective and may catch plot holes, inconsistencies, and different points you would possibly miss due to the period of time you’ve spent with the novel.

It may be useful to ask for particular sorts of suggestions, like a constructive critique of your characters’ dialogue, how the story flows, or whether or not the literary gadgets you used are enhancing the story or simply distracting the reader. Receiving constructive criticism isn’t at all times straightforward, but it surely’s essential to do not forget that criticism of your writing isn’t criticism of you. Reader suggestions is supposed that will help you enhance your work, so contemplate all of the factors your readers make.


With course from readers and your personal perspective in your novel, revise your draft. This might imply chopping total scenes, characters, plot factors, and even ideas. Be ruthless, and don’t be afraid to “kill your darlings”—an expression utilized by writers which means there are occasions when you must eliminate a plot level, a personality, or one other piece of your narrative (irrespective of how a lot you could like them) to profit the story general.

As you revise, give attention to the big-picture elements of your novel that want to vary. Repair grammar errors as you catch them, however don’t dwell on these simply but. At this stage, the purpose is to refine your first draft right into a tighter, extra polished model of itself.

Write a second draft

As you revise your work, your first draft will evolve into your second draft. It is a step nearer to the ultimate model, however needless to say you’ll doubtless revise your second draft as properly. Writing a novel is a protracted course of for many authors. It takes about six months to write down a primary draft, then simply as lengthy to revise it and write a second draft. The ultimate model of your novel would possibly find yourself being your third, fourth, and even later draft. Don’t rush the method, and in the event you’re beginning to suppose you’re not but as much as writing a full novel, contemplate setting it apart and writing one thing shorter, like a novella or a quick story.

Edit your novel

When you’ve obtained a stable second (or subsequent) draft, you continue to have to make edits earlier than it’s able to publish. Enhancing isn’t fairly the identical factor as revising; whereas a revision entails altering the novel’s content material, enhancing is extra of a low-level strategy of sprucing the wording, fixing any grammatical errors, and the like. Give your finalized piece one other cross, and in the event you really feel it’s able to current to the world, pat your self on the again for ending your novel.

From right here, some authors pursue conventional publishing. Others decide to self-publish. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, and it may be useful to debate them with skilled, revealed authors to find out which path is greatest to your novel.

The way to write a novel FAQs

What’s a novel?

A novel is a book-length fictional story. Novels are typically between 50,000 and 110,000 phrases lengthy.

What do it’s essential start writing a novel?

A novel has seven elements:

  • Concept
  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Plot
  • Narrative
  • Themes
  • Battle

Earlier than you start writing a novel, work up these seven elements. With every half considerably developed (no have to get them good at this level—you’ll develop them additional later), you can begin writing a novel.

What are the important thing steps for writing a novel?

  • Generate concepts
  • Define
  • First draft
  • Suggestions
  • Revision
  • Second draft
  • Edit



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