Life Coach Magazine

Writing Your Novel Idea

By Writerinterrupted @writerinterrupt

Tuesday Teachings from the archives: I’ve been going back through the wonderful content on Writer…Interrupted and wanted to share the relevant teaching from past posts! Hope you enjoy this new Tuesday feature! This month’s feature: From Idea to The End

Writing Your Novel Idea
I wrote fiction unsuccessfully for many years. What boosted me to
publication was a class on Scene Writing by a former Hollywood scriptwriter.


1. Consider each scene as a mini-novel with a beginning, middle, and a
climax. It should open with a unique setting and a character that wants
something but can’t have it. It should highlight ACTION and end with a
climax that doesn’t get resolved (i.e. a hook).

2. Watch movies. (A great excuse!) Note set-up and highlighted action.
Notice unique characters, settings, character tags, and dialog. Then, as
you write, watch your “movie” unfold in your mind.

My mode:

1. Start with a unique character. Mine have included:
–a sympathetic Nazi wife who helps concentration camp victims

–a thirteen-year-old musician who fakes his way into a camp orchestra

–a Jew in hiding who finds herself pregnant by a Nazi officer.

2. Research.
–I read over fifty research books, memoirs, and I interviewed veterans or
historical witnesses. What can you do to dive into your story world?

–The “true” events in history help me build a riveting plot. I formulate my
plot as I read. (With help of Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake method:

–I take notes to help with description, characterization, events, etc.

3. Write.
–I know it’s time to start writing when I close my eyes and I’m “there.” I
know my story, know my characters, and see my in-mind movie.

–I write fast. Instead of trying to figure out what’s next, the characters
and story hurl me along and my fingers have trouble keeping up with them.

4. Edit.

– Look at each chapter and scene to make sure it advances the story. In my
last two novels I’ve cut whole chapters after I realized that they were nothing
more than wonderful research. Yes, there was action, dialogue, etc. but I knew
they had to go when I cut them and it didn’t change the plot.

– I do “finds” on passive verbs and rewrite those sentences to make them
tighter. Then I reread each scene to make it as tight as possible.

– I take out “saids” if it’s clear who’s talking.

– Make sure my scenes don’t start too soon or trail on too long.

– Cut out any descriptions of emotion. If it’s obvious from the text how
the person feels, I don’t need to say it.

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