Knowing how to write dialogue in a novel is right up there, on the same level of importance, as the knowing how to write the scenes that contain the dialogue. There are two things a novelist needs to know about dialogue. The dialogue in any novel must always perform the following huge functions:
- Dialogue must characterize and individualize the speaker
- Dialogue must give the plot, the story forward momentum.
You may recognize these function as being the same things said of writing scenes. It’s true, in this way, scenes and dialogue are united in purpose, go hand in hand, and all that.
Learning how to write dialogue that shines involves some work, but if you can learn to write a compelling scene, you can also learn how to write dialogue that speaks volumes. To get started, let’s look at Continue reading How to Write Dialogue that Speaks Volumes →
If both a novel’s plot and subplot can be defined as a “distinct storyline in which a character pursues a goal”, what’s the difference between these two elements of novel writing? It’s a great question and one worth discussing. The following novel-writing tips will help you understand:
- what a subplot is (or isn’t), and
- the important role a subplot plays in a novel.
Novel-Writing Tips – Nuances of Plots vs. Subplots
The “central plot” of a story, where your lead character is fighting passionately to gain something, keep from losing something, or overcome something, has its own distinct plot thread. This thread shows all the struggles the lead character goes through to finally achieve his/her goal or resolve the problem.
A subplot is another storyline that you weave into a central plot, adding complexity to the lead character (or other characters) in which the character has some sort of dilemma that they must also overcome.
Novel-Writing Tip: A subplot becomes potent when it adds depth, complexity, conflict or humanizing dimensions to the central story and its characters.
Think of a subplot as Continue reading How to Create a Potent Subplot—Novel- Writing Tips →
How do novelists find story ideas? It’s a great question and it is answered in a number of ways.
While you may be one of those lucky writers who have an idea popping into your head by the minute, for many of us it’s not always that easy. We struggle with ideas that we find interesting, wondering if readers will also find it interesting. It’s just as important for readers to find your storyline interesting and exciting to read as it is for you to love writing it.
Write What You Love to Read
Before we look at sources of inspiration, let’s look at what makes a good novel for any of us to write, and I’ll keep it simple: If you want to learn how to start writing a book, write what you love to read. This old adage is as true today as it’s ever been for three important reasons:
- Chances are that if you love to read a certain type of book, as a novelist, you will also enjoy writing that type of book.
- By reading many books of a certain type, a certain genre, you most likely will know what makes it a good story. Consider for a moment,
Continue reading 9 Sources of Blockbuster Ideas for Writing a Novel →