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Full Draft

How To Write A Novel

It was many years ago now that I grew tired of hearing writers ask how to write a novel. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a valid question, and one that any writer who cares to become an author should ask, but answering how to write a novel is not a simple matter to explain, even over an hour long podcast.

This is the reason the Full Draft series was born.

Since I came up with the idea, it’s gone through many iterations, with more to come I’m sure. I started answering the question of how to write a novel with three articles, one on writing, one on editing, and one on publishing. However, this original concept has since turned into 25 posts (and still counting) written by 5 authors! It also inspired a non-fiction series we’re putting together by the same name, due out towards Q2 2019.

The below articles may not be quite the definitive guide on how to write a novel, but I’d challenge you to find a better resource.

Just keep in mind that these are ever-evolving content that will be updated as needed, and new articles may be added over time. Even this page, a resource on everything how to write a novel, will continuously be improved over time.

how to write a novel

Full Draft Articles

First Draft: From Idea To Finished Manuscript

No Subject Is Off Limits, But Handle With Care

Freelance Copywriter As writers, we’re often very mindful of our readers. Sometimes so mindful that it can hinder our creativity and sincerity. This is a timidness that often comes when writing on unconventional subjects that your reader may not be comfortable with,...

How To Write Good Characters

Freelance Copywriter A question that all fledgling writers ask at one point or another is how to write good characters. The truth is creating great characters is difficult. Writers have the enormous task of creating a character that readers love and they can relate to...

Building a Fictional World

Freelance Copywriter Not every book needs proper worldbuilding. Some, such as stories set in our world in a place that actually exists, usually need very little in the way of research or planning. In these cases, however, it is important to remember to represent the...

4 Writing Pitfalls To Avoid

Freelance Copywriter Note From Jeremy: This article is something of a personal sore spot, but I think one that we all share. I believe that every writer is, has been, and shall be a victim of each and every one of the below writing pitfalls. This goes for the writer...

Find Time To Write: 8 Techniques You Can Start Using Today

Freelance Copywriter Finding time to write is like finding a needle in a haystack—impossible to do without a magnet. This cheesy metaphor is a great analogy for how many writers feel when it comes to making time to write. With a full-time job, spouse or partner,...

Writing Logistics: Paragraph Length

Freelance Copywriter We've all learned the golden rule for paragraphs; 5 sentences, the first is an opener and the last is a closer. However, this rule isn't really that golden when it comes to writing fiction, or non-fiction for that matter. Sure, when you're writing...

Writing Logistics: Scene Length

Freelance Copywriter Ah, the scene. One of the most misunderstood ways to break up a novel. The term gets thrown around in so many different mediums, including in movies, TV shows, and on the stage. As if that wasn't enough, many authors feel that scenes are unneeded,...

Writing Logistics: Chapter Length

Freelance Copywriter For new writers, and many times even those of us with a few stories under our belts, trying to determine the best length for each chapter is enough to question everything you know about writing. Do you shoot to keep them uniform, every chapter the...

Writing Logistics: Novel Length

Freelance Copywriter Many writers wonder what the ideal novel length should be and they’re not wrong to do so. Ultimately, the story dictates the length of any work. However, with an eye towards helping create a well-rounded and saleable story, we’re going to address...

Creating Your Story Pulse

Authorpreneur, Editor, and Publisher The choice on how to plan a novel isn’t always an easy one. Should you be outlining the whole story first, or should you take the pantser approach and just get started? I believe the real question should be why do we have to...

How Outlining Can Change The Way You Write

Freelance Copywriter Whether it’s the feud between chaos-loving Grant Morrison and plotter extraordinaire Alan Moore, or post-modernism vs high-fantasy, the matter of plotting is … divisive, at times. Should you concentrate on outlining or are you better off Pantsing?...

What Is Pantsing And Why You Might Consider It

Freelance Copywriter Stephen King, author of bestselling suspense novels such as Carrie and Bag of Bones, is definitely a “pantser,” or someone who writes by the seat of their pants. “In my view, stories and novels consist of three parts: narration, which moves the...

Introduction of the First Draft Series

Authorpreneur, Editor, and Publisher Writing the first draft takes a lot. It’s not enough to just have an idea, you need to understand structure, language, syntax, and, in the case of fiction, what makes a good story. However, more than anything else, you need...

Second Draft: Getting Your Manuscript Ready To Publish

Developmental or Copy Editing. Which one is right for you? [Updated 4/20/17]

For a lot of indie writers, simply finishing their book can seem to be such an insurmountable task, and then you have to think about editing. What type of editing is right for you? What are the different types? In this article we’re going to take a look at the three most common types of editing you’ll be looking for, Developmental Editing, Copy Editing, and Proofreading.

Where To Find Alpha And Beta Readers

You’ve finished your first novel, done the self-editing, and now you’re looking for the next step. Of course, you’re going to need another set of eyes on your book, but where do you even begin?

What Are Alpha/Beta Readers? Do I Need Them?

You may be one of many who looks at the title of this article and wonders just what in the world I’m talking about. Alpha and beta readers? Isn’t a reader just a reader? Not exactly. Alpha and beta readers are real, and they’re a vital inclusion to the pre-publisher writing process that you may not have thought of.

How To Find a Quality Editor

Whilst writing your book, an editor may seem like one of those ‘workhands’ a publisher will simply assign to you after they hand you your six-figure cheque and your shiny new ‘Author’ badge, however, the reality is decidedly less ‘red carpet’.

How Much Should You Pay For An Editor?

It can be a headache when you start to look for editors if you’re unsure what one is truly worth. As an indie author, you probably don’t have much of a budget, especially for your first novel, but it is very important to not only hire an editor but find the right one.

Should You Self Edit? – Tips and Tricks to Efficiently Editing Your Own Work

Before you scour the internet looking for submission guidelines and how you can make your work ‘stand out from the crowd’, before you worry about choosing the right font that combines professionalism with personality, and before you start telling people you’re a novelist because, “y’know, the real definition of a novelist is that you’ve written a novel,” and you have, so there. Before doing any of that, remember that, without proper editing, they are all as useful as gilding a lily or a turd.

Introduction of the Second Draft Series [Second Draft Part 0]

Welcome to Second Draft, a series all about the process starting from the moment you finish your first draft to being ready to publish! The goal is to teach new and old writers alike how to get from first draft to final draft within budget and without being taken advantage of.

Final Draft: Publishing, Marketing, & Beyond

Should You Pay For Publishing?

Authorpreneur, Editor, and Publisher I hear it all the time, “Publishing your book should not cost a dime”, but is that true? This may be the first generation we have a choice on how we publish, but it’s also a generation full of uncertainty within the industry. At...

Five Publishing Pitfalls To Avoid

Freelance Copywriter This is the 4th post in the Final Draft Series. We are consuming more information today than ever and the ways to publish that information are now sprouting up like hydra heads! So how do you make sure that what you publish is seen and that you...

What Is A Literary Agent And What Do They Do?

All pistons have been firing for the past few months. You’ve been inspired, depressed, elated, and confused for good measure, and now you’ve given birth to your book. A couple of hundred megabytes of blood, sweat, and fears that it’s never going to see the light of a bookstore aisle, so you consider sending it to one of those most mythic of characters: the “Literary Agent”. But should you?

Let’s Talk About Different Types Of Publishers

As authors, we have the unique opportunity to take our times to decide which path to publication is right for us, as we have more than one choice. This article will take a look at a few different types of publishers and why you might choose one over another.

Should You Seek A Traditional Publisher?

You’ve finally put the finishing touches on your manuscript and are now looking for what to do with it. You see tons of information about self-publishing and traditional publishing, but not a simple article comparing the two. Well, search no longer! This article is just that.

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