I recently wrote a novel. Now, hold on. Don’t get too excited. The novel is kind of bad. Really bad, actually. But that’s what happens during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month in case you are not familiar with the term). For thirty days, you furiously write your heart out and at the end of your 50,000-word goal you finally look back and realize your story is nothing like what you imagined it would be. As a matter of fact, odds are you treacherously mangled the beautiful world you wanted to so badly get on the page. That’s how it went down in my experience. Enter The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing.
NaNoWriMo managed to get me from the beginning of my novel to the end. But I had no idea what I was supposed to do with the rough draft or how I was going to turn that mess into a masterpiece. Luckily for me I stumbled upon a handbook that helpfully breaks it all down into five parts. The book takes you from beginning to end; from crafting a strong narrative, the writing process, genres, to the modern market of the writing industry plus an extensive collection of interviews with authors about their craft. The book is a collaboration of professional novelists taking their time diving into their experiences in plotting, perfecting, editing, and publishing. The book features essays and how-to’s written by Joe Hill, George RR Martin, Jodi Picoult, Emma Donoghue, among so many more. The promise of hearing about their secrets and experiences jumps off the page.
What makes this an awesome tool for writers is that it not only contains a wealth of very detailed information about everything a writer could ever want to know about novel writing, but it’s extremely well organized. No matter what you want to know or how far along you are in your own novel writing journey, it’s easy to flip through the table of contents, or the index and quickly find an essay, interview, or even an author you would like to learn something new from. In short, this book is for any novelist. Ever.
– Elkid M
Prompt: Write a fragment of a story about a villain who gets away with a serious and perhaps brutal crime and enjoys the fruits of his crime (or simply enjoys the fact that nothing happens after this crime). Love this character and try to make him at least somewhat lovable to us. Think in terms of class distinctions and uncomfortable subject in the United States, as we tend to deny that they exist here. Crime is often an act of envy. According to an early meaning of the word, someone is evil crosses class boundaries (See Oxford English Dictionary). 600 words.
This week’s prompt brought to you by The 3 AM Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction.