Steps to writing a novel


Writing a novel is not easy. To succeed, it is seldom enough to just sit down and write. You also need to get a strategy and become aware of the pitfalls. Sören Bondeson has taught literary writing for 18 years and has written nine books himself. Here he shares seven important steps to succeed in writing a novel and Buy Essay Online.

Plan your writing

Novel writing is a long and often laborious job. To succeed, it is important to find a method.

Writing a novel does not just mean practicing the writing itself. You must also practice the art of listening, observing your surroundings, having patience, and completing what you have undertaken.

Therefore, the first step is to become more aware of your own writing process. It is often important to be more methodical, consistent, and systematic than you initially think. A start is that you decide to set aside time and also a place where you write. Forget about sitting and waiting for inspiration. You get inspiration three times a year and then not much is written. Instead, it is about the ability to concentrate. When you are focused, the flow of writing usually comes.

The dream of writing a book from beginning to end where everything falls into place during the writing process is like relying on winning the highest prize in the lottery. Making a novel is instead very much about rewriting, planning, devising characters, and creating a sequence of events.

Writing a novel after getting an idea

You often start writing a novel after getting an idea. In a rush, you write twenty, thirty pages. Then it stops and you do not understand why. The result is that the future author is disappointed in himself, thinks that he/she is an incompetent zero, and puts down everything that is called writing for a while. So a year later, he or she again gets a brilliant novel idea that begins in a trance and ends next to thirty-three.

Instead of giving up, this is about trying to figure out what you have achieved, trying to make an analysis of the situation. Maybe it’s in that way that you have written a kind of synopsis or a summary of the novel’s course of events. That the material hides a large number of events that are to be shaped and described in more detail – what is written down on three lines may in fact be thirty pages.

What you also often see when considering a crashed writing intoxication is that you have written four, five scenes or situations in a novel. The questions you should ask yourself then are: Did you write the first scene in the book? What are these scenes about? Are these scenes related? Should they be relocated? What will happen to the people in the book next?

To be able to write a novel, you need to create a look where you can see what you have achieved. It is therefore important to be able to look up and see your material from different angles. Otherwise, it will not usually be a novel.

 Build characters

A novel with thin characters is simply not a very good novel. Spend time and effort on painting credible characters.

For the novel to be interesting to the reader, it is necessary that the characters in the novel feel alive. The main characters must have an inner life that engages the reader. It is through the main character or the main characters that you experience the novel. The main character is also the one who drives the story forward for the reader.

There are different tactics among writers for how to build a character. Some write up to it while others make an accurate description of the character before they start writing. If you start from your own background, the advantage is that you do not have to invent a childhood and the experiences that govern the person’s thought patterns. But then you have to be prepared to turn every stone in your past and it can be hard. It is also easy to exaggerate certain events that are important to oneself, but which the reader finds uninteresting. A basic rule when using your own experiences in a novel is to consider yourself a novel character.

Common mistakes when writing a novel are to focus too little on people’s inner lives or to be too square in the descriptions. Remember to pick out the background and what kind of person you describe at the beginning of the book and then constantly fill in so that it becomes an interesting portrait. It is about the reader being able to understand, be surprised and become interested in the inner conflicts that the novel character carries. An internal conflict can turn into a major external conflict in the book.


  • THE INNER MONOLOGUE. The inner monologue describes the novel character’s thoughts and imaginary world. Just observe your own thoughts while sitting on a bus or taking a walk.
  • CHARACTER ACTIONS. The character’s actions are part of the character’s creation. It is important here to find the driving force in the person in question, to capture the different motive images that make the person act on the basis of a pattern. The character’s actions should have a consequence, if a novel character, for example, suffers from a mental illness, it must be built into the character’s action pattern. You should keep in mind that just because the characters in a story seem clear and distinct to the author, does not always mean that they are understandable to the reader.
  • THE CHARACTER’S BACKGROUND STORY. A background story is a tool you as a writer can use to enable the reader to understand the inner conflicts that the novel character carries. The previous circumstances that shaped the person in the book are decided by the author himself based on his view of these issues. It is important to know a lot about the main characters’ backgrounds so that the characters in the novel do not become too superficial.


Imitate others

To succeed as a writer, you must learn from the masters. And no, there is no risk of losing your voice. On the contrary.

The easiest way to learn to write is to look at how others have done it. Reading is thus an important part of the process of writing a book. But you can not just plow book after book. You must read based on how the books are written. It can be about what the sentence structure looks like or what makes the novel characters in the book come alive. Furthermore, you can see how the dialogues between the people are made and how the novel is structured and composed.

You should not read a book that you are attracted to just once. The first time you are engrossed in the book and do not see the qualities. It is only at the third and fourth readings that you can see how the author went about it. It is important to find out what has appealed to you in the reading experience. Is that the content? Or Is there a drive in the narrative? Is it the language itself? Or that the dialogues feel alive?

It is basically impossible to write a book if you have not studied and reflected on different books. An architect is not expected to be able to design a house if he/she has never taken the time to study house constructions and been inspired by other architects. But when it comes to writing literature, the myth lives on that you create out of thin air. This myth has its origins in the romanticism of the 19th century when the author gained an elevated position as a genius. The genius was above all the great male genius, who in mastery, impulse, and burning gaze wrote masterpieces.

Reading Books

By reading books, you can also learn the most basic writing techniques, such as how to divide the text into paragraphs and chapters, where to put commas, and how to use characters and set up dialogues.

Reading different kinds of books and comparing and analyzing them from a writing technical perspective means that you work up the security of your own writing.

You do not have to worry about losing your originality when you read a lot. It is rather the opposite, that your uniqueness emerges through the study of books. Authors are consciously and unconsciously influenced by books, they steal, take structures and structure and bring it into their own material. It is unnecessary to reinvent the wheel. A process of imitation is being learned to write and for those who have the ambition to change and do the opposite and renew literature, it is even more important to know how something is done. It goes without saying that you have to know what you are revolting against. That is why it is very important to read a lot if you want to write a novel.


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