My Novel Writing Formula

Robb714 By Robb714, 30th Jul 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Tips

Ten easy steps to follow, ensuring you stay on track toward the completion of your great masterpiece. You don’t need to follow them in order, just keep them handy in case you get lost or side tracked along your journey.


It is always a good idea to have one at the beginning or before you even start. Mine usually come to me in my dreams or just walking down the street (not that I am a street walker, per se). You never know when a great idea is going to present itself (hit you in the head), that is why you should always have something handy (pen and paper) to jot down, notes, they can be fleeting (the bastards). A lot of people have their fancy smart gizmos and things, iGadgets or whatnot. I find these people to be utterly out of touch with their creative side, if you know what I mean. So it is good to have that idea I mentioned earlier, to build your story around, not essential, just a good idea. Somewhere along the next nine steps, you will really need it, trust me. It is usually always even better if (that idea) it is something you feel very passionate about, passion is good, yeah, when writing something, be it a novel, book, screen play (movie basically), article, recipe, letter, note (especially suicide ones) or even a Will, what ever you choose to write, eventually you will NEED an idea (premise same thing). So it is a good idea to have a premise when you start your piece (that’s what we call it in the biz (that’s what we call the business (that’s what we call people who write for a career))). This is also a good time to do some research, unless you are one of them dang know-it-alls (can’t say here what we call them in the biz, by now you should know that refers to business).

Write the first chapter

After you have come up with your premise (idea), it is advised to write your first chapter, you don’t have to, if it makes you feel better or not who cares, it is your piece (body of work) and you can write the second or twenty-second chapter first if you want to. Nobody is going to take away your birthday if you don’t write the first chapter first. My point is that you have to really start somewhere or you will never finish, which is the premise of this article to help you finish your masterpiece and win some kind of award or something. Many people start that great best-seller and never complete it because they have not followed my guidelines, so listen to what I am writing here. This is also a good time to do the aforementioned research, unless you know everything and if you do, I would like to read your book, so get started. That’s all I’m saying.

Character development

I really don’t know a whole lot about this step, only it’s in my notes. “Hold on my mouse just died.” Well, let’s see in a story there are sometimes characters, not always, some of the best ones don’t even have any (if that’s your story, you can skip ahead). Characters as I understand don’t even have to be, people, they can be animals (my favorite) or objects, I understand (that’s what I’ve been told). If your story or note or whatever you are writing has some kind of characters in it, this is a good time to develop them. I know how to develop film but characters, let’s see. I think this step is where you describe characters, what they are wearing and their attributes, are they going to be ‘good’ characters or ‘bad’ characters, it is your job as a writer to convey these things to your readers. Some of them are not too bright so they need you to give them hints (brain visuals) to help them. It’s like if they were watching your story on TV; they would know what the characters look like but in a book. As I mentioned, I really am not up to speed on this step, just ‘Google’ it.

Compose an outline

Alright I think I know this one. An outline is like a map of your story. As I mentioned before, it’s your story and you can do what you want to. This step, if you adhere to it will help you stay on track like a train and you know what happens when a train gets off track. I think that explains it but I need more words. If you develop writer’s block (inability to think of something to write), this step should help you get back on track and move smoothly forward. I if you do not follow this step, you could end up with a bunch of gobbledygook (it’s a word and as a writer, I know that) and in that case, people will not understand your work, buy it or recommend it to their friends and neighbors, which is not good for your pocket book (career). So make an outline and refer to it whenever you get lost writing your story.

Write the last chapter

People say I’m crazy for this one and they could be right, who knows. Before I waste all my time and energy writing a book or novel (same thing really), I want to know how it ends. If it doesn’t end well then why bother in the first place. That’s just common sense, right? For me personally this helps me stay focused on the story’s direction, like a mini outline. For example: If Johnny lives happily ever after in the end, you can not kill him off in chapter seven, now can you? You see, it’s just common sense, I know what I am writing about here because I am a writer. The point of this step is to stay focused on your final goal and a good time to do that research, if you haven’t already.

Develop climax

I will make this one short because I have no idea what that means. I AM PRETTY SURE IT (oops) has nothing to do with sex, I don’t think, I wonder if it does, maybe I am missing something. If you feel this is an important enough step just ‘Google’ it and if you find an answer please leave a comment below because I just don’t have a clue on this one.

Write middle body out to conclusion

Now that you have done all the hard parts, just fill in between the first and last chapters with words, keep in mind it really helps if they are related to the continuity of your outline and fit into your story. As I said before, never forget, it is your story and you don’t have to, it just helps to sell books, which is your objective. Of course with declining book sales maybe they need to change things up a bit. This is a crucial step in determining how thick your book is, the more words the thicker the book, do you see what I am getting at here? Now don’t get carried away because after a while people just get tired of reading so I would try to keep it to about an inch thick, two inches seems a little like overkill, if you ask me. If at this point if you have discovered climax, it could be essential in determining your half way point, as I understand it usually comes in the middle, of a book. This should be the easiest step so far.

Rewrite first draft

In the advent you made some grammarical and spelling errors in the course of your creative process, this is your opportunity to go back and correct them. While this is my least favorite step, you don’t want to look uneducated now do you? This is a very important process in your plan, however do NOT intermingle this step with the previous ones. It will only take away from your creativity, write first correct later. You want to keep those juices flowing while they are hot. And like my momma always said, “if you don’t want to do this, then pay someone to do it for you.” If you do not have a dictionary, they have them at the library and you will need one for this step, unless you know it all. Also if you haven’t already done so, it is too late at this point for research. That is why I pointed it out earlier.

Log lines and synopsis

Unfortunately and apparently this is your responsibility. If you ever finish your ‘baby’ and by following these simple ten steps I have so tediously provided, you can, in order to sell it to the man, you are going to need good log lines and or a synopsis. From what I understand, it is always best if you do these, yourself. Supposedly, no one knows your work more than you do, with some authors (writers) I know, this couldn’t be further from the truth but that is another story. Log lines are simply five to seven sentences to interest someone into wanting to know more (and I didn’t ‘Google’ that) about your work (piece). Synopsis is more of a ‘snap shot’ (picture) of your piece, a few paragraphs explaining the jest, of the big picture, so to speak. If you did your research in the beginning like I suggested, then you should have ended up with a great masterpiece deserving of some kind of prize or award. If you didn’t, it is not my fault and you can’t blame me.

Sell it

Well, all I can say is, “Good LUCK with that!”

Thank you for reading and as always, comments are welcome, like stray cats, seriously, I love cats.


Writing, Writing A Novel, Writing For Money, Writing Skills, Writing Tips, Writing Training

Meet the author

author avatar Robb714
I love cats and my dog. Making the world a better place for all humanity and animals, is my goal. My past is very blurry and my future is uncertain. People should know, I am a very dynamic and interesting type of person. I taught Batman self-defense....(more)

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author avatar Denise O
1st Aug 2011 (#)

What a gorgeous character you have there. I have also have that same look while editing my page, for the 50th time. You hit my funny bone on this and no, you are not a monkeys uncle. LOL
Keep on writing Robb and as always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Legend
13th Sep 2012 (#)

Great article Robb, humorous, clever and informative - all in one

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author avatar Robb714
15th Sep 2012 (#)

Thanks Legend, I need to write some more articles but I have been so busy with other things lately and besides Christian just loves for me to take pictures of him and post them on the interwebz!

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