Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top Ten Tips For Writing a Novel

10.  If your plot is dragging, kill a character. It's incredible hard to write a boring death scene.  Probably impossible. Unless the character was actually "bored to death", but I think that even that would be interesting to write about.

9. Start with a sufficient number of characters so that #10 doesn't prematurely end your story

8. Think of novel writing as "The Original Sims".  The reason that Sims is popular is that its fun to have control over a group of characters and make them do outlandish things.  Novel writing should be fun for the same reason.

7. Give up on bad ideas quickly.  For some weird reason, I really wanted someone to win the lottery in my novel.  It just didn't fit anywhere, and I spent too much time trying to work it in.

6. Write about whatever you want.  Chances are if you are enjoying typing it, then someone is going to enjoy reading it.  For example, I spend about 5 pages describing an appendectomy in space.  It was SO fun to write, and it's probably the best written scene in the whole book. If it's not fun to write, it won't be fun to read.

5. Have a terrible opening sentence.  It's only uphill from there.  Mine was, "Hello?"  You don't want to set expectations too high at the beginning or else your readers are going to have, ya know, high expectations.

4. Don't apologize for the decisions you make.  I am very bad a writing relationships between men and women (love is sappy and for wieners); but I'm very good an building relationships between men, or between woman (developing friends and enemies is fascinating!!).  So I put 5 men in space, and 5 women on Earth, and they really don't interact with the other group.  Call me sexist- but a woman in space would've cause MAJOR issues that I'm just no prepared to deal with.

3. Don't name characters who aren't important.  I hate when books have too many characters, and I hate when I don't know which ones are important enough to pay attention to.  If someone's not important in my book, they don't get a name.  For example, "the NASA director" appears a lot in the book, but he's not worth remembering, so he doesn't get a name.  You're welcome, readers.

2. Don't say that you have 10 tips if you can only think of 9.

1. Have an awesome closing paragraph.
SPOILER ALERT: Here'e my last paragraph-

I wonder if anyone remembers that we're here.  Do history books mention in passing that 2 people were left on Mars after NASA collapsed?   Do kids with telescopes know that there’s an old couple living on that little speck of light that they see?  Maybe someday a new ship will land.  Maybe new astronauts will brave the terrain in search of life.  Maybe they will find us, an old couple with a world of our own in this rickety little base camp.  We will be there to greet them with flowers from our garden.

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