David Louis Edelman David Louis Edelman

On DeepGenre: How to Write a Novel (Part 2)

This morning on DeepGenre, I’ve posted part 2 of my article on How to Write a Novel. (In case you missed it, here’s part 1.) This time I tackle how to get from your finished first draft to the final product. Excerpts:

Typewriter from 'The Shining' Step 10: Get your first readers’ feedback, and listen to it. This is the difficult part: you need to listen to your first readers. Really, really listen. You cannot argue with them. At all. They’re going to try to sugar-coat their criticisms, because they don’t want to make you angry or disappointed. And they’re going to be biased anyway, because they’re your friends and they probably share your worldview to a certain extent. So you need to very patiently coax the truth out of them, and let them do most of the talking….

Step 14: Make decisions, and stick to them. Just like you have to commit to writing your novel, you need to get serious about making tough decisions in the writing of it. Can’t decide if your characters should act a certain way, or if you should use a certain point-of-view, or if you should include a particular scene? You’ll need to make these tough decisions at some point, and you’ll need to stick to them…. When confronting tough decisions, it helps if you stop thinking of your choices as a shell game, where the “right” answer lies under one of your decisions. Every writing choice is the right choice, as long as you make it the right choice. There’s no Big English Professor in the Sky passing judgment on your work. Commit to a choice and make it work, and you’ll never go wrong.

Go ahead and make your comments, if any, on the DeepGenre blog.

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