how to write a novel (and important pitfalls to avoid)
how to write a novel  (and important pitfalls to avoid) how-to stories

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it's like this post: not a joke, but instead a serious endeavor.

how to write a novel (and important pitfalls to avoid)

by vivian

get a piece of paper and a writing utensil.

write the letter "a" and leave a space. then, write the letters "n," "o," "v," "e," and "l."

congratulations, you've written a novel!

it wasn't that hard, was it?

no, but really.

there's no easy way to go about writing a novel, but there are plenty of pitfalls around starting and following through with your novel. let's delve deeper into two of them.

pitfall one: getting overwhelmed

you have an amazing plot and an entire fictional universe, with a whole vocabulary unique to it - but have you thought it through? thinking about your novel and thinking it through are different.

pitfall one continued

so say you haven't thought it through - your story's still on post-its stuck haphazardly on your desk and computer monitor. you're beginning to be overwhelmed by all the details.

what's wrong w pitfall one?

don't sweat the small stuff. get the bulk of your story out and the general plot down - you can go back and rework the little details later. and who cares what color your protagonist's eyes are?

pitfall two: having too general of an idea

you know the general idea of how your story will go, but then what? your 10,000+ (hyperbole) page novel can be summarized into one double-spaced page with size 12 times new roman font. now what?

what's wrong w pitfall two?

if your story is amazing enough to warrant 10,000+ pages of content, you shouldn't be able to summarize it in a single page double spaced. complex is not always better, but neither is simple.

what's wrong w pitfall two? (continued)

stories need to be captivating and need to keep a reader hooked. if i can summarize it in a breath, there's an issue. don't overgeneralize or be too vague; that gets boring real fast.

these are two extreme examples that i'm showing

but both are important pitfalls to avoid. don't overgeneralize or over-specify your content. it's a fine line to walk, but it's not so fine that it's a nanometer wide. got it?

relax. you've already written a novel.

look at the piece of paper and the letters we wrote out at the start of this comma post. you already wrote a novel, didn't you? you can do it again. i believe in you.

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