Posted By John Poindexter

Hello again,

For the next few Blogs I will be presenting a Guest Blog by Kate Bloomfield on How to write a novel (in 2 months).

Don't forget you can leave a comment or two on this topic.

Kate's website:

Part 2 of How to write a novel (in 2 months)

Day 5-6: Research

Now, I don't know much about 18th century England, apart from what I've seen in movies, so some research was in order. I learned quickly that women in the 1700's were not allowed to own property, so I had to alter my story to fit.
•    Elizabeth cannot inherit Apothecary, so she dresses as a man to obtain it.
There. That's nice and neat, isn't it?
Apart from that, I looked into laws and customs of 18th century England, researching women's roles and traditions. I then started to shape my plot around that. I learned that my character would be considered "strange" if she was not married by the time she reached her twenties. This was useful for a lot of dialogue between mother and daughter. I also found that couples would never be left alone, and always have a chaperone.
Day 7 onwards: Composition

Okay, now you've got your story outline in bullet-point format. You've researched the customs of the people/era you're writing about. (Not so important if you've made up your setting entirely). Now you need to break up these bullet-points into finer points. Let's say you had 10 bullet points. Break them up into 20, giving each one more detail and depth. Once you have done this you should be able to clearly see how your chapters will pan out. Think of the bullet points as chapters.

Once you've done this, you're pretty much ready to begin writing, and after only a week! You've got a fully planned story to go ahead and write!

Now, when I wrote 'Passing as Elias' I cheated a little bit, and I do not advise doing this unless you've REALLY got the whole thing planned.
Get ready for it ... I wrote the middle of the book first. Yup, that's right. I took the most interesting/fun bullet points and I wrote those chapters first. It was probably a silly thing to do, but it was super fun. I got to write all of the saucy, sexy, action packed fun bits first, without taking the long and tedious road to get there. Now, this was LARGELY part of the reason why I finished the book so fast: because I was enjoying it. I'd write pages upon pages every day, because I got to write all the good bits first. (I also wrote a majority of this book during work hours at my office job. I'd sneakily type a few paragraphs into an email and send it to myself) Shhhh.

So what happens when you've written all the best bits? Well, it's time to stitch them together, I guess. This is the hard part (if you do what I did) but I did find it got the work done quicker.

Those in between bits are called 'Filler'. Scenes/Conversations/Events that move the story along at an even pace without having one thing happen after another. If you don't have the filler then the book won't flow nicely, it'll be short, and be an absolute mess.

Filler is a good time for you to explore your characters and give them depth during their 'down time'. What does your character do on a Sunday afternoon? Do they have hobbies? Use this time to improve upon your characters relationships. Some of my filler included the following:
•    A funeral (to enhance the characters important relationship with the deceased).
•    A wedding (to enhance her sense of entrapment)
•    Time at a bar (to study the way males behave)
Okay, so now you've written the exciting bits AND the parts in between. Now what? Is your novel finished? No way.

I will post more in about two weeks

Until then, remember to write. Also leave a comment.



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