If you are writing a novel for the first time, or simply beginning a new one, From First Draft to Finished Novel can guide you along the process. Author Karen Wiesner segments the book into three parts, or layers, and discusses everything from writing your first draft using an outline to revision and querying. Throughout the book, you’ll discover novel writing tips, get step-by-step instruction, and improve your writing skills with editing and writing exercises.
What To Do Before You Start Your Story
In order to write a story from scratch, your story needs to be cohesive. After all, as your story goes on, you don’t want your reader to be confused or lost and stop reading. This means your characters should fit the setting you’ve created, and your plot must be apart of your characters and setting. If you need instruction on how to start your story, read Layer I: Planning for and Laying a Foundation. It will give you a guideline to brainstorming, researching, and creating an outline that includes each scene of your book.
Creating a Strong Story From Beginning to End
In Layer II: Building & Strengthening a Foundation, you’ll learn, step-by-step, how to build the foundation of your story and ways to develop it. First, Wiesner gives instruction on how to build a cohesive story using your Story Plan Checklist, which helps you build the framework for your story. Once you have created a solid outline and completely filled out your story plan, it’s time to evaluate your story. Is your story what you envisioned? Did you forget to add any important details? Take the time to evaluate your story before you write–it will save you from headaches and frustration! Once you are confident with the outline and direction of your story, it’s time to start writing your first draft. Use your outline in conjunction with the Story Plan Checklist to keep you on track and organized.
Revising Your Novel
The third layer of a story consists of revision, editing, and polishing. You’ll learn revision techniques and tricks to help you revise your novel and gain insight into how and when to involve critique partners. You’ll discover when you should set your final draft aside and how to make the final edits and polishing required to get it into tip-top shape.
The last layer, Preparing Your Proposal, walks you through the query letter, synopsis, and the partial. Wiesner explains not only how to write each component, but also what you should and should not do, shares tricks of the trade and gives examples when you need them most. Then she tells you how to put all the components together into a neat and professional book proposal.
For the times when you get stuck, Wiesner has included supplemental material to help you along the way, including a list of key terms and handy worksheets to help you create an outline. Plus, you’ll:
- Get examples of story building elements from other novels
- Improve your writing skills with writing and editing exercises
- Discover what a submission package is and what to include
- Learn how to submit your work to agent
When you buy this book, it’ll take you through the writing process from first draft to finished novel!