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10 Requirements for Writing a Publishable Novel

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10 Requirements for Writing a Publishable Novel



Today, I would like to announce a project that I hope all of you will be as excited to be a part of as I am. As you all know, my writing guides and tutorials have been rather random, as I was still testing the waters of the internet. I wanted to know if anyone could possibly be interested in what I had to say about the craft of writing, and I was overjoyed to see all of your enthusiasm. And so, I would like to announce that I will be shifting gears with my articles, and attempting to create a step-by-step manual so that ANYBODY who is willing to put forth the work, can learn to write a professional-quality novel. But before we undertake this project, I should let you know that there are certain requirements of you in order for such a guide to work.


Requirement 1: You must believe that you can learn to be a proficient writer.

If you doubt that you will ever create anything worth publishing, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I'm not going to sugar-coat the matter. It may be a long and very difficult process, but if you put in the work and time, and aim for literary success, you WILL become a proficient writer. So think of your all-time favorite writer, and make a promise to yourself that you will aim to surpass them.


Requirement 2: You must accept that writing is a craft, not a gifting.

When I studied to get my degree in writing, I met a LOT of gifted writers. However, very few of them became anything more than part-time critics and full time baristas. Why? Because they thought that writing was a gifting, and that they were already the best. Those are not the people who become great writers. Great writers are people who love telling stories, and who dedicate themselves to the craft. Yes, some writers will have success with much more ease than others, but anyone who genuinely puts their all into learning how to write will be able to tell a story that move the hearts of readers. Also, you must acknowledge that, as a craft, there is a process to writing that can be learned and imitated—that it is not a magical form of art for the elite, the super-creative, or the intellectual.


Requirement 3: You must dedicate a certain amount of time to writing.

This will be difficult for many people. But, if you want to become a writer, you must dedicate a certain amount of time to the craft every week—a bare minimum that you will not allow yourself to fall under. Otherwise, your dreams will become stale, life will take over, and your ability in the craft will fade.


Requirement 4: You must dedicate a certain amount of time to reading.

You can never excel at something until you see it done in the best possible way. That is simply the truth of learning. So find your favorite authors, and dedicate a certain amount of time to reading their work and studying their style, every week.


Requirement 5: You must write at least two UNRELATED novels, and be willing to rest from each.

Once you have finished writing or editing a draft, you must have a break in order for your mind to gain the distance that is essential to the editing process. So that you become more calculating when it comes to your editing. Therefore, you must have at least two works that you alternate between, every time you finish a draft.


Requirement 6: You must be willing to do tedious exercises.

Another problem with thinking that writing is a magical art is that writers think that there is no process—and that all tedium and structure are just things to restrict creativity. But just like the artist must learn the tedium of drawing shadows created by a fruit basket, and use a grid to learn lines and symmetry, so must the writer learn how to use language and story-structure. There will be fun parts to writing—most of them, actually—but those whose work will excel will be those who are willing to learn from tedium, outlines, and exercises, in order to perfect their craft.


Requirement 7: You must find a writing partner.

Perhaps the most difficult task of all, you must find other writers who are similarly trying to improve. The two of you must trade chapters for critiques and be willing to leave negative but constructive feedback. (For more specifics, see my article on having your story critiqued.) It may take time; it took me years. But you cannot become an author until you have someone to bring your flaws to light.


Requirement 8: You must be willing to take criticism and kill your darlings.

When someone criticizes your work, you must be willing to nod and accept criticism. Ask questions, of course, and discuss everything. But you must be willing to admit the flaws in your story, without emotion; to be willing to cut out your favorite scenes, characters, and ideas; and to realize that nothing you have written is sacred—all of it must be constantly rewritten and improved.


Requirement 9: You must have the dedication to not give up on your story.

I have written drafts for several novels, and only the one I've completely rewritten for the eighth time is anywhere near publication. This is the process of writing, and it takes a long time. You must be willing to hold tight; and neither give up nor try to publish your work too early. Such is the single greatest difficulty for most writers.


Requirement 10: You must realize that writing is a gift to the world.

A great professor of mine once explained the difference between a story and art. A story is for the writer—something they make up in their heads in order to amuse themselves and help themselves grow. Art, he said, was taking that story, crafting it, giving it solid form, and giving it as a gift to those who need it. In order to be a writer, you must know that the story was for you, but the novel is for others. There may be things inside of your story—hints of fanfiction, eroticism (trust me, I found it in my own work), fun cliches, and super-awesome characters—that you love. But if you see that the novel, the art meant for the world, has something that will limit how many people can be touched and inspired by it, or how much dignity the work will contain, then you must be willing to make the changes necessary so that your story can become art.


I know that this seems intimidating. Had I seen it when I was beginning my writing education, I might have sharted myself a bit. But, I want to be straight-forward with you about what is required in order to become a writer. I hope you will all be interested in this process. And all that being said, it is my full belief as someone whose formal education was in the craft of writing, that ANYONE who puts forward the time and effort can become a novelist, even without a formal education. I just want to give you the tools to do it. (Of course, if you have the opportunity to get a formal education, take it!!! Haha)


Feel free to use the comments section if you are looking for a writing partner.


Feel free to comment with other suggested resources. Any questions about writing? Things you want me to discuss? Comment or send me a message and I will be glad to reply or feature my response in a later article. If you enjoy my reviews, please feel free to share my articles with friends, add it to your favorites, become a watcher on my page, or send send a llama my way!



Originally posted at www.facebook.com/JosephBlakePa… (Feel free to “Like” and subscribe)

And: josephblakeparker.wix.com/theb…

Today, I would like to announce a project that I hope all of you will be as excited to be a part of as I am. As you all know, my writing guides and tutorials have been rather random, as I was still testing the waters of the internet. I wanted to know if anyone could possibly be interested in what I had to say about the craft of writing, and I was overjoyed to see all of your enthusiasm. And so, I would like to announce that I will be shifting gears with my articles, and attempting to create a step-by-step manual so that ANYBODY who is willing to put forth the work, can learn to write a professional-quality novel.

© 2015 - 2023 DesdemonaDeBlake
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VerNodu's avatar
Hi,

i have been drafting down important points to remember when writing my book.

This is more for me to be reminded of how much I have overcome in all aspects of my life.

I realised that whenever I read those journals, it feels like I am reading about someone' s life and not mine.

as I read and I remember all those events in my life ( upbringing , marriage, workplace unique ever imagined challenges , being a single parent producing graduates) , I find it hard to believe that it was me throughout those bellows but  still standing.

i decided to write a book, which at this moment is not that important to publish but to be formerly edited.

i will follow all your requirements above( thank you so much for this ) but wanted to ask how many characters will the editor be willing to even look at my script.

Publishing will depend on editors but I will have a solid reminder on my bookshelf that I have what it takes to overcome adversity.

Regards 
veronica