Lesson 3: The Novelist is Both the Architect and the Builder of a Novel


So Much Information Out There!

I had a degree…I had my Masters of Science…I thought I should know how to write a novel. I certainly had read enough of them. I started to look over my favorite fiction novels and I went through them with different colored pens. Blue for narration, yellow for dialogue, green for different tags ie. he said, she said, etc., etc. I circled adverbs because they were supposed to be the evil of writing. I used purple for any information on the setting. I had the most trouble with point of view (POV). It reminded me of math….some problems I just could not grasp easily. Then after doing fifty problems and practicing I got the math and then wondered what was so hard about that math problem. Then I would look at all the different colors to try and figure out what percentage each of these was in each novel. Then I would go to scenes in each chapter. I learned to write novels this way.

The lesson I learned is this… I took too much time trying to learn how to write by listening to gurus. I spent numerous hours reading and listening to them only to understand they never gave me the answers…just enough information to get me to their up-sell. I wasted much time chasing down worthless information. I should have been tearing apart great novels and seeing how they were constructed.

I do want to tell you there is a plan all fiction stories must follow according to the genre you are writing in. No, this will not impinge on your creativity, but enhance it. You must understand that you are:

The Architect and the Builder of Your Novel

What does that mean? Let me explain it this way. Let’s say you are constructing a new home. (A writer constructs a novel and is the architect of a novel)). An architect designs the building to adhere to zoning, building codes, material specifications, types of material, and placement. He also designs sets of plans so the builder can construct the building as the owner wants, yet follow all the rules to avoid having to tear down code violations at great cost and waste of time. Once the plans are complete the builder can build the home to the satisfaction of the owner. (The novel will have to please the reader of that genre).

So… the Architect designs the building and makes plans.

So…the Writer as an Architect uses Concept and Premise to design his book in a genre.

So… the Builder takes the Plans and Builds the home.

So…the writer then uses the same plans that every Successful Author used to write his book.

What plans are these you might ask?

Now I didn’t think up these beautiful parts of a novel that must be included in your successful novel. In fact, they have been around since people started writing, but one man put it all together in such a beautiful way; yet I still had problems following his plans because it is not easy to learn how to write fiction unless you are Larry Brooks at Story

Then you begin to build a story scene by scene.