The Writing Desk: Before You Write That Novel

I just literally finished writing my new novel, Girl Code, and I because the writing bug has bitten me - I thought of blogging about what one should do when they have decided to undertake the task of writing a novel. (Also I need to space out going back and making edits.)

Screen shot of the Draft in its Early Stages 

Just like with the short story, there is no right or wrong way of writing the novel. I've tried to do the go-with-flow kind writing for my novels before. Unless you're careful there's a high chance of running into plot holes and making mistakes which hardcore readers might not forgive you for. However, completely fleshing out the story leaves little to our imagination. And makes one of favorite things in the world a very tedious exercise.

What I did was combine the two very extreme methods. When you try to send your writing to be evaluated by a publisher they always ask for the plot synopsis (and sometimes it is chapter-wise), the book blurb, and the first three chapters. But you will not have a story, if you don't have a cast of characters. Unlike the short story, the novel allows you to have as many characters as you want. And you can decide who you want as the leading characters and who you want playing minor parts. Sometimes minor characters are used as catalysts.

The Writing Desk: When You Write A Short Story

Some Thoughts About When You Write A Short Story

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. Even a couple of months back, when someone would come up to me – tell me they read my work, congratulate and launch into the story of their own struggles with writing – it would irk me just a little bit. Writing was after all my comfort zone. The safe spot, as most of my cats would put it. But over time, I realized, there are more than enough stories for all of us to tell. There is more than enough ways to tell same tale too. In fact, it would actually be a crime on my part if I did not encourage these writing enthusiasts. After all isn't it a criminal offense to deprive the world of a perfectly good story?

Okay, this image belongs to me :) I just edited in the words into the picture I took of a diary of mine :) 
If you are writing a short story one of the key things to remember is to not have too many characters. When I write my short stories they turn into snatches of chapters from my characters’ lives. And that is what you should aim at. You cannot shrink the idea you have for your 400+ page novel, shrunk into a short story. Unless you’re writing the plot synopsis…(which is whole different thing and I will post about that sometime later. Especially if I decide to post advice for writers on my blog in a separate section in the future.) Pick either one, two or three characters that will create an impact for your story. You really don’t need a cast of characters for your short story. You are not writing a film script.