Becoming a Novel Writer

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The challenge of becoming a novel writer is often misperceived by aspiring novel writers. Some future novel writers perceive it as easier than it is and others think it is next to impossible. There is also a common misconception that avid readers can easily write a novel. Although reading certainly helps, like other forms of art, appreciating the art is different than creating the art.

Thanks to the easy availability of information on the Internet, many aspiring writers think they have mastered the craft of writing a novel. However, all those websites with tips and tricks for becoming a novel writer, including this one, can only teach the structure, techniques, and format of writing a novel. While learning these components are certainly a necessity, they are not a substitute for practice. The style of novel and the intricacies and nuances which make a novel unique and popular are dependent on the writer’s imagination.

Novels are comprised of one or more protagonists who fight for a cause and one or more antagonists with whom they struggle, forming the crux of the novel. However, the manner in which the characters are developed, the portrayal of the most important scenes, and the relevance of the content are all important in making the novel a success.

Early novels followed a linear structure and had characters communicating in bookish language rather than in colloquial language. However, writers such as Alexander Pushkin introduced characters who spoke in vernacular, making the characters more real and thereby conquering a large readership. Several successful novel writers have developed such maverick writing techniques in their effort to create a niche for themselves.

At a time when it was a common practice to write about superficial themes, Philip K. Dick wrote about abstractions and the human perception of identity. He also questioned the widely-accepted definition of reality. All his novels were metaphysical by nature and presented a dystopian picture of the world with dark themes such as drug abuse and schizophrenia. Apparently, he used his unusual (almost supernatural) experiences on his way of becoming a novel writer.

Likewise, the narrative technique, ‘Stream-of-consciousness’, which was introduced by Édouard Dujardin in Les Lauriers sont coupés (English: The Laurels are cut), has been widely used by various authors in their novels. Employing such unusual narrative techniques can immensely in becoming a novel writer and gaining recognition.

If you need a place which suits the setting of your novel and you have been unable to find any such place, you may create a new, imaginary location where the entire novel takes place. Again, this is not a new technique and has been famously used by several authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez. However, if you can successfully portray the location as an important part of the novel, you are likely to taste more success in becoming a novel writer.

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