Novel Writing - Five Secrets To Writing A Compelling Story


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My estimate is that at any given time around two-thirds of the world’s adult educated population has thought about writing a book. What’s my basis behind that statistic? It’s the percentage of people that come up to me and tell me so when they find out that I am a writer and writing coach.

So if that is the case why aren’t we flooded with endless book releases? There are a variety of reason, of which here is a handful: Book publishers only take on about 1-2% of submitted manuscripts, self-publishing a book takes money and promotional knowledge to be successful, keeping yourself motivated whilst you write 40, 80 or 100 thousand works is tough, book writing isn’t always as easy, fun and riveting as it sounds.

However, if your sight is still firmly fixed on getting your book written here are some tips on novel writing that will hopefully see you not only finish your novel but raise a publisher’s interest in it.

Plot your story

A story is always easier to write if you know what is going to happen, when it is going happen and how all the other events and characters fit in around it. If you are unsure how to plot make the most of the vast selection of writing courses, books, e-books and even computer software created to help.

Make characters believable

If you have realistic characters that are absolutely believable they can almost hold any story together on their own. But once again this requires some forward planning, perhaps even before the story-plotting. Decide who your characters are, why they behave the way they do and what their traits are. This can be done in many ways, write their biography, their CV, pretend to interview them for a magazine article or even write a journal for them. How you do it is up to you, but having a profile and understanding of your characters will once again make writing about them smoother and easier.

Set yourself a writing goal

There is nothing like, thinking you’ll start your next chapter tomorrow to create procrastination. Decide how much time you can give to writing then set yourself an achievable date for your first draft. If that sounds too much set yourself a deadline for the first chapter. In this busy world it’s far too easy to let time go by because of distractions and other priorities. If your writing is important, set a goal and stick to it.

Prioritize your writing

Do you consider your writing or the fun you have writing worth your time on? Chances are that if you have read this far into the article your answer to this question is, ‘Yes’. If so, give your writing the respect it deserves. Put it up there on the top of your ‘To Do List’ with eating and sleeping.

Have fun

This may seem a funny one to some people, but as a writing coach and a mother of teenagers I know that it’s a lot easier to motivate yourself and others when you’re having fun. Add to that the fact that if you’re bored with your novel it will reflect in your style of writing and then become apparent to your reader. Let’s face it, who wants to read something that is even boring to the person creating it? So find ways to keep your writing exciting, goal setting is a great way to do this, as is your writing environment, software and equipment. Find what inspires you and stick with it.

Elizabeth Bezant, a long-time writer and writing coach, spends most of her time giving workshops and talks to help other writers towards their true writing potential. To find more of her articles and advice visit


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