Stage 1: Developing the novel
- Working title
- Identify a genre
- Estimate the length of the book.
- Identify the main characters.
- Point of view
- Identify the setting
- Write an outline
Stage 2: Researching for the novel
- Make a list of what you already know
- Make a list of things you need to find out – use question form
- Identify potential sources
- Use keywords to do a preliminary search. This will hopefully lead you to more comprehensive source
- Check your facts (don’t rely on one source)
- Synthesis your findings – organise your research
- Evaluate your findings
- Check that you have answered your own questions
Stage 3: Compose the novel
- Chapter 1 – finally started
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- and so on
Stage 4: Revise
- You need to approach your manuscript with a fresh and clear mind. Have you had at least a week’s break from it?
- Read your premise and outline and keep them close at hand
- Make a copy of the original manuscript
- Read the manuscript from start to finish. Remember, no fixing and try not to take notes. You are only reading at this point.
- Reread the manuscript looking for problems in the overall structure of the novel. Now you can take notes, but avoid editing – you can mark mistakes, but you must not fix
- Reread the manuscript as many times as you need to, concentrating on different aspects, such as character continuity, chronology, scene transitions, dialogue etc.
- Make the changes you’ve outlined for yourself
- You might also wish to rework the beginning and end at this point
- Read it again. Are you happy?
Stage 5: Editing
1. Reread the manuscript and check for the following:
- Overuse of words, ie repetitiveness
- Are the sentences coherent – are there any fragments, run-on sentences?
- Consistency in tense
2. Make the changes you’ve marked
3. Check the layout
4. Do a spellcheck – it should be the last thing you do
I’ve added a few words to the novel. At this rate I should be finished around 2080.
Word metre available from http://www.writertopia.com/toolbox/meters