Every writer has a different sequence in which they do things, in what they feel is important, and in the way they present information on writing a novel. What one person tells you to do isn’t necessarily going to make the road easier than a new wrinkle remover is actually going to turn back your physical clock a decade or more. But, just like the face cream, you won’t know if something will work for you when it comes to writing until you try it.
Daniels (writing as Beth Henderson, J.B. Dane, Nied Darnell, Lisa Dane, & Beth Cruise) stumbled along the same roads once herself and knows where some of the potholes novelists fall into most frequently lie. And she’s willing to share the info, too, in a still that has been compared to sitting across the kitchen table from her rather than a classroom. She does love lists, but they can be considered tallies of options or elements to check off.in creating a novel.
Things covered in MUSE TO MANUSCRIPT: WRITE A NOVEL are:
• Which genre best fits your story idea
• Considering who your audience is
• How long a novel actually needs to be in word count
• Great openings and conclusions need something between them – lots of smaller bits for the middle of the story
• Learning from inadvertent mentors – your favorite authors – and creating a guideline from your favorite books
• To plot or not to plot ahead of time with guidelines on building a story either way
• Dividing the plot to conquer it
• Easy steps to plot by and the importance of action-reaction
• Types of research likely to be needed and when it needs to be done
• A brief guide to formatting and proposal packages
• Creating characters – main, secondary and thirdenary ones
• Sorting out POVs (points of view)
• World building for fantasy, romance, or mystery stories
• Reasons why everything needs a backstory
• In fact, reasons why doing some things are necessary and why others can be a choice of what works best for you!
Daniels is quite active in the online writing workshop community and MUSE TO MANUSCRIPT is a combination of things from different workshops (including a year long one where participants were working on their first book length piece of fiction) and from answers she gave to questions asked in workshops.
Rather than advocate the beginning novelist plot everything out before writing word one, or totally spinning the tale as it spills from your keyboard or pen (also known as being a Pantser or Organic writer). Daniels leaves the choice up to the writer, although she advocates a middle-of-these-roads approach she calls The Game Plan.
Daniels lays a number of cards on the table for a writer to choose from. The presentation is open, personable, and attempts to avoid words that might sound academic. As a genre writer she prefers “hero” and “heroine” to protagonist, and the antagonist is the “villain”, whether it be a character or a situation that challenges the main character or characters.
If you’ve ever felt lost when it comes to writing the novel you’ve dreamed about creating, MUSE TO MANUSCRIPT could well be the book to turn you from want-to-be-writer into someone who can cross this goal off their list of resolutions.
It’s time to move from wanted to write a novel towards becoming a published novelist!
Under her various pen names, Daniels has seen 28 novels (romantic-comedy, suspense, historical, & YA) published by 7 different publishing houses, in 12 languages in over 2 dozen countries. Visit her at www.RomanceAndMystery2.com or www.Muse2Ms.com.
This volume was previously published as SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A NOVEL: WRITING YOUR FIRST BOOK.