Questions about writing a novel! Can you answer them for newbies?


I imagine, you should have a good idea of the type of book and the general story before you begin but, what next? How much research should you do so that you are thoroughly familiar with your subject?

Once the book’s concept is at least somewhat fixed in your mind, do you move onto planning scenes and plotting out your story? Do you even know your whole story when you begin writing it or do you simply begin and figure out much of it as you go on?

When do you develop characters? I would think, the scenes are difficult to start to plan put until you know which characters people them. Authors, do you find that the very nature of your characters change while writing or do they develop in response to what you wrote? How often mid story, must you add or eliminate characters?

As an established writer, do you always write your novels in the same way? Do they take similar amounts of time to accomplish each writing goal for a book? Does it all depend upon the type of books? Is the novel length similar or within the same word or page range?

I’ve been reading about Marcel Proust and how he wrote and the extra amount of steps, changes and additions are mind boggling. Just wondered how much of this others do.

How many times do you edit a book? Is it always the same? How many times do you rewrite a large section after the first couple drafts?

These are questions that plague me and may be of interest to other new fiction writers. Hoping some of you established writers can show the novices which way to go and what to expect is normal. Or is anything in writing normal? Is the process always the same or do we need to be even more flexible about writing fiction than other types of writing?

Please, writing experts- show the way!

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