Novel Writing 101 – How to Write a Book!

Hey so I am a novelist so today I'm going to share with you the basics of how I write a novel now every writer is different but for me it all starts with a concept and an emotional through-line my debut novel the endgame is now available in paperback is about a zombie world that seems to be controlled by an almighty mysterious Game Master now for me that's kind of cool but ultimately it's meaningless without an emotional core or central relationship so the book is really about a 17 year old guy trying to protect his five-year-old brother in a very chaotic world sometimes the concept and characters arrive in my brain at the same time but when they don't it really helps me to ask a couple questions one who is the worst person for this concept to happen to like who is the person in the world least equipped to deal with it and number two how over the course of the story can this become the best or at least most important thing to ever happen to them now once those questions are answered it will become clear that your story exists in one or more genre or subgenres and once I figured those things out what I do is seek out the best stories that are already in that genre I ask myself why do these stories work or if I feel like they don't work why don't they over time you'll start to notice certain common touchstones throughout the genre and these things become touchstones because people who like those kind of stories which if you're writing a novel should include you just love that stuff now before I go on I want to do two things one take this off cuz it's crazy hot and number two I want to address something that some people might be thinking well writing a book that way make me a copycat no you don't have to shoehorn all the touchstones into the story and the ones that you do include you're going to infuse with your own soul and you're going to twist them in a completely original way it's only when those touchstones feel xeroxed or emotionally hollow that they become cliches okay so from there I outline the plot this takes a long time with my kinds of stories I try really hard to surprise the audience so that process takes about a year or more and then of course I write the book I like to use a typewriter because it seems to help me focus and I also handwrite a lot when I'm writing on my computer I use a program called Scrivener and I also use this really awesome app called freedom which blocks the internet which is a good thing usually right into two for 90-minute segments with 15-minute breaks in between now some people have very specific word count goals for their day and I used to but I don't do that anymore I think that over time you kind of learn your own rhythms and for me like if it's not happening after two hours or so I just do something else for the day because rest is sometimes the most productive thing to do now if you don't know your ideal schedule right now don't worry it'll come with time so okay I write four to six days a week for two to four years and then I have a draft I really like the Stephen King method of putting the book away for a few weeks before revising I have a couple readers that I really trust and I give my early work to but in general I don't share the book until I've got a big chunk of it done so once I hear back from the people who read the draft I do one or two big revisions and these revisions pieces of the plot can still be moved around and then finally we do a sentence level revision where I do everything I can to make the language sing and then there is that wonderful terrible moment when you send the book away and it's tough but you got to be like Elsa and let it go I would love to hear in the comments what your best writing tips are and as always thank you for watching

24 thoughts on “Novel Writing 101 – How to Write a Book!

  1. That is so strange to me, timing yourself. I wrote my first book in one summer, because it was all I could think about. I was so obsessed with it that I was constantly writing, weather it was in my head or on my computer.

  2. write out my idea. don't care about spelling. as long as you can read it. no worry just write away and make it bleed with emotion.

  3. Omg. You're like a male version of that Milo wannabe-male youtuber…

  4. Not only was this incredibly helpful and uplifting because I'm writing two novels (under two different pennames) at the same time, but also because you are absolutely fascinating to watch speak. You emote SO much, it's really wonderful. I feel as if you are genuinely trying to help out those who are watching your video, rather than just spewing some information that may or may not work. You're point of view is helpful and the way you are expressing yourself is warm, and I really needed this. Thank you.

  5. I'm currently writing a book my self it includes

    1. Political strife
    2. The setting is fantasy so magic and swords
    3. The main character is more of an neutral (only just mind you any lower he would probably be the villain instead)
    4. There is a lot of morale grey

  6. What happened with my novel was:
    I thought of some, and said "Hey that'd be a cool book"
    Then I opened up google docs. Just made the book up as I was writing it. While I wasn't writing it I was usually thinking of where my story could go. I didn't know when the book was going to end until it ended. I didn't schedule my writing, I just wrote whenever I wanted to [which was most of the time], and my revision was scarce, I didn't change any plots. All I did was make my words flow, and grammatically sound. I also did not pay for an editor.
    The novel's currently being published, not released yet. Only took about a year to write it.

  7. Is there such a thing as too much gore when writing a book?

    Young writer (11y/o)

  8. I legit sit in the dark and write whatever comes into my head for like 3 hours. I suck…

  9. GReat tips. You can add what Aaron Sorkin says: You don't have a story if you don't have the "But, And Then, and except." I am looking forward to Nanowrimo 2016.

  10. I like to listen to music that goes with the theme of what I right while I right also I am currently writing a book calls The old Kingdom that is a midevil fantasy with war betrayal and more

  11. My book is fanatical dragons&revenants(undead) the title an island of frost&power

  12. Thanks so much for making this vid! I already have a great storyline (in my opinion) but don't have the time or really, confidence to start writing, what should I do?

  13. This really helped me figure out how to go about writing my book,
    thank you so much!!!

  14. For beginners try to start writing books on Wattpad. You can read others books too! It's a really good site for beginners.

  15. how do books end up in the library? do they have to aquire a certain amount of recognition first? what if I just gave my public library a few copies for free? I just want to see myself near Tolstoy.

  16. This is extremely helpful. Thank you. Also I will look into reading your book.

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