Tag Archive - Four Corner Pillars of Novel Construction

3 Steps to Successfully Outlining Your Novel

Outlining your novel in some fashion is one of the best ways to ensure you have a solid story structure. For those of you who’ve been following my blog awhile, you know I’m a huge proponent of structure—and I’ll dare to say that any great writing instructor worth his or her salt would agree.

Because novels are so complex, it makes sense to lay out a blueprint. Face it: few people have the talent or aptitude to wing it when it comes to writing a solid story without first plotting carefully. And—I’m being honest here—every single successful author I personally know who “pantses” through the writing process suffers from varying degrees of frustration, aggravation, and huge blocks of wasted time.

Seriously. I know authors who write, and discard, numerous full drafts of a novel, taking months of precious time to arrive at the solid plot. I know other pantsers who say that writing novels is a painful, grueling process that they almost hate as much as chopped liver. Continue Reading…

A Novel Is Not A Sum Total of Its Parts

This is our last post wrapping up the year’s course on The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction. I hope you now have a toolbox full of great building tools, as well as a handle on how to use them to build strong pillars for your novel. The twelve pillars we’ve looked at are foundational to your story; they hold it up. If any of these pillars are weak, your novel will fail. It’s as simple as that.

I spoke last week about approaching the writing of a novel in a holistic manner rather than piecemeal. In other words, there is a big problem in tackling a huge undertaking such as a novel by looking at the pieces as separate components that can be developed apart from all the others. Continue Reading…

Revisiting the Four Primary Pillars of Novel Construction

Over the last five-plus months we’ve been exploring the four primary, essential components of novel building, which I label in this course “corner pillars.” I spent a bit of time on these because they truly are the foundation of your novel—and if those four pillars aren’t structurally sound, your novel will collapse. Really and truly.

If you are joining in late to this course, all you have to do is go back to the first post the first week of January and work your way through these four pillars. My advice to anyone wanting to craft a really great novel that stands up to scrutiny and the test of time is to take the time to ensure that these four key elements in your novel are thoroughly developed and don’t have any weak spots. Continue Reading…

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