Tag Archive - Novel Structure

How To Write A Killer First Draft In 6 Steps

Today’s guest post is by Gilbert Bassey.

A killer first draft, the holy grail—who doesn’t want it?

Conventional wisdom says that you can’t write a good first draft. As Hemingway famously said, “The first draft of anything is shit.”

No doubt, he makes a valid point, but, as with everything, just because it sounds true, doesn’t mean it holds true all the time.

I don’t believe the first draft has to be shit, and I’ll show you the 6-step process I use to create killer first drafts.

Before going on, it makes sense to come to terms with what a “Killer First Draft” is. Continue Reading…

Half Off Writing Boot Camps ~ South Lake Tahoe, California

For the last five years, I’ve been teaching writing retreats in gorgeous South Lake Tahoe, CA. And each year I keep expanding. New retreats. More instuctors. More instruction!

My co-instructor, Catharine Bramkamp, and I offering writers a very special limited-time offer:

If you come to either two or all three of our Tahoe boot camps this fall, and you sign up before January 31, you will get HALF OFF your boot camp cost.

While every house we’ve rented has been drop-dead gorgeous, we’ve had our eye on this property for some years. In order to rent it, we need to get writers on board ASAP to commit to coming so we can pay for the house and lock it in. Continue Reading…

Nailing Your One-Sentence Story Concept

I’m launching my new online video course this month, so we’ve been taking a look at key elements novelists need to nail in order to construct a solid story. Whether you “pants it” or plot (see my recent post on that), your story concept has to be terrific to be worth not only your time (writing it) but also your reader’s time (reading it).

How can you expect anyone to devote ten or more of their precious hours to reading your novel if the concept is blah? Not a nice thing to subject anyone to. I, for my part, don’t want to waste anyone’s time, and I certainly don’t want my novels used to help put people to sleep (I’ve watched that malaise befall my husband many a night, but, thankfully, never when reading my novels).

I’m going to pull from a blog post I wrote a couple of years ago, when I was first gathering material for my upcoming (now published and very popular) book Layer Your Novel. I’m hoping you’ll see the value of taking the time to work on your story concept to ensure it’s a terrific one.

Be sure to check out my online course, too, if you want to master novel structure. Layering, starting with the ten key scenes, is the ticket. Believe me, I’ve seen many a novelist use this method to great success (and I hear a lot of praise for it week in and week out). Continue Reading…

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