How to Write a Novel

Here, you'll find essential advice on how to write a novel.

Find out:

  • What type of novel is right for you
  • 7 ways to get great creative writing ideas
  • 4 ways that novelists turn ideas into stories
  • 6 top tips on how to make your novel a success

And much more!


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Table of Contents

Types of Novels. Thrillers, science fiction, romance, contemporary realism... there's a heaping buffet table of options for your novel. Browse around and see which one's for you.

Elements of a Novel. Need a 2-second review of terms like "narrator," "plot," and "narrative point of view?" You could look this stuff up in the dictionary, but CWN's definitions are shorter and sweeter.

Where to Get Creative Writing Ideas. Maybe you want to write a novel, but you're just not sure about what? Maybe your idea bank needs a "stimulus plan"? Here are some ideas for getting ideas.

Tips for Writing a Novel. "I've got an idea, so what now?" Ideas are great, but at some point, you have to turn them into stories. Read about four kinds of writers and how they take ideas to the next level.

Novel Outline. A simple way to lay out a plan for your novel to avoid false starts and dead ends. Always know where you're headed.

How to Write a Great Beginning. The beginning of your novel is where readers (and agents and editors) decide whether to keep going or to put your novel down. Learn how to grab readers' interest right away.

How to Complicate Your Plot. Add plot complications and twists to keep your reader's interest and prevent your story conflict from resolving itself too quickly.

How to Write a Satisfying Ending. The end of your novel forms the reader's final impression. Here's some advice on writing endings that will leave readers satisfied.

How to Write a Mystery. If you're a mystery buff, you'll have a great time writing a crime novel of your own. Advice on planning a mystery, planting clues,and getting away with murder.

How to Write a Thriller. How to write a novel that will get your readers' hearts pounding, their palms sweating, and their families shouting to get their noses out of the book already and come help with the dishes...

How to Write Science Fiction. Invent new worlds; explore the wildest possibilities of the universe. Writing science fiction is a chance to push your intelligence and imagination to the limit.

How to Write Fantasy. If you love creating worlds and prefer magic to science, the fantasy genre's for you. But even magic has rules. Before starting your novel, read these dos and don'ts.

How to Write Romance. What research should you do before you start writing a romance? How hot can you make the bedroom scenes? Why are romance novels almost always written from the perspective of women? Find answers here.

How to Write Historical Fiction. Do you have the makings of a historical fiction writer? Learn more here, and get important advice on planning, researching, and writing your historical novel.

More on Writing Historical Fiction. Where and what to research before writing a historical novel, and why the research really matters. Learn how to write a novel that transports readers to another place and time.

Top Novel Writing Tips. Avoid typical writing mistakes and give your novel the best chance of success with these top tips from experienced novelists.

Author Interview: Meredith Sue Willis on Novel Writing. Novelist Meredith Sue Willis shares her Archipelago Method to novel-writing and offers advice on keeping up momentum during the novel-writing process.

Author Interview: Nicole Peeler on Fantasy Writing. Nicole Peeler, author of the Jane True urban fantasy series, discusses fantasy writing and the line between popular and literary fiction.

Author Interview: Hal Duncan on Speculative Fiction. Author Hal Duncan talks about how voice leads to character and other fiction writing topics.

Author Interview: Skhye Moncrief on Writing Romance. Romance writer Skhye Moncrief talks about writing romance novels, what it's like to work with druids, and her thing for kilts.

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