Archive for September, 2006

The Great Secret to Writing a Novel

September 19th, 2006 19 comments

By Weston Ochse

I could go on and on about this topic. I considered giving examples of successful authors from Socrates to Stephen King. Maybe revealing secret methods each author uses. I thought of talking about my own writing, showing how my great secret has worked for me. For instance, in the last five years I’ve written six novels. By the end of 2007, I will have written nine novels if my schedule goes as planned. I thought of polling fellow authors to gain a consensus. I thought of doing a lot of things, but in the end, I decided to let the words speak for themselves.

So here it is.

Drum roll please.

And as the fanfare dies down, and the confetti is brushed from the hair, you lean forward to read the following words…

–Write five pages a day every day.–

That’s it.

That’s the great secret to novel writing.

Five pages a day isn’t daunting. It’s very doable. Write two in the morning and three in the afternoon, or vice versa. Write them all at once. Write one page every hour. That’s only 250 words.

Five pages a day equals a 90,000 word novel in three months.

Five pages a day equals three novels a year with time for editing and a vacation to Bermuda.

Too often when we sit and stare at the screen and imagine the novel, the whole process seems daunting. 400 manuscript pages. 90,000 words. 509,764 characters if you include spaces. 415,558 if you don’t. 3,031 paragraphs. 7,963 lines. Talk about daunting. With numbers like that why would a writer even try to write a novel? I’d rather take up underwater basket weaving or Zero-G origami.

But remember my great secret to writing a novel?

Five pages a day.

Writing five pages a day is so easy that anyone could do it.

It’s so easy even a caveman could do it.

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