How To Write A Novel

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Overwriting. A Cure.

Mar 24, 2019
 

The ailment of overwriting afflicts most first drafts. It is the writer's common cold. If you have been multiply rejected by literary agents, I can almost guarantee you suffer from this illness. Your writing obscured the story. You have probably sent out your work too soon. If you're writing the first draft, as I explained in last week's blog, you will catch most of it in the second draft.

You must treat your manuscript for this sickness before you share the novel with anyone. The advice which follows is to be taken lightly by those writing a first draft. You've got to get the material down by any means necessary and forgive it on first draft. But those on second draft and beyond should seize this advice firmly.

What do I mean by overwriting?

If you're writing a rollicking good yarn, a plot-driven story, then you won't want overwriting to detract from 'what next'. A chapter advances the character's problem inexorably.

Overwriting is a handbrake turn, or...

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