Writing a Classic Novel

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As far as the techniques of writing a novel goes there are many. Every novel however needs to tell a story well and to hold the readers attention. Further to this a good novel should have something profound to say, or it should leave the reader with an understanding of something they didn’t know before. The reason that some books become classics and others don’t is their longevity. The fact that the lessons learned in a novel can transcend time and apply to subsequent ages is what makes a classic. For instance, Shakespeare’s works are classic because they still apply today. Successful people will still have fatal flaws which make them throw away what they have achieved in a vain effort to gain loftier heights in much the same way that Macbeth did. How many books and movies have explored the identical twin mix-up scenarios like Shakespeare did in A Comedy Of Errors?

You’ll Need:

·                                Pen

·                                Paper

·                                Imagination

·                                Resolve


Take a well known classic and retell it in a modern context. This is not plagiarism as the story will be the product of the authors imagination, but the theme may be similar. The Movie “Apocalypse Now” set in Vietnam is a retelling of the Classic Joseph Conrad story, Heart of Darkness, which happened in Africa. This is a good technique but the problem is to apply the classic story so that it is not diminished but still remains timeless. There may also be copyright issues with this endeavor so check with the legal side.


Write each chapter separately while keeping the complete story in mind and then putting them together as a complete story, leaving the reader to make the connections from the clues you have left in each chapter. Envisage the whole story playing in your mind much like a movie and they write it as quickly as it comes. Then can go back over the story and write in the supporting facts like character summaries and settings.


Write from the historical context. Historical Fiction is very popular because it gives almost a personal face to historical facts. The reader can be drawn into some historical event and if the writing is done well the readers can almost feel part of that historical event. The use of imagery and descriptive metaphors can make the novel so life like that a reader is transported to that time and into that situation. An excellent knowledge of the language and a broad vocabulary is a prime necessity when writing a novel. The author must be able to paint a picture with words that will leave a lasting impression with the reader.


Study the scientific breakthroughs of the current time along with the aspirations of the researchers and try to extrapolate these into the future. From here write a science fiction story using believable concepts that have been explored already in our day. The fact that you can point to the scientific research makes your story even more believable. This technique is effectively used by Star Trek writers.


Imagine a world where you can let your imagination go wild in creating fantastic creatures. Develop a struggle between good and evil and have the good character embark upon a quest to defeat the evil powers. This is called the High fantasy genre, and it is characterized by constant action and reaction all woven into a quest for a lofty goal. The novels, Lord of The Rings and The Caver King are examples of this genre.


The best technique that can be gleaned from this article is to keep your eye on the goal, which is the finished novel. If you can do this you will lay aside any extraneous material which will try to distract you from your set task of finishing the story.


·                                 Keep your focus

·                                 Find a favourite place to write and stick to it

·                                 A laptop computer is excellent, but a notebook is good too


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