- By Winston Kuwada
- Published 02/23/2012
Writing a novel is a big dream for many people. When you write one, you’ll be surprised how many of your friends will admit they’re in the middle of writing one as well. Of course, following through is very difficult. It takes time, effort, and a lot of dedication. Of course, since you are reading this, there’s plenty that you’ve already done that shows you have what it takes to succeed. There’s plenty that goes into writing a successful novel. While there certainly isn’t a formula, there are a few specific elements that most good novels have. When you think about some of the best ones you’ve read over the past several years, you’ll start to see some structural similarities. One of the most important things to have in your novel is a good story structure.
Any story has to start with the characters. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to start off page one with your main character, but he or she does have to be central to the story. That means that you’ve got to do plenty of background work on your characters. You’ll need to know much more about them than is specifically shown in your story. This will help in two ways. One
is that it will be much easier for your readers to identify with your characters. The other is that it will be much easier to write. When you know your characters like the back of your hand, you won’t need to put much thought into how they’ll act or what they’ll say. Tension is also important. Think of your favorite musical piece. No matter what kinds of music it is, it’s filled with what’s called “tension and resolution.” Tension is when chords are played that are “out of tune” with the central piece, and then when a chord or note is played that is congruent with the central chord, this gives a feeling of resolution. So it should be with your novel. It should keep building up through successive pages of tension and resolution to keep your readers hooked. All the small elements of tension should be centered around the main conflict. And the main conflict should build slowly, and come near the end of the story. And the main conflict can be anything. Man versus nature, man versus man, man versus himself, and whatever else you can think of.
When you write a novel with all of these elements, you’ll be much more likely of achieving massive success. Just keep on writing, keep these ideas in mind, and never give up.