What’s My Novel About?

 My newly polished novel is off on its agent quest. Now I must tackle  the  sequel. Am I sure I know what it’s about?

 A rough draft at present, the book needs lots of work. I want to make sure that anyone who doesn’t  read the first book will understand this one and feel empathy for the protagonist. Who is this woman? Where is she, what is she doing here and why? More important, what drives her story–what does she want to gain in the course of the novel? What motivates her to seek  this goal? Who doesn’t want her to reach it, and why?  

 What is this second book about? What do I want to prove? Think about your own novel here. Can you tell in a couple of sentences what your book is about? Can you write a sentence stating what you want to prove in the book? 

 I’m re-reading Structuring your novel: From basic idea to finished manuscript, by Robert C. Meredith and John D. Fitzgerald.  As of this date, the book is available in Amazon’s used books category where it’s rated four stars. The first chapter deals with stating a novel’s purpose. I found the book  helpful when I wrote my first novel years ago, and each time I started a new one.  

 I often think back on my first appointment with an editor at a writer’s conference.  He asked, “What’s your book about?”   He stumped me, but I knew enough not to say, “It’s about six hundred pages long.”  I can’t imagine an agent or editor today taking on a new writer’s manuscript that long unless she’s another J. K. Rowling. Let’s hear it for great writers, and write the best we can with the talent we do possess.

New site on novel writing

Congratulations. You’re going to have a baby. If you’re a guy, don’t expect interviews from the tabloids. Jack or Julie, you’re in for some solitary pondering, plotting, and pounding the keyboard to produce that novel you’ve always wanted to write. Yep, it’s kind of like bringing a baby into the world: conception, gestation, putting it out there for the world to admire. Or not. But you’ll love it one way or another. I’ll share some thoughts as I work on my fourth novel, and pass along things learned along my way. Beginnings (always hard), middles (watch out lest they sag),  and endings we can talk about among other things. For proper grammar and punctuation, however, Maeve Maddox is your gal.