Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How To Write A Novel Readers Love – The Point

Dear friend and storyteller,

How do you write a novel that readers will love?

In a previous letter, “The Secret Of Storytelling”, you discovered that the secret of a great story is showing how a protagonist, or hero, confronts and overcomes a longstanding misbelief, and gains the freedom to pursue the thing she wants most.

This is a key element found in many great stories, both in narrative and film.

But there are steps that you as a writer must take to get a protagonist to the place where she successfully confronts and defeats the misbelief that’s wrecked her life for years.

This letter covers the first step in writing a novel, a story that readers will love; the kind of story that makes readers who don’t know you make comments like, “Wow! What a compelling novel,” and “Brilliantly written”.

You do want readers to say things like this about your writing, don’t you?

Great! Here’s the first step in crafting a compelling story that your readers will think is brilliantly written.

Ask yourself one simple question:

What is the point of your story?

To ask this question another way, what point do you want your story to make?

The first step in writing a gripping novel that keeps readers reading way past their bedtime is identifying this critical thing. When you know the point your story will make, you set a target to aim for, a guidepost to navigate toward.  You won’t get lost in meandering plot lines and events that have no meaning.

How do you nail down the point of your story? It’s simple. Think of something that's important to you. Think of something meaningful such as one of your personal beliefs, your position on a significant social issue, or your favorite life principle.  Here are a few examples:

-    You can’t bury the past no matter how hard you try.
-    Family is more important than money.
-    Nobody, not even family members, can be trusted.
-    True love can survive anything.

For my young adult novel, From Bad Girl To Worse, the point of the story is:

Be careful how you choose your friends.

Once I wrote this point down, it became my literary compass, helping me navigate the entire story, step by step as I crafted it.

Defining your story’s point will put you way ahead of some writers who never stop to think about the point they want their stories to make. Sadly, these would-be writers might start their novels, but they rarely finish them.

Why? Because, without a clear point, they have no idea where their stories are going.

Writing a story without knowing what the point is would be like getting into a car and driving away, with no clue as to where you were going.

But you won't do anything of the sort. Why? Because by defining your point you'll know exactly where your story is going. Even better, you'll know where your story will start—and where it will end.

You have written the point of your story down, haven’t you?

What are you waiting for? Do it. Do it now.

Then, wait with bated breath for my next letter to you, where we discover the second step in writing a novel that readers will love.


L. R. Farren

Author of From Bad Girl To Worse
and The Dangerous Way Home

P.S. - My novel From Bad Girl To Worse did actually earn positive comments like, “Wow! What a compelling novel,” and “Brilliantly written”. Click here and see for yourself.

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