This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Novel foundations

Start solidly, or your story will collapse later, says author and lecturer James McCreet, revealing the planning process of his current novel-in-progress

I’ve just started a novel, by which I mean I have written nothing. For me, the start of a novel is the idea. What follows is a process that allows me to either reject the idea or write a complete and effective novel. I’m not going to tell you my idea (because it’s really good!) but I thought it might be interesting to reveal what comes before the writing.

All of the following elements are necessary for a workable novel. It doesn’t matter in which order you gather them – it’s usually a case of simultaneous accretion – but you do need to feel that each one has been addressed. Without them, the novel is likely to fail. I keep an exercise book with the following headings and add to them whenever I think of a new idea. In time, the exercise book fills and there’s enough material to start.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Writing Magazine - November 2016
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - November 2016
Or 499 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.33 per issue
Or 3999 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.66 per issue
Or 2199 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.99 per issue
Or 399 points

View Issues

About Writing Magazine

WIN! A book deal AND a 5-day trip to Iceland Writers Retreat in our exclusive competitions Start write: How to get started, enjoy new styles and create a solid foundation for your novel Learn from the best: Shotr stories, romantic fiction and reportage Star interview with £1m-a-year self publisher Adam Croft News you can use: 20 packed pages of opportunities, competitions and insider know-how in Writer's News

Other Articles in this Issue