How to Write a Novel: 49 Rules for Writing a Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever

How to Write a Novel: 49 Rules for Writing a Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever

by Nathan Bransford
How to Write a Novel: 49 Rules for Writing a Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever

How to Write a Novel: 49 Rules for Writing a Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever

by Nathan Bransford

Paperback(Second Edition)

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The most important thing to know about writing a novel is this: You can do it. And if you've already written one, you can write an even better one. Author and former literary agent Nathan Bransford shares his secrets for creating killer plots, fleshing out your first ideas, crafting compelling characters, and staying sane in the process.

Read the guide that New York Times bestselling author Ransom Riggs called "The best how-to-write-a-novel book I've read."


"Nathan Bransford's primer is full of thoughtful, time-proven advice on how to write a novel. Nathan can sound both like a reassuring friend and a tough, no-nonsense coach. Whatever kind of novel you're writing, Nathan's insights will make you think about your process and help you find your own way to success."

- Jeff Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of DOWNFALL

"Nathan Bransford is sharp, thoughtful, and a must-read for all aspiring authors. His advice is not only funny and insightful, it's essential for writers at any stage in their careers."

- Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of SHATTER ME

"Nathan Bransford's book on how to write a novel is smart, generous and funny as hell. Read it. No matter where you are in your writing life, whether you're on your first book or are a grizzled, multi published veteran, you'll find practical advice to help you through the process -- and plenty of wisdom to inspire you along the journey."

- Lisa Brackmann, author of ROCK PAPER TIGER

"Equal parts encouraging and butt-kicking, hilarious and wise, Nathan Bransford's no-nonsense manifesto talks you through the process of getting the book of your dreams out of your head and onto the page. Whether you've been writing for five minutes or fifty years, this is the guide for you."

- Sarah McCarry, author of ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781734149401
Publisher: Nathan Bransford
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 546,572
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

Nathan Bransford is the author of How to Write a Novel, Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow, Jacob Wonderbar for President of the Universe and Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp. He was formerly a literary agent with Curtis Brown Ltd. and writes a popular blog on writing and publishing. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the 2nd edition


Rule #1: BELIEVE!

Rule #2: Think of an idea you love enough to neglect everything else you enjoy in life

Rule #3: Find the writing style that works for you

Rule #4: Flesh out a vague idea before you start

Rule #5: Know your genre

Rule #6: Format your work properly from the start and, for heaven’s sake, back it up

Rule #7: Don’t chase trends—I mean it: don’t do it

Rule #8: Don’t be a cliché

Rule #9: You have to have a plot. An actual plot.

Rule #10: Even if you’re writing literary fiction or memoir, you still need a plot

Rule #11: Don’t try to imagine your whole novel all at once

Rule #12: You have to start somewhere


Rule #13: Write a killer first page

Rule #14: Get perspective

Rule #15: Don’t get too attached

Rule #16: Give your chapters drive

Rule #17: Identify your tentpoles

Rule #18: Show personality

Rule #19: Make sure your characters are motivated

Rule #20: Embrace conflict

Rule #21: Create romance and rivalry

Rule #22: Don’t let a character “lose” the reader

Rule #23: Let them see your characters sweat

Rule #24: Be unpredictable

Rule #25: Be mysterious

Rule #26: Raise the stakes

Rule #27: Create a great setting

Rule #28: Find your voice

Rule #29: Talk the talk

Rule #30: Weave exposition naturally into the story

Rule #31: It’s all about the climax


Rule #32: Keep calm and carry on

Rule #33: Your novel isn’t a screenplay

Rule #34: Be serious about your series

Rule #35: Get back on the horse

Rule #36: You don’t have “writer’s block”

Rule #37: Remember the solution to every writing problem that has ever existed

Rule #38: Dream big, but be realistic

Rule #39: Balance your confidence and self-doubt

Rule #40: Edit as you go


Rule #41: Take time to celebrate

Rule #42: Revising is just as important as writing

Rule #43: Complete the revision checklist

Rule #44: Find someone objective to edit your work

Rule #45: Accept feedback graciously and with an open mind

Rule #46: Even when you’re finished, you’re not finished

Rule #47: Know when you’re done

Rule #48: Give yourself a pat on the back

Rule #49: Obey the ten commandments for the happy writer


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