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Novels are long-form prose fiction, typically over 40,000 words. Questions that use this tag can relate to writing, editing, publishing, formatting or technique as applied specifically to novels. If the question applies to more than just novels, it should probably use the Fiction tag instead.

"Realistic Fiction" isn't a single genre. You've got literary fiction, thrillers, mysteries, romances, and more. Each has its own target audience, some wider than others. Moreover, bestseller lists m …
answered Jun 29 '11 by Standback
I think you'll find there's no one "correct" way (or two ways, or three, or ten). Everybody figures out what works for them. There are many ways to balance between outlining and improvising, includi …
answered Mar 13 '16 by Standback
Let me ask a question right back: Why does an author need/want to show some friends or workshop members the work he's done? It's not required, sure. But somehow everybody does it anyway. And they lis …
answered Feb 22 '11 by Standback
when you can look at the story or the novel as a whole, and see if, as a whole, you've managed to make the hard thing work well. You can look at it. Beta readers can look at it. You can get meaningful …
answered Jan 3 '17 by Standback
If to you the chapter seems good, and it seems to be fulfilling your purpose for it, I would not worry about it now. If it is too short, what that really means one of the following: either you didn't …
answered Aug 31 '14 by Standback
add up. If you stick at it, you will reach novel-length. If you let the words flow, they will come, even if they won't all be perfect. It can be a liberating experience. Liberating, because it's a … vivid demonstration that writing a novel is an attainable goal. And liberating, because in order to get that kind of wordcount (particularly for a relative novice), you need to let go of your inhibitions …
answered Feb 4 '17 by Standback
I don't think you need to worry about "seeming like a kid's book," I think you need to worry about making a professional submission. On two points: Why do you think your novel should have …
answered Apr 25 '11 by Standback
). So, if you feel your novel works best without falling into the trilogy structure, in all probability you are correct. I would reconsider only if you yourself think there are some elements in your book …
answered Oct 8 '11 by Standback
As a frequent beta-reader, often for friends, I struggled with this question -- and I'm pretty happy with the answers I've figured out. Don't pronounce judgment; help the author level up It makes a …
answered Dec 22 '18 by Standback
Alas, no. As an unpublished writer, you absolutely should not submit anything less than a complete novel. A few quotes to this effect: You have to have a finished novel. There are no … exceptions to this. The first step for writing a query letter is to finish the novel. -- Query Shark When you send your query, do not send an unfinished manuscript. If you’re writing fiction …
answered May 6 by Standback
Jim Van Pelt has a great one: In a nutshell, two students talk to each other so that each speaks twice. One of them records what they said. That produces four lines of raw dialogue like this: …
answered Sep 13 '11 by Standback
Yes, it constitutes a lie, technically speaking. Yes, it is legal. The use of pseudonyms is an established practice in publishing. There's a wide range of reasons where writing under a pseudonym migh …
answered Aug 26 '14 by Standback
The ideal recourse, at this phase, is finding some good beta-readers. Beta-readers are fantastic because they give you a sense of how your novel is working; what's good and what isn't. Beta-readers …
answered Sep 8 by Standback
Should I e-publish? It depends heavily on your goals, on the effort you're willing/interested in investing, and on your skill with the various abilities involved with e-publishing. If you aim to ev …
answered Jun 22 '11 by Standback
I would definitely avoid Tooth and Nail - it's already heavily overused. I confess, all three titles sounded very generic and indistinct to me. They tell me this is an action-packed thriller, but not …
answered Sep 20 '11 by Standback

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