There are only two ways to create page turning content in a novel. And, interestingly, they are the same two things you have to do to create a great life. You must, on every page, have a problem to solve or an adventure to follow. Otherwise, your reader will go…ho hum…nothing is happening…no reason to find out what happens next…and put down your book. Deadly!
Your life is a story. My life is a story. When your life and my life come together, a new story is formed. When viewed as a story, life has signposts, initiations, milestones, and more. Nearly any novelist will tell you that when you write stories, they come to life in your own life. You can learn a lot about yourself from the stories you write.
When people ask me if one of my main characters is really me, I say ALL my characters are me (at least parts of them are). Even the bad guys. In this way, I write to know myself better. In this category, I’ll write about how life is a story, how the stories we “create” come to life in our own lives, and how we can use the truths about how to write great stories to create a great life.
In this section, you’ll see the “middle” versions of the chapters…somewhere between a first draft and a final draft. It’s fleshed out, corrects problems, gives more feeling and sense of place, etc… Compare a first draft to an edited draft to really get a sense of the process. There may be more than one version of an edited chapter, and if so, you’ll see Edited Chapter 1, Edited Chapter 1a, etc…
In the final chapters section, you’ll see the nearly done version of a chapter. It may not go up for a while…we have a long way to go. And they may be updated…sometimes one thing happens later in the book, that requires you to go back and make sure everything before it still fits. Then, at the very end of the process, you’ll see me go back and get language straight (who uses long sentences when they speak, who uses short, who uses contractions, who doesn’t, does every page have a FEELING quality to it, etc…). In my other books, there have been as many as two dozen “final drafts” before the actual printing, and then there are the 20-30 early readers who make edits, suggest changes and give opinions that (if there are enough of the same ones) I take a look at. You’ll just see the “most final” here.
In this category, you’ll find the very first blush written on a chapter. It may not be pretty, edited, or even coherent…but it will be the REAL first draft. Soon….