In the first part of this post I started explaining about The Big Picture of a Novel. In the second part I will start the process of how to actually be aware about it.
Step One: When you’re about a quarter way in your novel…..
Organize your novel first, into nice chapters and scenes. I always find that being organized helps me to stay on track. I don’t know if that is true for you too, but you could always try out my advice.
Then read what you have written. Read it with a critical eye. Do not make any changes in this stage.
Step Two: The Thinking Phase
This is the time to think. To decide. Does it really hold up, your novel? Of course this is a first draft, so you don’t worry about what anyone would do if they read your book in this form. So do not worry about that aspect of the matter.
Just decide whether you’re going on the right way. Is this the way you planned to go when you first started writing? If yes, continue happily; there’s no problem for you. But if no….
Don’t be worried. You just have to decide at this stage.
Decide between two options:
1. Whether this new path is better than the one you thought before.
2. Or maybe it’s worse. Maybe you’d like to stay in that old, safe part.
Only you can decide this. If you decide that the new path is better, go ahead with it. If the book has a lot of contradictory information as a result, do not correct it at this stage. You have loads of time once you have completed your first draft. As many writers will tell you, do not get worked up in editing at this stage.
If the new path is worse, steer your novel to the old path and continue as if there were no contradictory information. You can always correct it later!
That’s all for Part II.