How to Write a Novel!

News & Resources

How to Write a Novel!

News & ResourcesLet's Learn Together!   I'm here to help the new writer. Let me know if you are a veteran and you go to the head of the line. I'm here to help you write your novel...edit your novel...construct your novel...and market your novel.  Just think...

The Writing Journey Begins

The Writing Journey Begins

My Goal is to Write Many Novels and Help a few Writers Along the Way I first started writing as a young Infantry Officer sitting alone in the back of the Officer's club while drinking a cold beer. I worked seventy hours a week. I didn't own a TV, had no social life,...

Write and Plan your Fiction Novel an Architect and Builder

Write and Plan your Fiction Novel an Architect and Builder

You Must Plan Out your Novel and Build it Step by Step!   I had a degree...I had my Masters of Science...I thought I should know how to write a novel. I certainly had read enough of them. I started to look over my favorite fiction novels and I went through them...

Why Did I Write My First Chapter of Gunny Mac Like I Did?

Why Did I Write My First Chapter of Gunny Mac Like I Did?

What Was the Purpose of My First Chapter?         My first chapter was designed to do the following: Introduce my main character Gunny Mac and his best friend Gunny Wojohowitz Introduce the reader to the setting (Guadalcanal and Hawaii).  ...

Let’s Learn Together! 

 

I’m here to help the new writer. Let me know if you are a veteran and you go to the head of the line. I’m here to help you write your novel…edit your novel…construct your novel…and market your novel.  Just think of me as your coach and mentor.

gunnymac26@gmail.com

The Writing Journey Begins

The Writing Journey Begins

My Goal is to Write Many Novels and Help a few Writers Along the Way

I first started writing as a young Infantry Officer sitting alone in the back of the Officer’s club while drinking a cold beer. I worked seventy hours a week. I didn’t own a TV, had no social life, and I was in the field most of the time learning my craft as a platoon leader. I published my first article in Leatherneck magazine for five dollars. The editor said I had some talent and should continue writing. Unfortunately, my military life consumed me, and writing went by the wayside. I wrote many pages throughout those years and saved them in hopes one day I would write about my experiences.

It wasn’t till I retired I started to write again and published my first novel, Gunny Mac Private Detective Trouble in Chinatown. I embarked on a second career and wrote when the urge hit me. It took me five years to finish this novel. It was five years of learning. I read twenty books on writing fiction, I read every blog on writing, listened to hundreds of hours of writing podcasts, watched interviews of famous writers, went to writing conferences, joined paid writers groups. I wrote about one million words, encompassing 55 edits and literally hundreds of changes. As a  novice writer I did it…well, let’s just say I was the best at making all the mistakes. Somethings about writing I just could not understand and it cost me time and sweat. The only way I escaped the cruel fate of my own stupidity was to continue to practice writing…read a little more…practice…study a little more…practice writing…and so on….

I found out that most of the information on the internet and airways on writing had only one purpose. That was to up-sell me on their products. They gave just enough information to hook you to buy their products. The products gave you just enough information to buy their next product. So I laughed and quit wasting my time with most of them.

My website has no up-sells and I genuinely want to help the new writer. My advice? Read what you want, take want you can, and develop a passion for writing. I hope I can help you in some small way.

 

I am always available to assist writers with questions. My new novel Gunny Mac Private Detective Trouble in Cleveland will be out soon.

Best regards,

stevengwalker

Author, Coach, and Friend to all authors.

Write and Plan your Fiction Novel an Architect and Builder

Write and Plan your Fiction Novel an Architect and Builder

You Must Plan Out your Novel and Build it Step by Step!

 

I had a degree…I had my Masters of Science…I thought I should know how to write a novel. I certainly had read enough of them. I started to look over my favorite fiction novels and I went through them with different colored pens. Blue for narration, yellow for dialogue, green for different tags ie. he said, she said, etc., etc. I circled adverbs because they were supposed to be the evil of writing. I used purple for any information on the setting. I had the most trouble with point of view (POV). It reminded me of math….some problems I just could not grasp easily. Then after doing fifty problems and practicing I got it and then wondered what was so hard about that math problem. Then I would look at all the different colors to try and figure out what percentage each of these was in each of my genre novels. Then I would go to each scene in each chapter.
The lesson I learned is this… I took too much time trying to learn how to write by listening to gurus. I spent numerous hours reading and listening to them only to understand they never gave me the answers…just enough information to get me to their up-sell. I wasted much time chasing down worthless information.

I do want to tell you that there is a plan all fiction stories must follow according to the genre you are writing in. No this will not impinge on your creativity, but enhance it. You must understand that you are:

The Architect and the Builder of Your Novel 

What does that mean? Let me explain it this way. Let’s say you are constructing a new home. (A writer constructs a novel). An architect designs the building to adhere to zoning, building codes, material specifications, types of material, and placement. He also designs sets of plans so the builder can construct the building as the owner wants, yet follow all the rules to avoid having to tear down code violations at great cost and waste of time. Once the plans are complete the builder can build the home to the satisfaction of the owner. (The novel will have to please the reader of that genre).

So… the Architect designs the building and makes plans.

So…the Writer as an Architect uses Concept and Premise to design his book in a genre.

So… the Builder takes the Plans and Builds the home.

So…the writer then uses the same plans that every Successful Author used to write his book.

What plans are these you might ask? Now I didn’t think up these beautiful parts of a novel that must be included in your successful novel. In fact, they have been around since people started writing, but one man put it all together in such a beautiful way, yet I still had problems following his plans because it is not easy to learn how to write fiction unless you are Larry Brooks at Story Fix.com.

My next blog we will start to write the great American novel.

 

Why Did I Write My First Chapter of Gunny Mac Like I Did?

Why Did I Write My First Chapter of Gunny Mac Like I Did?

What Was the Purpose of My First Chapter?

 

 

 

 

My first chapter was designed to do the following:

Introduce my main character Gunny Mac and his best friend Gunny Wojohowitz

Introduce the reader to the setting (Guadalcanal and Hawaii).

 

 

Introduce the reader to the bravery and character of Gunny Mac

Introduce the reader to how Gunny Mac was injured and why he had to get a medical discharge.

Introduce the reader to the fact that the First Marines Division on Guadalcanal might be defeated.

Scene (1) Edson thinks Gunny Mac is dead but finds him alive and gets him medical help.

Scene (2) Gunny Mac gets airlifted to an aircraft carrier and is transferred to the Naval hospital at Pearl. Designed this scene to get Mac to Honolulu and introduce the reader to Seadog and Nurse Lt. Van Deer.

Each chapter and scene has a purpose to drive the story forward. Each chapter and scene has a beginning, middle, and end. My first chapter is rather long for my novels. It is twelve pages long but I wrote to accomplish many things and introduce three important characters. I also wrote it so people would know exactly how tough Gunny Mac is and how he reacts to combat.

Beginning of Chapter 1: This shows how desperate the situation on Guadalcanal was.

Middle: Shows the reader how tough the fight for Edson’s Ridge was and the heroic exploits of Gunny Mac and introduces Gunny Wojo Mac’s best friend.

Ending: Mac appears dead but is found alive by Col.Edson and flown to an aircraft carrier for treatment. The ending… introduces LT. Van Deer and Seadog and the fact Mac is barely alive in the hospital. He still may die.

Till our next post!

stevengwalker

Author, Coach, Writing mentor

Step 1 Designing the First Chapter of a Novel

Step 1 Designing the First Chapter of a Novel

What You Need to Know About Your Novel Before You Begin Writing.

I told all of you I would be using my first novel to help teach this beginner’s writing course to you. Many people in my writer’s groups have asked established writers, “how do I start my novel?” This seems to be a troubling question for many.

I will go into what I was thinking as I wrote the first chapter.

Here is what I knew about Gunny Mac Private Detective before I started writing.

 

  • I knew the genre…sort of a hard-boiled private detective series.

  • I knew my protagonists name, Gunny Mac.

  • I wanted to write about the 1940s and in an exotic setting.

  • I wanted to pattern my style of writing like Raymond Chandler.

  • I wanted Gunny Mac to have  some side kicks on his journey as a private eye.

  • I knew as a new writer I should write about my passion…World War Two and the United States Marine Corps.

  • I knew I wanted a Jesuit priest in my story and a dog.

  • I knew I had to have people seeking redemption. We all need redemption.

As you can tell I had somewhat of an idea started but how could I find a story in all this? So I started researching the beginning of WW Two in 1942. I started researching Hawaii and Guadalcanal. We were at a desperate crossroads  and I wanted to see if there was a story somewhere during this time period. After several hours of research I stumbled onto something interesting. President Roosevelt felt the First Marine Division was going to lose Guadalcanal and Hawaii invaded. Actually got my hands on the original 500 page report.

Then I found out he planned on collecting and burning all the American money in Hawaii and replacing it with bills with the word Hawaii on the back of each bill so the Japanese could not use the money to finance their war operations.

Bingo! I had my plot. I surmised if this was the case how many people would attempt to steal this money that was going to be destroyed…was it actually stealing money… that was going to be destroyed? No victim!

My next step…developing my Premise and Concept. 

Concept: What would happen if President Roosevelt collected and burned all the money in Hawaii to keep the Japanese from getting it?

Premise: What would happen if four badly wounded veterans are the only ones able to stop, corrupt officials and gangsters from stealing the money?

Wow! I have a possible great novel!

Till the next post!

stevengwalker

Author, teacher, coach