On the Side: How To Write a Novel

When first decided to write a novel, I turned to a small selection of how-to books to clue me in on the basics of how a person, at least how a relatively sane one, goes about it. They were helpful, but always lacked something or went overboard on other things. Over the years and through much trail and error, I've accumulated a few tips and some tricks I've come up with myself or adapted from other sources to make the whole process doable, if not less painful. This past fall I taught a "How To" class for mediabistro and while I enjoyed instructing a class (and the wonderful women I got to know) I realized that most people don't have hundreds of dollars or one night a week to commit to going to a class. (If you don't have the time to commit to actually doing some writing, that's a whole matter all together.) And seeing as my next book is on hold, I'm going to polish up my quick and dirty non-chain yanking guide (because there isn't enough to call it a book) to how I go about turning an idea into a novel...but not until I get back back from New York. Then I'll be super productive.

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