Novel Writing Tips

I could feel the tension ease palpably as the book launch function of my second thriller, “Lucky For Some, 13” came to an end recently. It was also the time to summarize a few key learnings which might be of use to budding writers, if not to other writers. “Writing a 87,000 + word novel is pretty easy, its writing the less than 200 word back cover copy that is tough,” I quipped. There’s a lot of truth in what I said. Ask any author.

  • As you write and become more proficient in the trade, I think it is important to remember that it is relatively easy to expand, but much more difficult to write concisely.
  • The back cover copy has to be appealing and comprehensive, at the same time. It has to tell the reader ( and prospective buyer) what the book is all about, without giving too much away.
  • The book is often bought on the strength of these less than 200 word back cover copy, not the 87,000 + words in between the covers!
  • Keep an eye on the “readability factor” of your story. Using a good vocabulary and the right grammar go a long way in enhancing the book’s readability. Don’t be verbose. It’s better to err  and be more simple than be excessively verbose.
  • The language you use should be appropriate to your story. Don’t see this as an opportunity to use all the big words you know. In writing dialogue, use words that your character would use, not what you would.
  • Attach great importance to both the plot and the characters. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Having a great plot may not take you too far if your characters can’t carry the plot in the story. likewise having great characters doesn’t guarantee success, if your plot is weak.


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