The Seven Day Novel:  A Quick and Easy Guide to Structuring, Writing, and Selling Your Novel
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The Seven Day Novel: A Quick and Easy Guide to Structuring, Writing, and Selling Your Novel

by Matt Briggs
Kindle Edition: 80 pages
Publisher: Final State Press

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From the introduction by Matt Briggs:

When sitting down to teach a novel writing class for the first time, my students would ask questions about what a novel was, how it was structured, and how do you write them? They were after all of these answers in a novel writing class. Even though I had won fiction prizes and published a book, I had no real idea of how I had arrived at the form of these stories. I had started writing and rewriting and then at a certain point called the pile of pages done.

I began to read about novel structure in order to answer my student's questions. Eleven years of creative writing classes didn't have the answers, but I was surprised to find that not only was novel structure well defined, but that it was as invaluable to know in writing your novel as sentence structure is for writing sentences. I collected a number of archetypical novels that I call "novel novels" that I've collected in the appendix in this book. These books all share several features. The reader knows what is happening; they know who it is happening to; they know what it means to the main actor in the story. Because of the clarity of their stories, and secondarily because of the great writing, these books tend to be highly recommended from one reader to the next.

Writers who have been through a Master of Fine Arts program almost always decry novelistic structure. Our trips to the bookstore are often a depressing experience. In the bookstore, long-term writing students encounter piles of books that are selling well and are just not very well written. The paradox of the arts program is that you will find page after page of well-written prose that just doesn't really add up to a short story or novel. Learning about novelistic structures throw a great deal of light on why some novels are poorly written, yet find large audiences, and do something compelling that cannot be accomplished by clear, lucid, and the occasional brilliant turns of phrase alone.

I don't claim that this book has a unique perspective. My main aim of this book is to distill novel structure into some useful and easily repeatable patterns, and above all to make this a practical book that you can use when you actually begin to plan and write your book.

I hope you will find the information in this book useful even if you don't want to write a new novel in seven days and just want to revise and finish the novel you have been kicking around for years. This book contains the essence of fifteen years of learning to write a novel. It isn't the only way to write a novel by a long shot, but it can save you a decade or even decades of effort.

Tables of Contents:

Chapter 1: The Seven Day Novel

Chapter 2: Elevator Pitch

Chapter 3: Novel Ideas

Chapter 4: The Model Novel Outline

Chapter 5: Scene and Exposition

Chapter 6: Dialogue Diagnostics

Chapter 7: Writing a Novel in a Week

Chapter 8: Pitching your novel.

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