Writing a novel, one Hour at a Time

Hello, my name is Bryan Dickerson. Allow me to officially welcome you to my blog: “Writing a Novel, One Hour at a Time.”

I am excited to finally have the first full installment up and ready for your viewing pleasure. After taking a few days to catch my breath, I will begin adding additional content regularly from this point on, starting with the second installment: “The Anatomy of an Engaging Scene.” Included in these posts are a number of insights I have gleaned during my own novel writing journey, which I hope will be of use to you as well. I appreciate your interest, comments, and feedback and will use them to continue to improve this site.

Writing a novel in one hour per day

blur-blurred-book-46274After talking to my friends, family, and countless random strangers about my writing process over the last several years, I have come to realize that many people have always wanted to write a novel, but either don’t know where to begin or believe that they don’t have the time or ability to write a book given their busy lives. After all, writing hundreds of pages is a considerable feat, and that doesn’t even begin to take into account the challenges inherent in creating a world, filling it with people, coming up with a plot, writing dialogue that flows, and a whole host of other tasks that come along with the job. In fact, just thinking about all of the time, effort, and knowledge required is pretty intimidating, maybe even a little bit scary. I mean, you might put in all that work and your story doesn’t even turn out well, let alone take the form of something that you can sell to compensate you for your time.

Well, I am here to tell you from personal experience that most of you already possess the skills you will need to write a cohesive novel or shorter work, simply from being a life-long consumer of story. In fact, it is more than possible to complete a novel within a reasonable amount of time, averaging only an hour per day on the project. Of course, not every book that gets written will go on to be an international best seller or even purchased by a major publishing house, but with modern self-publishing techniques including digital distribution, anyone can write a book they can be proud of and that is easy to share with family, friends, and the rest of the online world. And who knows? You might just write the next blockbuster hit.

Now, I don’t claim that this process will be easy for everyone. Indeed there are many challenges fundamental to the writing process that you will have to overcoming while drafting and revising your novel. But I firmly believe that with the right attitude, plan, and resources, almost anyone can write a story that is meaningful to themselves and can be enjoyed by others.

I hope that some of the ideas contained in this blog will be of use to experienced writers as well, as I have attempted to gather and consolidate tips and techniques from many sources, both online and in print, as well drawn from my personal experiences.

Why am I doing this anyway?

I am a lifelong consumer and lover of fiction (especially science fiction and fantasy). A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to make my own contribution to the genre, and taught myself how to adapt the skills I learned from writing in other areas (work, school, etc.) to the field of epic fantasy, which I have been particularly drawn to ever since learning to read at an early age [more about me]. It took me about three years to plan and draft my first novel. However, my novels run about 350 thousand words each, and most books are significantly shorter than epic fiction and thus should take considerably less time to complete.

I have also written a handful of [short stories] to experiment with writing in different styles and genres, which are available for free on amazon.

Ok, so what is this blog actually about?

Initial offering: “The Writing Process”

writingThe first major section of my blog is called “the writing process” and covers the different types of writing used in fiction, as well a guide to generating characters, settings, and plot.

To do so, I break the novel writing process into three major stages: the planning process, the drafting process, and revising process. I then break each down each of these major stages into fundamental pieces that are easy to digest as concepts, complete with exercises to get you started at each point along the way. This installment is intended to get you oriented and organized by proving a unified framework that will take you all the way from early brainstorming, to a revised draft of your novel, ready to begin shopping to agents or self-publication. Each subsection contains an overview of the material contained within.

Begin your writer’s journey with my first post, Getting organized and getting started.

Coming soon: “The Anatomy of an Engaging Scene.”

The next major section of my blog to be added will show you how to craft compelling scenes at a granular level, including a variety of techniques that will help ensure that your readers care about what is happening and are able to experience your world vicariously through the eyes and hearts of your characters, ensuring that they want to keep on turning those pages. I plan to announce additional content is once that section is nearing completion but already have some ideas about writing both short stories and multi-novel series that I find pretty exciting.

Click here to join my [Mailing list] or [FB page] to receive announcements regarding new blog posts and short stories.

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