Writing a Novel, One Hour at a Time

Your adventure begins here

Hello, my name is Bryan Dickerson and, like many of you, I am an aspiring writer of fiction. As I approach the culmination of the final draft of my first novel, I have decided to share what I have learned along the way in a format I hope will be easy to understand and comfortable to digest.

First, allow me to officially welcome you to my blog: “Writing a Novel, One Hour at a Time.”

After working on this project on the side over the last year and some change, I am excited to have the first full installment in my story-writing series completed and ready for your viewing pleasure. Thus, I am officially launching this site, so please share it with anyone you feel might be interested if you find my approach useful. After taking a few days to catch my breath, I will begin adding additional content in regular, monthly installments, starting with the second major addition: “The Anatomy of an Engaging Scene.”

Included in these posts are a number of insights I have gleaned during my novel-writing journey, which I hope will be of use to you as well. Furthermore, I appreciate your interest, comments, and feedback and promise to respond when I can, as well as use them to continually improve this site.

Writing a novel in one hour per day

After 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 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 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 span 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. However, 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 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 within 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 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 (as well as most of the second). However, my novels run over 200,000 words each. This should be good news for many of you, as most books are significantly shorter than epic fiction novels and should take considerably less time to complete.

Ok, so what is this blog actually about?

My goal is to divide the enormous subject of fiction-writing into manageable portions. Within each post, I will first provide a general overview of the topic at hand, complete with examples and how it relates to the overall goal of story/novel-writing. I will then take a deeper dive into some of the key components discussed, concluding with a number of concrete exercises intended to help you to internalize these concepts and jumpstart your daily writing practice. If these posts are well received, I intend to compile them into an e-book for easy reading.

Initial offering: “The Writing Process.”

The 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 have sliced the novel-writing process into three major stages: the planning process, the drafting process, and the revision process. I then break down each of these major stages into fundamental pieces that are easy to absorb as concepts, complete with brief writing assignments to get you started at each point along the way. The core goal of this initial installment is to get you oriented and organized by providing 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.

Begin your writer’s journey with my first post, Getting started on your novel.

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. It will include a variety of techniques that will encourage your readers care about what is happening and allow them to experience your world vicariously through the eyes and hearts of your characters, ensuring they will want to keep 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.

Use the form on the right side of the page to join my mailing list to receive monthly announcements regarding new blog posts and other exclusive content (exercises, examples, and more).

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