Got an Idea? Turn it into a Novel in Thirty Days or Less!

People can't believe I did it, but I did. I wrote my first novel, The League, in about 30 days. I never spent more than two hours on any given day, unless I wrote then went back to edit. I also found and signed with a publisher in one month (see my article, Whatever It Is, Publish It Now, for details on this). Friends, family, and colleagues are fascinated when I tell them this. It's not possible, they say. Then, I enlighten them.

The secret to writing a novel is quite simple. You don't have to be John Grisham or Danielle Steel, either. In fact, you really need basic writing competence. Although I have years of experience in writing (I was a journalist for three years), I don't consider myself on the level of the aforementioned novelists, in terms of style and eloquence. What I am is a storyteller. I look for ideas that are unique. I look for a niche. Take Grisham, for example. His niche is courtroom drama. He uses his experience as a lawyer, takes a new angle on a case, and turns it into some type of conspiracy that no one has considered.

Now, I don't know how long it takes people like Grisham and Steel to pen their stories, but they too must be fairly quick, because they're turning out novels at a crazy pace. Don't forget, the publishing process is usually six months to a year. So, they obviously write a novel or two, while a prior work is being published and marketed. So, how do I churn out my own work so fast, you might ask? As I said, it's actually quite simple. I start at the end and work my way backwards.

I get an idea in my head of how the story will end, and I outline a way to get there. This usually takes a few days, maybe 10 hours total. Then, I sit down at my computer and start typing. I let the words flow, rarely stopping, until about two hours have passed. Knowing where I have to wind up helps me develop my characters and conflicts along the way. I usually write the story in about 25 days and spend five days or so editing and revising. There you have it -- a novel in 30 days.

You can do it too. All you need is the idea. Figure out your ending, sit down, and start typing. Learn more about The League and my other work at www.sportsnovels.com.

Mark Barnes is the author of the new novel, The League, the first work of fiction, based on fantasy football. Learn more about this suspense thriller and Mark's other work at http://www.sportsnovels.com

In The News:

What Academics Misunderstand About 'Public Writing'  The Chronicle of Higher Education
A day in the life of a romance writer  The New Indian Express
Is Hong Kong ready for reconciliation?  South China Morning Post
The writing on the wall  The Shift News
The diva is now a writer  Mumbai Mirror

Top 7 Writers Sites for 2005

If you dream of turning your book into a best... Read More

Grow Your Ideas Without Letting Words Grow Like Weeds

Q: How do I expand on an idea without getting... Read More

A Writers Tools

If you are like most writers, you're constantly searching for... Read More

Platform Development Tip #1: Switch Writing Hats!

Around eighty percent of nonfiction books today are written by... Read More

Personal Journaling - Strategies To Make It Easy

Recently I was watching the Oprah show and it was... Read More

How to Create Stories that Sizzle

How to Start Your Story with a BangThe purpose of... Read More

Graphology - Unleash Inner Personality & Talent of Child

|| Graphology & Graphotherapy ||Everybody wants to know more about... Read More

Writing Is Not Life-threatening

Some writers complain that writing is arduous work requiring long... Read More

Why Should You Use Worksheets For Proofreading?

Proofreading worksheets are a great tool to help individuals open... Read More

Bring Out the Natural Writer in You

Think you can't write a book that will sell? You... Read More

Discover the Magic of the Most Beautiful Words in the English Language

'Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always... Read More

The Dreaded Daily Word Count

Open any book on 'how to write,' and somewhere you... Read More

For Beginners: Ten Ways To Prepare To Get Published

(Skip directly to ten for the fastest shortcut!)Like any field,... Read More

7 Secrets For Beating Writers Block

Most people can easily identify with the dreaded "writer's block".... Read More

Friendly Critiques

When a writer is working on their next literary masterpiece... Read More

Journaling

How many of you take the time to really write... Read More

Writing IS a Business

Why is it that so many people don't take writing-as-a-job... Read More

Should You Write a Book?

One morning, you open your inbox and find several e-mails... Read More

Apotheosis - the Seminal Insight of the Hero for Screenwriting

Every hero has a seminal insight - the apotheosis. Once... Read More

14 Tips On Writing The Short-Short Story

The short-short story has been likened by some as being... Read More

Writing for the Internet -- How To Give the Readers What They Want

In this article you will find tips on: How to... Read More

Italics Part 2 - Using Italics to Show Thoughts

Way back in your early school years, you were probably... Read More

Ferreting Out Work

FERRETING OUT WORK You keep hearing that there's work out... Read More

Writing Made Them Rich #4: Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho was born on August 24th 1947 in Rio... Read More

3 Tips to Achieve Your Writing Goals

1. Make your goals achievable.By achievable, we mean realistic and... Read More