Secrets of the Novel, Revealed

Some of the more common search queries that bring people to this site, with relevant information appended.

how to write a novel

Start by reading as many good novels as you can. Meet us back here for further instruction.

how not to write a novel

That’s a gimme. Buy the book.

how not to write a novel uk

The UK edition of How Not To Write A Novel will be published by Penguin in January of 2009.

do you need to go to college to write a

do you need a degree to be a novelist

No, you don’t, but college can give you the time to read widely and deeply, people with whom you can discuss what you’re reading (people who know more than you do about what you’ve read are particularly helpful), and some guidance as to what the good stuff is, all of which is invaluable preparation for a writer. You can go to college and experience none of these things, and you can find all of them without going to college. If you want to write novels, though, you should do whatever you can to arrange those circumstances.

format a novel for submission

One inch margins, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman. Number your pages, sequentially–that is, do not start from 1 at the beginning of each chapter. Print on only one side of the page. Identify the manuscript by putting your last name or the title of the novel in the header along with the page number. Indent new paragraphs; do not also add another line space between them. Do not bind, staple, or otherwise permanently affix the pages to one another in any way.

how many pages are there in a graphic no

It varies widely, particularly in alternative/independent comics. Blankets, by Craig Thompson, for instance, is almost 600 pages; Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, by Bryan Lee O’Malley, is a little more than 150. Graphic novels published by DC and Marvel, which tend to be collections originally published in a traditional comic format, are more uniform. The Preacher and Hellblazer collections, for example, mostly fall in the 200 to 250 range.

Take the time to look up the page count of the graphic novels you like, the ones you want your book to be like, if you want to develop a sense of it; you can find this information on Amazon, or anywhere else you buy books.

But more to the point, unless you already have a contract specifying a page count, you’d probably do best telling the story you want to tell and worrying about the length later.

how many pages makes a novel

Similarly, there is no set number, but if you hope to sell your novel to one of the traditional publishing houses, it doesn’t hurt to give them what they’re used to getting.

Most commercial novels are about 80,000 to 100,000 words long, which is about 300 to 400 double-spaced pages. Writing a longer or shorter novel doesn’t mean it is too long or too short–books half that length and twice that length are published as novels–but it does make it that much less likely that you’ll sell it.

Publishing is a business and books are a product, and both the seller and the buyer, the publisher and the reader, are used to doing things a certain way. Publishers understand the economics of publishing books at a particular length, and readers expect the novels they read to be similar in length to novels they’ve read in the past.

That said, again, unless you have already signed a contract that specifies word count, you should write until you have finished telling your story. If you write a good enough novel of any length, somebody will figure out how to publish it.

how to write a sex book

We suggest research, because even if you don’t sell your sex book, at least you’ll have that.

how do I get an agent

We get asked this more than anything else. You get an agent by writing a book an agent will recognize as salable, and then sending out queries until somebody recognizes the potential profit in taking you on. You must do both of these things. Either one without the other gets you nowhere.

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