First, make sure you really want to write a novel. Novels are hard to write. Here’s my scale of literary difficulty:

Short story      1
Short play     10
Novel          100
3-act play 1,000
Film       10,000

It’s usually best to start with short fiction and work your way up to more difficult material. Novels have a cachet that short stories lack, but there are shorter forms that are almost as good as novels. With a lot less effort you can write and publish a novelette or a novella, and still wear a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches and refer to “…my book…” at every opportunity.

¿What is the difference, you ask. Here it is:

Novel 40,000 words or more,       Difficulty 100 (and up)
Novella 17,500 to 40,000 words,  Difficulty 72 (average)
Novelette 7,500 to 17,500 words, Difficulty 62 (average)

Hint: the longer the name, the shorter the work. Novelettes are lot shorter than novels, novellas are in the middle.

Second, write to be read. Shoot the sheriff on the first page. Skip description; put action or a powerful hook in the first line, then fill in below that with the setting, the dark and stormy night garbage, etc. An example:

“Put down that wrench!” (Opening line, “Blowups Happen,” Robert A. Heinlein, 1940.)

Once you’ve grabbed the reader, don’t let go. End your chapters on high tension points:

Tenirax watched the torturer’s shadow flicker slowly up the stone stairs until he found himself in total darkness.


Another room straight ahead. Tenirax put his head in to take a quick look. It was too dark to see. I must light a candle, he thought, stepping inside. Suddenly, close at hand, he heard the most ominous sound anyone can hear.

Third, don’t just take us somewhere and back. Your hero must be different when he returns. Readers, in some way, should also be changed:

Bad reader change: “Why did I read that crap?”
Good reader change: “I must buy the sequel!”

Misty Lake Theme

The “update” of MistyLook features a new banner photograph lacking any wait till you see what else!

How To Find Time To Write A Book

Check out Anne Wayman’s article on her site:



“Writings of a Mrs.” is to blame for this. She provided an example on her blog. The assignment was to write a backwards poem of a sort. Is it here. I mean, here it is.

Upend the bucket I, and
from the grass swarms
water up, pink all.
It catch I the bucket in.

Inside go I, then, backing.
The bucket from
the sponge take I, and smear
the water pink the floor upon–

Red, all red now,
turns the floor,
And soon into him back
seeps the blood.

Stands he. Face unslackens his.
Down looks he the knife at,
Swiftly, it from him I pull.
Fearful grows his face.

The blade wave I and
angry so becomes he.
My knife away put I, and
“Here doing you are what?” asks he.

But too late it is? Doomed are we.

Test Post

This is a test. This is only a test. If this were a real post, your eyeballs would pop.


More of the same, extrapolating from recent history. Probably projecting, possibly predicting. Amplitude may vary with distance, but there are other factors to consider, as well. If this makes any sense to you, I’m surprised. Just tired of Lorem Ipsum.




I dreamt last night of a friend of many years ago. Lost in an unending labyrinth of offices like those we worked in once, I made my way to more familiar territory and looked for him among the people there. Some seemed like him, at first, but a closer view showed them to be strangers. As I searched, it came to me that I’d not seen him in a long while; hadn’t I heard that he was dead? No, that couldn’t be. Then I recalled this waking world where it was so. He’d died in a far off place a decade ago. As I left the maze, I found it hard to breathe. I wanted to find someone to help, to tell them of the great loss that had finally sunk deep into my heart.


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