10 Easy Steps to Write Your Novel

My newest writing guide is out! This project began when I tried writing a blog post about how to write a novel, but I quickly realized just how much I had to say on the topic. It turned into a 100 page guide on the entire process. Take a look at the table of contents below!

(More info on all my books for authors under Authorpreneur Press)

10 Easy Steps to Write Your Novel: The Quick Start Guide to Novel Writing.

Print for only 7.99

10 easy steps novel

The “Quick Start Guide” to outlining and writing your novel!

Helpful exercises with each step.

Tips for beginnings and more advanced writers.

Have you ever wondered how to write a novel? Have you started and got frustrated? Or have you written a few novels but still want to streamline your process and learn more about structure, plot, characters, setting, and putting it all together? Do you struggle with outlining? 10 Easy Steps to Write Your Novel covers developing ideas, conflict, characters, setting, big plot points, outlining, the writing process, writing scenes, and editing and revising.

Table of Contents:

  • Step 1: Develop your Idea
  • What about a title?
  • Developing “Sparks”
  • Questions to Consider
  • A Solid Foundation
  • Developing Your Idea Exercises
  • Step 2: Develop Your Conflict
  • Conflict Exercises
  • Step 3: Add Your Characters
  • Play Around with Character
  • Character Exercises
  • Define Your Characters
  • More Character Exercises
  • Step 4: Define Your Setting
  • Using Setting to Shape Story
  • Setting Exercises
  • Step 5: Outline your Big Plot Points
  • My Novel Structure
  • Expanding the 7 Plot Points
  • Step 6: Plan Act I to the Door of No Return
  • Outlining
  • What about Prologues?
  • That Opening Line
  • Beginnings
  • Genre Beginnings
  • “The Beginning” Exercises
  • Complications
  • The Door of No Return
  • Step 7: Plan Act II to the Midpoint
  • Act II Exercise
  • Low and High Points
  • Midpoint
  • Step 8: Act III: Plan the Middle to the End
  • Taking Action
  • Dark Moment
  • Climax
  • Resolution
  • Ending Exercises
  • The Last Line
  • Step 9: Writing
  • Writing Scenes
  • Should you write every day?
  • Should you set a daily word count goal?
  • Should you write in order?
  • Should you edit and revise during the first draft?
  • Staying in the flow
  • Keeping up your momentum
  • Celebrate your progress
  • Step 10: Re-writing & Editing
  • When should you share your work?
  • Critique Groups?
  • Start with the big issues
  • Checking Smaller Elements
  • Should you have a theme?
  • When is your novel finished?
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Marcus and Avery on my mind

So whenever I’m working on a novel, the characters basically hang out in my head. I see them going about their day and think about how they think, talk, feel and dream. I’ll get scene ideas throughout the day or even think about how they’d react to what’s going on in my life. That has taken on a life of its own as I work on In My Dreams… I’m starting to feel like Avery in the first book! The reason is both Marcus and Avery feel so real to me. I can see the way Marcus’s eyes light up and how his face changes when he laughs good and hard, and I hear his comments. I’ll be picturing something for the story and hear him say, “That girly? Really? Dude, you’re turning me into a girl.” Or, “You think I’d hold back like that? When did my mouth get so PG?”

And I imagine Avery going through my crap with me – I’m pouring a lot of my emotions into her right now. My life took some crazy turns and I’m starting over in many ways, and she’s like a friend going through the same thing. When my emotions try to eat me alive, she’s there feeling it too. She’s gotta figure out who she is even while she cares about other people so much; it’s hard to see where the lines are. She’s surprised sometimes as she thinks, “Holy shit, I can do this.” But it’s still hard for her to own that.

So this is going to be one interesting sequel – I want it to be as raw and intense as the first one, or maybe even more so. There’s a crazy wild amount of possibilities too, now that Marcus is back in his body and they both have to figure out their relationship and their separate lives again. Of course they don’t want to be separate. Can you imagine having someone in your heart and mind 24-7 and then you can’t hear them anymore? It’s like falling off a cliff in the dark. That twirling free fall is a good metaphor for the emotions pouring out of them and into the story.

And this story isn’t about just them. We have all these other threads to pick up with Kristina, Kyle, Nash and Jazz. And some weird things happened when those guys started talking, and now some of them have their own chapters and are feeling certain things for each other… Yeah, a big hint there, but I don’t want to give away too much just yet!

First Tracks Series:    All in my Head     In My Dreams

…and Upcoming Novels

So, on the writing front, I edited several novels over the last few months for other authors. It’s been a hugely fun process, and I got to work in romance, fantasy, historical, and crime fiction. I’ve been editing for ten years, and the last few years I’ve seen a dramatic increase in quality in terms of writing and the stories I’m seeing. I think it’s due to the Indie movement and all the content so readily available. There’s books, articles, blogs and Facebook groups that help writers learn about writing and the publishing process. So, it’s lots of fun all around!

And yes, I’m working on my own novels too. I’m working to finish the 4th novella in the Stranger series. It’ll be the final one and complete the story, although it opens the door for a new series if I want to continue it. Here’s the cover for the 4th book:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-sexy-young-couple-love-image21300227 Meg finally learns the truth and has decisions to make…

(I don’t want to give the story away yet, especially if people didn’t read the first three.)

I’ll publish this one and then a full novel version with all four novellas.

And…

I also started another story inspired by a video on Facebook. You might have seen the clip of a girl at a cam when the kiss cam zooms in on her and her boyfriend. The guy ignore the kiss cam but a mascot runs over and carries her off. I love that video! And I wanted to start a story with that, so I did. It might be a novella – I’m not sure at this point. I’m just having fun with it and writing away. Here’s the cover. What do you think???

Marry the Mascot cover

This story is lighthearted and fun with a big dose of humor.

Working blurb:

The Trail Blazer’s mascot sweeps Abby off her feet, literally, but she doesn’t get his name. Luckily he happens to know she writes the “Honest Abby” column in a local paper. The mascot is a fun loving, hot guy, but he also has a sick father and a load of responsibilities that lead to a little complication.

Blockbuster Books, Broken Down – Plotting with the novel map

Blockbuster Books - workbook and Kindle ebookLearn from mega bestselling novels to build your own breakout plot!

Why start from scratch and reinvent storytelling? Instead, use a 7 point plot outline developed from wildly successful novels.

“Blockbuster Books, Broken Down” is a workbook style guide that reveals the structure and elements in huge bestsellers of the last fifteen years, many of which became movies. By breaking down these books, we can see how successful authors are breaking out by satisfying readers’ needs.

Part 1 deconstructs today’s bestsellers and offers insights and keys to blockbusters and the Blockbuster Novel Map.

Part 2 guides you in creating a breakout idea and developing that into a solid plot with a novel map. Build from the ground up with 7 points to ensure your plot will connect with readers.

Buy the workbook and you can get the Kindle book free through Kindle Matchbook.

Amazon – Kindle ebook and print workbook available

Covers these books and more:

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Twilight and The Host by Stephenie Myer

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Maze Runner by James Dashner

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Notebook and Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Includes:

Part 1: Deconstructing Bestsellers

Does Genre Matter?

Hook, High Concept, & HUGE Stakes

Bestselling Qualities

What’s Different About Today’s Blockbusters

The Blockbuster Novel Map

The 7 Point Outline with 3 Act Structure

The Key to Blockbusters

Part 2: Building Your Bestseller

First, Know Thyself

Your Big Idea

The Breakout Idea Checklist

From Idea to Plot

Which Came First: plot or character?

Writing Your Novel

Ways to Improve Your Writing

Make Any Story BIGGER

Writer’s Block: specific cases and how to fix them

Additional Resources

Your Novel Map

Novel Map Worksheet

From Novel Map to Outline

Your Setting/ World

Your Setting Notes

Character Sheets

*This is a hands-on fiction workshop packed with insights, exercises, and worksheets to quickly teach you breakout plotting and novel development.

Amazon – Kindle ebook and print workbook available

Happy November! New Translations and a Christmas Collection

November is my birthday month! And it’s such a beautiful time of year. I love watching the leaves turn orange and red, and we’re having some breathtaking sunsets now that the rainy season is back. It’s also writing season when I have long evenings of darkness outside. I’ve been busy with other projects but I’m hoping to start another novel soon. Just a few quick updates for now:

My first Italian translation is out, for The Cowboy Kiss.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-cowboy-couple-lean-back-kiss-taking-his-women-getting-ready-to-her-image44406184

Il bacio del Cowboy

It’s live on a few sites, so I’ll add links to my translation page when it’s everywhere. I have translations in progress for several books in different languages.

 

It might be a little early to think about Christmas, unless you’re planning a book project. So I’ve been proofreading stories for this collection, and had to grab a tissue. Christmastime: Stories of the Season is full of emotional, family themed stories, with two guest stories from other authors. This will go live in about a week.

Christmastime Stories

 

You can get an ebook copy by signing up for my newsletter!

 

Best Wishes,

Kristen

My first German translation is out! Mehr als nur Erinnerungen

Here’s the German translation of More Than Memories!

Hier ist die deutshe ÜbersetzungMehr als nur Erinnerungen.

 

Mehr als nur ErinnerungenMehr als nur Erinnerungen …(Amazon.de)

Amazon.com

Kann Molly Trent lieben, ohne sich an ihn zu erinnern?

Molly Anderson kehrt in ihre Heimatstadt Ridge City zurück, die sie nach einem Unfall nicht mehr wiedererkennt. Sie hat die Hoffnung, dass sie damit ihrem Gedächtnis wieder auf die Sprünge helfen kann. Dort läuft sie Trent Williams über den Weg, einem Polizisten, und zwischen ihnen springt der Funke über.

Er versucht herauszufinden, warum sie mit ihren Eltern aus Ridge City verschwunden ist, ohne irgendjemandem auch nur ein Sterbenswörtchen zu sagen. Molly erinnert sich aber nicht mehr an ihr früheres Leben. Das Einzige, was sie ihm sagen kann, ist, dass sie ihre Eltern nur kurze Zeit kannte, bevor diese bei einem Unfall ums Leben kamen … wenn es denn ein Unfall war. Sie hofft, mit den zurückkehrenden Erinnerungen auch auf diese Frage eine Antwort finden zu können.

Auch Trent hat seine Geheimnisse, doch jetzt müssen sie erst einmal gemeinsam das Rätsel um Mollys Verschwinden lösen. Während ihrer gemeinsamen Suche trifft Molly alte Freunde wieder und erkennt, dass ihre Beziehung zu Trent weit tiefer gewesen sein musste, als sie vermutete. Sie muss auch die Möglichkeit in Betracht ziehen, dass sie selbst etwas Fürchterliches begangen hat und sie sich deshalb davor sträubt, sich an ihr altes Leben zu erinnern.

 

Über den Autor

Kristen James schreibt vor allem Liebesromane, romantische Krimis und Frauenbücher, die oft in Oregon in der wilden Schönheit der Berge, Flüsse und der Küste spielen und deren Helden Sie zum Träumen bringen werden.

Sie ist ein Naturmensch, der sich am liebsten in ihrem Garten und unten an ihrem Haus beim Fluss aufhält. Neben dem Lesen und Schreiben hat sie vielzählige Hobbys, wie Reisen, Fahrradfahren, Wandern, Beerenpflücken, Kanufahren, Angeln und Campen – am liebsten zusammen mit ihrer Familie. Das Leben sollte ihrer Meinung nach ein Abenteuer sein.

New Release: All In My Head

So… All In My Head is out!!

All in my HEadAvery Waldorf wakes up from a concussion to find a voice inside her head—an adventurous male voice belonging to Marcus, who doesn’t know where he came from, but has an opinion on everything about her life. She just wants to work on her screenplay, go to her writing classes and flirt with the guy of her dreams, Nash, who is finally noticing her.

Marcus wants to get up at dawn, run, snowboard, and basically take over her life, and even her body at times. He thinks she’s freaking hot and does not like Nash touching her. Marcus may be smart, talented at snowboarding, drawing and playing the guitar, but he’s not real! When she needs help, she has to call Nash.

She can’t tell anyone about Marcus without sounding like she’s crazy. Meanwhile Marcus doesn’t know where he’ll go if he leaves her mind. Maybe she is losing it…

Amazon    Kobo   Smashwords   Nook      Teaser Below!

This is my longest book to date, my first time writing in first person, and my first college age romance. I’m excited! It was such a fun book to write, and Avery and Marcus came to life. You might remember my writing challenge: that I want to write books that different, unique, and beyond what I’ve written before. This story is fun, flirty and very emotional, and full of surprises.

***

It’s All In My Head TEASER:

Then, mid-class, I realized that instead of paying attention, I was looking down at my notepad, sketching instead of taking notes or even trying to listen. It took a few slow seconds for me to see that I was drawing myself. And I don’t draw.

I stared in horror like it was a dead rat. Holeeee hell. Really, I can’t draw at all, and this was pretty good. Really good. I mean, it looked like me, even with expression.

Marcus, is that you drawing?

Oh … sorry. Bored out of my mind.

You’re good.

Wow, is that a … what do you call that? Oh, a compliment.

I scanned the few people around me who could see my desk. No one was looking my way.

How do you know what I look like when you’re on the inside, looking out?

I’ve seen you in the mirror.

He got all this from a few glances in the mirror? Marcus had a fine memory.

You have very striking looks. Now can I please get back to my artwork?

Worried and yet fascinated, I watched my own hand move the pencil in confident strokes, filling in my lips. When had Marcus been able to study me that much? The only time he saw my face was when I looked in the mirror. Speaking of my face, it got hot—for several reasons. First, I was drawing myself. I’d die if anyone noticed. Second, it blew up some of my theories about Marcus, or what was causing all this. If I can’t draw, I can’t make up a person who can, right? And third, he was drawing me in a certain mood. I looked … suggestive.

Excuse me, Marcus, but when have you seen that look on my face?

I have an imagination. A very vivid one at times.
Read the first 10% on Amazon.