If you are writing a novel, then you need to read more. I am incalculably behind on my reading and I blame my high school for many reasons. I went to a small, private school called Sweetwater Christian School—now defunct.
I recently gave a presentation on a bunch of things I use for writing, research and marketing. There are tons of tools out there for all of these things, but here are some of the ones I either use or know how to use.
This article is largely for self-publishers. If you are having a hard time making your book look more appealing, then it may be time to start on the side of thievery. People come up with good ideas all the time for books and graphics and art.
There is a box that is writing. Some things you must adhere to in order to write a good story—intro, body, climax and conclusion. Constructing a setting. Developing characters. Making the characters visible. The box pretty much ends there.
Let's get something straight right here and now. Describing your characters is about as various as the characters themselves. What I mean is that everyone describes characters differently, but I believe writers, especially young writers, get caught up in the need to paint an accurate description of a character.
This coming Monday night at 7 p.m. I will be presenting to the Writers of The Woodlands on the subject of Research & Information Gathering. For writers, researchers, college and high school students, this presentation will be a huge help.
When I first started on my debut novel, I anticipated some bloodshed—hence it being a thriller—but I didn't anticipate killing off one of my main characters so early in the book.
I remember my mom always telling me when I would speak at church, "Dustin, you are very funny, you need to add humor when you speak."
Oddly enough, I had two writers ask me rather similar questions about writing a novel. (Tip on being a writer: get in a writers group—just a little shout-out to mine.)
This answer is pretty simple. In my opinion, writing a novel takes two things: a good story and perseverance. If your story doesn't interest you, then that creates a two-fold problem.