Book Review: Writing a First Novel
I’m starting to write my first novel and have been searching for the resource that could give me the right information in a form I could reference quickly. I have found the one that really works for me. The Everything Guide to Writing Your First Novel by Hallie Ephron – yes that Ephron of the prolific fiction and nonfiction writing family.
The title says the “Everything Guide” and as I flipped through the book, I kept saying to myself, She’s not kidding. This book does have everything. It covers all you will need to start and even to finish your novel. One reviewer states, “Ephron's demonstrates careful attention to detail and covers nearly every question a writer might have.”
Hallie Ephron knows of what she speaks as she has written many award-winning novels. Her coordination with Adams Media has produced a to the point, well formatted, easy to access how to on the novel. It covers the basics such as plot, character and setting but also ventures into rewrites and editing.
Here’s an example of that good advice in the Chapter 9 Introduction:
"Shaping Scenes: Every scene, from the opening of your novel to the final scene at the end, should move you story forward. Scenes may contain character introductions, descriptions of setting, dialogue and action. In some scenes, characters reflect on what just happened or remember events that transpired far in the past. But fundamentally, each scene in your novel should result in some kind of change that pushes your story forward."
I only wish we had an updated version of this helpful book on writing the novel as much has happened in the fiction field since 2010. A 2020 version could be pure gold.