You Can Write a Novel

Front Cover
Writer's Digest Books, Sep 15, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 128 pages
8 Reviews
"I have a great idea for a novel, but I'm just not sure how to start..."

&break;&break;Sound familiar? The dream of virtually every hopeful fiction writer is to take that idea and turn it into a salable novel. In You Can Write a Novel, veteran author James Smith breaks down this complex process into simple, logical steps. His approach will guide you in a practical sequence designed to keep you focused, organized and moving forward while skillfully addressing the essentials, such as plot, character, setting, dialogue and action. Smith also shows how to generate a salable idea, develop that idea into a framework, and build that framework into a finished manuscript. What's more, he sets You Can Write a Novel apart from other how-to-write books by providing these unique features:


  • The Writer's Tool Kit: an indispensable invention for even the most seasoned writer. Using index cards, a file folder, a pocket folder, a legal pad and some tape, you will create a management system for building and keeping track of characters, constructing a main story line, adding subplots, revising on the fly and more!


  • Lifesaving Rules for the Writer: a variety of short technique advisories designed to keep you from wasting time or making fatal errors. These include:
    • The 40 Cardinal Rules of Writing&break;
    • 10 blunders that identify you as an amateur&break;
    • 8 places to mine or not mine ideas&break;
    • and many more
  • An Idea Scoring System: a method used to quantify your story idea's potential for success

    &break;&break;Smith's upbeat, accessible style will encourage you from start to finish, so don't waste another moment wondering if you have what it takes you succeed! You Can Write a Novel!


    What people are saying - Write a review

    User ratings

    5 stars
    4 stars
    3 stars
    2 stars
    1 star

    Review: You Can Write a Novel

    User Review  - Tammie Painter - Goodreads

    I really don't like "gimmicky" writing books and this one was quite gimmicky rather than giving solid writing advice. I give it two stars because it did have some good revision info at the end. Read full review

    Review: You Can Write a Novel

    User Review  - JD - Goodreads

    This is a great little book. It got me motivated to start writing again! Full of useful information. Read full review

    Selected pages


    Find and Refine a Salable Idea for Your Novel
    Invent the First Critical Pieces of Your Novel
    Build a Framework for Your Novels Pieces
    Write Your NovelPutting the Pieces Together
    Revise Your Novel to BestSeller Standards
    Prepare Your Novel for Sale

    Common terms and phrases

    About the author (1998)

    Smith is the author of 5 psychological thrillers.

    Bibliographic information