You Can Write a Novel

Front Cover
Writer's Digest Books, Sep 15, 1998 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 128 pages
2 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

    LibraryThing Review

    User Review  - LisaMaria_C - LibraryThing

    On GoodReads two stars means "OK" and that's what my rating means: this is OK. OK as in "meh." There's nothing here you can't find in a gazillion books on writing craft. James Smith does have a few ... 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

    Other editions - View all

    Common terms and phrases

    Bibliographic information