You Can Learn
How To Write A Novel!

Do you know how to write a novel?

One word at a time.

Kind of sounds like the "eat an elephant" joke, doesn't it? But it's also true.

Learning to write a novel may seem
a daunting task, even when you
want to do it. But if you're at all
like me, you have to write. And it can't be short.

I've tried short story writing. And every time someone reads one of my "short stories", they always ask, "Where's the next chapter?" I can't do short. I can only do long. Don't ask me why.

Why Do I Write?

For me, writing is like breathing. Stop, and I'd die. It's my vice of choice, my sanity, my stress release from a bad day or bad week. Such necessity kind of forced me to figure out how to write a novel.

How about you? Do you find yourself scribbling scenes on whatever scrap of paper is handy?

Guilty! So do I.

Do story ideas begin boiling over in your head while you watch a movie?

Yup, me too. Or the news, or (I'm so embarrassed) sometimes... commercials.

Do you read others' novels and think, "I can do better than this!"

Uh huh. I know exactly how you feel. It's like being possessed.

And this isn't a new obsession. Oh no.

Long before I knew how to write a novel, the seeds of "need" were sown. In eighth grade, my English teacher had us keep journals. And she read them as part of our grade for class. (Not out loud in front of the class, thank God!) Her comment to me was, "You write very well."

Tell that to an uncertain 14-year-old, and guess what? You've boosted her ego by miles. Something I can do well! Yippee!

So, blame it on my teacher. I've been writing fiction insatiably ever since.

The Obsession That Never Quits

Now, I can't stop myself. Literally. (Or is that literaturely? Go ahead. Groan at my bad puns. I'm used to it.)

I have characters that started forming in my head all those years ago, and metamorphed into their current form over the (many) years since.

Yeah, I hear voices in my head. All the time. Some days, they won't shut up.

But that's part of the fun. My characters have been hanging around long enough, I know them well, and still, they tell me how to write their novel. Especially when I'm in the shower. Of course.

Or going to sleep.

Do you find yourself exploding with ideas when you're drifting off? Or waking up?

Must be those great delta brain waves. You think you're relaxed and your brain's on fire.

As if you don't need sleep??

I mean, really! Can't those ideas come when you're awake? Better yet when you're "in the mood" to write (and have the time)?

Oh no... they have to come while your hands are full, or you're at work, or driving.

But I digress. (Always.)

One Word at a Time

If you want to learn how to write a novel, you've come to the "write" place. Because I want to help you.

One word at a time.

We'll talk characters. We'll dissect plot. We'll learn setting, description, dialogue, editing and find writers resources. We'll discuss all those words and how to stuff them into 300-400 pages. In good order. And cut the "fat" to make a winner.

So your readers can't put the book down, and they call you the next morning saying things like, "I couldn't go to sleep until 3:00 this morning. And it's YOUR fault! I couldn't put your book down!"

Yup. I've been told that by a friend who read one of my novels. Such a giddy "I did it!" feeling that brings! It's even better when they ask, "When's the next one going to be done?"

So, get out your notepad (or if your handwriting's as atrocious as mine, your laptop) and learn how to write a novel. One step at a time.

Come on! I can't help myself! (Or is that stop myself?)

But I can help you.

Update, June 2010

Just had to let you know I've added a little info about changes happening at my how to write a novel site and at home in the last twelve months. Click the "About Me" button above left (or the link here) and check it out at the bottom of that page.

Update, January 2013

Wow, it's 2013! No end of the world, thank goodness.

So, I'm still healing from breast cancer, and therefore, not available for writing and editing services any longer. Also, my newsletter is still on hiatus until further notice.

See just below for how you can help me out while I heal...

You probably noticed I'm changing the look of my website… again! That's what happens with a creative geek. She's just never satisfied for long.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back frequently, and bring all your friends!

Update October 2013

So slow getting to updates, when one is trying to get well...

My book, How to Build Your Own House Without Murdering Anyone is now available in both print and e-book versions. You can click the links to read excerpts (on my new dedicated author site), or go straight to buying the book (also on my new site). I'd love the support from anyone willing to give it, since I'm trying to pay off my medical bills so I can start a fund for those like me, who use alternative medicine to heal.

Thanks to all who help me out!

Oh, and if you haven't poked around the how to write a novel site recently, you might want to see the graphics I'm designing to add to most pages to make them more fun to see. They're scattered hither and yon right now, because I can't make 140+ graphics in one sitting.

Hope you enjoy the "pictures".

Update June 2014

Hey readers,

I bet you’re wondering what’s with the not-quite-matching colors on some of my graphics. Well, a couple years ago, Google made some changes that affected many websites - some of which weren’t doing anything wrong (like this one), but got caught in the “crossfire” so to speak.

Most of that is ironed out now, but a few things need changing. The big one, for this site, is a name change coming soon. And with that name change will come a design change (yeah, I know, I keep doing that), and a new slant to the content. No, I will not be taking down any of the great content you all know and love. I will just be tweaking it to make it a little more unique and informational.

The color changes you see happening already are in line with the new design. I apologize for making things look a little weird, but there are enough graphics, I figured I better get on top of it ahead of the change. All the new graphics I’m putting up at this point are in the new color scheme (maybe I’ll give you a sneak peak before the final unveiling). I’m also changing over the old ones as I have time.

There will be some short newsletters going out with more information, and to let you know what the new name is (I’m keeping it a secret a bit longer), so you can change your RSS feed and such and keep track of the site as it switches over.

I hope to have the change ready to go within a month or two, but there are quite a few before-tasks, and prepping for the immediately-after, so I have to finish those before I make the change.

Stay tuned for what’s coming!

Susie Henderson

P.S. I know the newsletter has not been going out for quite awhile. I hope you haven’t lost faith. I’m finally mostly back to good health, which gives me the energy to work on the site again. And the newsletter. It will be re-launching along with the new site name, as soon as I have everything in order to go ahead.

Thanks for your continued enthusiasm for my site. Happy writing!

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