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Writing Books/reaserch project


what i ment is that i have alot of ideas for events in one story but i dont know how to bring them together. how would you suggest this be done?-------------------------
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at my school my first period class is doing research projects on a subject of our choice. i chose novel writing. one of my quesions is when you have a lot of short story ideas how do you turn them into a novel. i am interested in novel writing because i have alot of good ideas but it would be my first time trying to put them into book form.   
Answer -
Hi, Nathan.

Well, taking an idea for a short story and expanding it into a novel isn't necessarily a good idea.  When you have a story idea that's really a novel idea, you'll know it.  The ideas are usually more complicated, more involved, than an idea for a short story.

Now, it almost sounds like you want to take SEVERAL stories and make them into a novel.  But unless the stories all use the same characters, and can be woven seamlessly into one story, this isn't really something practical.  A novel is one story with many elements... not just a collection of different stories all thrown together.

Ah... I see.

Well, that's another matter entirely.  And honestly, there's no real suggestion I can give you other than to experiment.

If you have ideas that actually translate in your head as SCENES, then you might benefit from one method that a lot of writers use: the "notecard" approach.  Get yourself a stack of 3x5 index cards and write down the events, one scene per card.  Then you can shuffle them around and arrange them in a way that makes sense.

If, however, all you have are some general concepts floating around in your head, you really need to develop them.  And short of just sitting down and writing to see what happens, I can't suggest much.

I do suggest, to everyone, to read good books about the craft of writing fiction.  (There are many of them... just browse the shelves at your bookstore and find one or two that seem to contain the info you're most in need of.)  Maybe take a class or two on writing, as well.

The sort of question you're asking is something that really only YOU can answer, because it's different for each writer.  Experience is your answer.  Just write.  Write a lot.  Eventually, you'll find the methods that work best for you.  (And they may be totally different from those used by others.)

Good luck.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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