Writing aGood Novel - How to Structure Your Story

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  • Your first paragraph, need to be wonderful, perfect and exciting. 

It should grab the reader attention to give information, set tone for the story and motivate the reader.

 The paragraph shouldn’t have trick, lot of description and nothing happen and to be confusing. 

 Usually readers look for a :

- Nice title and a nice cover

- Good summary

- First Paragraph 


  • Your beginning should be well written to make the reader buy your book, you should provide enough information for the reader and keep a key to make reader interested, but don’t play withholding game too long. 

 Here are some example of opening paragraph : 

“Every Good and Perfect Gift”

“Gabby, I want a baby.”

I choked on my soda, grabbed the tissue DeeDee offered as I coughed up the liquid I’d inhaled, then looked to see if she was as serious as she sounded. She was.

“Talking to the dead”  

Kevin was dead and the people in my house wouldn't go home. They mingled after the funeral, eating sandwiches, drinking tea, and spoke in muffled tones. I didn't feel grateful for their presence. I felt exactly nothing. 

To catch the reader immediately, Your first paragraph should have a hook covers who, what, when, where, and why 

  •  Build a Three-Act Structure    

- Beginning  25 %

- Middle       50%

- The End    25% 

On the first stage you should have introduced major themes and preoccupations of the story and main characters.For the second stage you should line up and ready to go for gallop .The third stage bring everything to a climax and follows it with a brief denouement. You should have a pause in each stage for the character.


  • Have contrast and variety in the story, for example altering the tone, if your book is full of jokes, bring in something serious, if it’s been light-hearted, darken it a bit. If the hero is shooting for most of the story, let them have a love scene. Make the scene lively, bring the volume up and take it down again,  
  • Speeding up and slowing down. it can be applied to individual scenes, characters, relationships and just about everything 
  • Follow your story progress, it means you should tell the reader what is going on, keep their attention and give them an ending that wraps up what’s gone before, 
  • Compose a Graph of Action for your novel, that is a plan of what you do at the starting  and end of the writing. also you need a graph of complication which show twists and tangles of the story and graph of difficulty that show number of the obstacles put in the way of the protagonist. drawing graph is useful and help you to know your novel better. it gives you a big picture. 
  • Rate your scenes, write a list of scene in your story and number them, rate each scene on scale based on how fast events are moving and degree of complication and degree of tension and intensity. for example if your scene have lot of action and tension you may score high for and if has less tension and less action score lower, rankings will help you to see where you need to speed the things up or slow them down. the higher rank the more important the scene is, your rating shows you where you need to let the action take a break and where you need to wind up the tension again. 
Go to 7th Step in Writing a Good Novel - 
For more topics you can visit my web page Esmail Mahboob


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