There are many ways to get advice regarding writing a novel. There are courses, experts and any number of books and online advice. How to sort the wheat from the chaff?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and focusing on novels in particular for almost twenty years. While it’s hard to pick the “best” advice I’ve ever encountered, I’ll offer the Freytag Pyramid as one we can all benefit from. From my perspective, you can deconstruct any novel and it fits this model.
Very briefly, here is what each part comports:
- Exposition: setting the scene. The writer introduces the characters and setting, providing description and background.
- Inciting Incident: something happens to begin the action. A single event usually signals the beginning of the main conflict. The inciting incident is sometimes called ‘the complication’.
- Rising Action: the story builds and gets more exciting.
- Climax: the moment of greatest tension in a story. This is often the most exciting event. It is the event that the rising action builds up to and that the falling action follows.
- Falling Action: events happen as a result of the climax and we know that the story will soon end.
- Resolution: the character solves the main problem/conflict or someone solves it for him or her.
- Dénouement:(a French term, pronounced: day-noo-moh) the ending. At this point, any remaining secrets, questions or mysteries which remain after the resolution are solved by the characters or explained by the author. Sometimes the author leaves us to think about the THEME or future possibilities for the characters.