How To Write a Novel: From Idea to Book is out now if you buy direct from my store, www.CreativePennBooks.com for ebook, audiobook, paperback, or workbook editions.
It will be out everywhere on your favorite store in your preferred format from 13 August 2022. More details and links here.
In today's special inbetweenisode, I share the Introduction from the audiobook edition of How to Write a Novel: From Idea to Book, written and narrated by me, Joanna Penn.
Introduction to How to Write a Novel
Writing a novel will change your life.
It might not be in the way that you expect, but when you hold your book in your hand and say, “I made this,” something will shift. The process of getting to that point will light a spark in your creative soul and help you discover unexpected aspects of yourself. It will be one of the things you are most proud of in your life. It will be worth the effort.
My goal with this book is to help you get there.
But How to Write a Novel is not an exhaustive tome of everything you could ever learn about writing. I have deliberately cut it down as much as possible.
The writing craft is like an iceberg.
You can write a novel with the basic knowledge that you can see above the surface. The hidden depths of the writing craft, like the iceberg, go much deeper than you can imagine. Learning it all cannot be achieved in a single lifetime, and that is part of the joy of being a writer. You learn something new with every story you write and every book that emerges into the world.
But you don’t need to know it all in order to get started.
In fact, if you wait until you know everything about the writing craft before you start your novel, you will be overwhelmed with too much information and, most likely, never finish.
This book will help those writing their first novel and also those who want to revisit the creative process. It covers the basic knowledge above the surface of the iceberg and hints at the depths beneath.
What sets this book apart is that I’m an intuitive discovery writer. I don’t plot or outline. Most craft books are written by plotters, outliners, and linear thinkers, so hopefully, I can also provide a different perspective.
You can certainly write and finish a novel with the information in this book, but there’s always more to learn. The writing craft is the journey of a lifetime. Let’s take the first step together.
You can learn how to write a novel
I used to think that authors sat at their desks, and perfect words flowed effortlessly from their fingertips. I thought that the sentences in the pages of a finished book emerged from the author’s mind fully formed. That writers entered a state of flow and wrote without effort. In fact, if it was difficult, and they struggled, perhaps they weren’t a ‘real’ writer after all. Perhaps they didn’t have talent or a gift for writing and, of course, that meant I could never write a novel because I, too, had neither.
But that is not the reality of the writing life.
The words you read in a finished novel result from hard work,