First, though, remember that there are different types of novel and you'll see from her website that Linda's novels fall within very specific genres and work within certain formulae (judging from brief descriptions and covers). So, this post is for those of you perhaps working within the same genres.
If you write what is generally termed "literary fiction", you will be following some different rules and working towards a different end. Crime fiction, too, has some special conventions. However, it's always worth being reminded of the basic rules behind story-telling. And if you don't know the basic rules, you don't know what to break and why or when.
When I've got time, I'll look for some other blogs or sites which take novel structure from the viewpoint of a more "literary" angle. Meanwhile, this is all you'll get on such a sunny day when I need to a) get some of my own novel-structuring done and b) go out into the beckoning sunshine.
So many people think a novel is little more than telling a story in clever words. But there are rules to follow (and then perhaps break, if you really know how and why - and often that's where lit fic comes into play) and techniques to master and many finer details of novel-writing that too many authors just don't know or think about.
And not knowing or thinking about them is a pretty sure-fire way to:
- be rejected
- and not know why
Being rejected is not a problem: it's just a glitch, a hurdle on the way to improvement. But if you don't know why you've been rejected, the glitch becomes the story of your life.