What Makes up a Good Novel?

A lot of people ask similar questions to me about writing. Most of them are clueless about where to begin. Some of them are clueless about how to end. And the remaining keep bothering about hitting a writer’s block even before they get to that point. And, while I busy myself with counting pages of my upcoming novel(s), I keep thinking if there were indeed a way to set up a good novel, what would I enlist as the top three things?

Allow me to delve this rather quickly.

A Big Idea

So long as you have a dream that doesn’t let you sleep, you are good to go. Similarly, so long as you have a plot that doesn’t seem to have an end, you are good to go as a writer.

How big should really a big idea be? The easy answer is: If you could figure out countless micro-plots between its beginning and its end, the plot is large enough.

I am of an increasingly believing belief that if the plot is quite simply explained in one line, why spend the rest of the pages of a book to reiterate it. I understand, toward the end, we all talk about feelings that can ultimately be summarized in a single word. For instance, love, togetherness, separation, sorrow, mindfulness, exasperation, devastation, despair, oneness, freedom, et al. Yet, logically speaking, if you don’t have a plot that’s big enough, you don’t need a book. Instead, create an article or a poem and have your readers enjoy it.

A Doable Deadline

Recently, I read an email advertisement that said: “Hurry! This is a deadline sale. It won’t be available tomorrow.” All I wish to say is that if you keep waiting to find time to write, you will never be able to make time to write. In the writing world, the souls don’t rest in peace, I say they rest only after the job is done.

A Sea of Emotions

Consider this: in a sea of emotions, readers wish to ride the waves of the story that flows up and down through the pages of your book. Your words set the sail for them. The gushes of your thoughts sail them through. Your expressions help them take deep dives into the writer’s thoughts. But, despite their sailing in a sea of emotions, the readers get drenched by only those emotions that move them the most.

In summary, a good novel must contain at least the three points we discussed. There could be a lot more than just the three we listed. As we end this conversation, I can only tell you to write for the reader; without them, you are nothing. 😊

Here’s Monsoon

When the heat burnt souls alive,
When the thirst to quench
Nothing but physical selves
Turned all choices but naïve,
When the harks went unheard-of
And everyone began to strive…

The boon served us with a downpour
That drenched us with happiness
Decorated our windows with
Invaluable pearls of joy unspeakable

And announced its arrival,
Much louder than it announced
The departure of despair and gloom…

Here’s monsoon.
©Suyog Ketkar

Be that Faith

Through the watery eyes that flow,
In the smoldering hearts that glow,
Be the faith you wish the world to sustain.

Through the darkest of nights,
In the glaring flaws appearing in daylight,
Let go of the fear. Let that belief remain.

Through the burgeoning dream you know,
In the countless hopes you sow,
Let the truth prevail. Falsity, never again.

Through despair have survived but few.
Be the one who comes out anew.
Let not the mind take over; that’s typical brain game.

For those who lament and shriek.
Reserve shoulders for those who are weak.
Let your life become a boon. Not a bane.

Through insanity you cannot be top gun.
Practicing Sang-Froid can make you but one.
Do that which is impossible; be sane.
©Suyog Ketkar