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. 😊

About Suyog Ketkar

He is a certified technical communicator. He believes that writing continues to be an easy-to-do-but-difficult-to-master job. In his work time, he proudly dons the “enabler” cape. In his non-work time, he dons many hats including one of a super-busy father.
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