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Seven suggestions for writing a novelSeven suggestions for writing a novel A recent posting to the altbookspurefiction and miscwriting newsgroups has initiated a spate of private emails to me about getting published and one person wanted my street address so he could drive over and literally put his manuscript into my hands I am neither a publisher nor an agent nor do I want to become one However I understand the frustration that goes with working on something for a large part of ones life only to have it dismissed with We cannot use this submission at this time Since the success of Consequences a number of aspiring novelists have asked me to read their manuscripts Initially I was flattered This feeling has begun to change and now I feel like the only private who didnt step back when the captain asked for volunteers There are many good books on novel writing From some of the manuscripts I have seen one might conclude that no one is reading these how-to books Perhaps one reason is the sheer volume of material available For the people who refuse to wade through the mass of good advice thats out there I have distilled it down to one page of the guidelines that I followed when I wrote my first novel My advice is to rewrite your work until it can pass these seven basic tests before submitting it anywhere If you have plenty of advice sources already and dont need more now would be a good time to stop reading John Ross Seven Suggestions for Writing a Novel 1 OUTLINE Some authors claim they just start writing and see what pops out If they do this and are successful more power to them I cannot imagine following this path and ending up
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