“Writing a Novel: Eight Lessons Learned”

1. You have to know how to work yourself out of trouble.

2. Your novel should have some sort of spinal cord, supporting and relaying things from beginning to end.

3. It’s possible there is a more engaging opening farther inside the first few chapters of your draft. One that can be moved forward to replace the opening you originally had in mind.

4. During revision…To rearrange or re-word problematic parts is normal and safe. To compose something new has risks and can be more rewarding.

5. No matter what, you have to stay on top of your material and be its boss.

6. A good novel has a spine (see #2) and is layered with tension and resolution. If artful, it’s threaded with recurrent themes, and exhibits subtle moments of symmetry like music (or math).

7. Writing a brief description or elevator pitch should not be all that difficult.

8 .The ending of a novel is best written all at once in a crazed and feverish state.