Chapter 12

Writing the Novel


Bullet Looking at the literary novel

Bullet Writing commercial novels

Bullet Understanding different genres

Writing a novel is perhaps the most demanding form of fiction writing. A novel is usually simply defined as a fictional work of prose of more than about 50,000 words. So a novel is characterized mainly by its length, which presents quite a challenge to the writer.

Novels are important. The novel depicts, explores, and interprets human character and behavior. Not only are readers of novels entertained, but also, they’re able to reflect on human behavior and come to a deeper understanding of life’s problems. Through reading a novel, you can enter the consciousness of other people and explore the world as they see it – and understand their problems and difficulties. Through this created empathy, a novel can bring about social change: Charles Dickens exposed the reality of the poor in nineteenth century England and the first novel by an African-American writer, Frances E. W. Harper, Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted, dealt with serious social issues.

Less serious novels can also help you pass the time, reassure and entertain you, and provide escapism from ...

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