Have you ever opened a book, read the first few pages, and then thrown it away in disgust? Perhaps you thought, “I could write better than that in my sleep”. And say, one day, that you try to start writing something. But, for some strange reason, it doesn’t feel right. True, you’ve read tons of great literature over the years, and you know what makes a good novel… But how do you capture the essence of the incredible story brewing in your head?
Many of the writers that will appear in this column over the following months have asked similar questions, frustrated by essential elements of the novel they just can’t seem to crack. Why isn’t my imagery more vibrant? How do I make my antagonist more interesting? What even is a subplot, really?
From now until May, various students from Colgan High School’s CFPA Creative Writing program will post articles with advice on everything from genre to POV to archetypes and more. Starting with entry #2, each post will be followed by answers to user-submitted questions (that’s you!) with personalized, specific advice relating to the previous topic.
For example, our first advice column, fittingly centered around how to open a novel, will go over basic information and delve into some examples. Around 2-3 weeks later, when our second advice column goes up, we will post that topic (centered around character) followed by the user-submitted questions that might ask things that we didn’t cover in our article. The deadline for submitting questions will be posted on the website and usually closes around 3-4 days before the column is set to publish.
We hope you are excited to join us on this journey as we delve into all the reasons why the best novels work, and why the worst novels feel like work to sit through.