The three must have elements for a compelling novel

How to begin?  When I began writing Scott Free, I spent a good month coming up with a concept that I thought contained 1) a good enough hook, 2) was unique, compelling, and interesting enough to keep younger readers reading.  I also wanted something with 3) strong thematic elements, that raised more questions than it answered.

These are all the components of a good novel, in my opinion.  The Hunger Games, for instance, by Suzanne Collins, has all of these elements in spades, it contemplates strong themes from our society, forces the reader to ask questions about the extent people will go to for entertainment, has an excellent hook, and follows through on every count.

The problem is, I hope that I’ve already created that in my YA novel, Scott Free, which I am currently working on perfecting along with the help of my literary agent, Steve Kasdin, from Curtis Brown.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that once it’s ready for submission to publishers it will be picked up and YA readers will be able to take part in the experience that took me a year to put down on paper.

But now that I’ve done that, what do I write about next?  What could be my next project that I care passionately enough about to dedicate nearly a year of my life to its completion?  If it took me a month to come up with something before, how long will it take me this time?  Because I’ve already rejected dozens of concepts and hooks and ideas, so what, exactly, is left for me?

I am excited to find out!


3 thoughts on “The three must have elements for a compelling novel

  1. You write very differently from me – I didn’t know the end of my book when I started and I wrote it all in sort of dream, or at least in another reality. If I didn’t have yWriter, I know it wouldn’t have been finished, because I jump around a lot in the plot. I nearly gave up at one point and probably because of the way I write – I thought I had lost the plot and had no idea how to get back to it

    1. I think a novel evolves as you are writing it, the ending for my novel changed completely between when I started it and when I finished it. I will check out ywriter, I’m assuming it’s a form of word processing similar to word, maybe it will be more helpful in keeping track of plotlines and trains of thoughts.

      1. I could not have written my book without yWriter. Its free – have a look here:
        I cannot believed how people like him will go to all this effort to not only write a program for us, but to answer correspondence from (idiot) writers like me! I need to quickly get down an idea, or a conversation – in Word I had become totally lost. I had all these snippets of writing and when I needed them, I couldn’t find them. The moment I downloaded yWriter, I was off and never looked back. My nephew has written a book, although a very YA scifi book, and he doesn’t need yWriter because he knows exactly what comes after what in each chapter and which chapter follows…eeeuw – not for me! Have a look at yWriter and if you need any pointers, drop me a line

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