Rich Ritter - The New Voice of the American West

How to Write the Great American Novel: Step 1

I know many of you dream of writing The Great American Novel, but just don’t know where to start. Since I have now written two, I believe I am qualified to give you a few ideas. So with that presumptuous introduction concluded, I offer the following first step for your consideration. I will provide additional steps in future blogs, but this should get you started.

Listen more than you talk. The primary reason for this advice is that you don’t want every character in your novel to sound like you, especially those of opposite gender. To achieve authentic dialogue, you must write from your experiences of authentic conversations. This should be an easy one because most people talk more than they listen, usually a lot more. The only time you may encounter difficulties is if you run into someone else who has also read this blog—an unlikely event, but possible.

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