Deconstructing a Novel: Step 1

in #novel4 years ago


My plan is to deconstruct a novel and since no one would make the choice for me: Sue Grafton or Jonathan Kellerman, I used a random name picker. It selected Jonathan for me.

Hmm. Turns out that I want to deconstruct a Sue Grafton novel. So I went to another random picker and it picked J is for Judgement. That's fine with me.

The thing about making choices, just make one. If it doesn't feel right, change the choice. But change it before you begin.

This is Step One. Choosing a book.

I could give you information on the book, publication date, storyline, characters, and all that. But that is not the point. The point is to find out how the novel is shaped and how it ebbs and flows.

It's not about the writing, the prose, the character development, or how Sue Grafton actually wrote the book. It's not about being a plotter or a pantser.

Here I go.

There are 25 chapters and an Epilogue. It is written in the first person. Chapter 1 has 60 paragraphs.

I am going to break down each chapter by scenes and then by beats. It is not something I can do overnight so it may be a while before I am back with Step 2.

My writing post where I mentioned deconstructing a novel:


Oh, I am SO looking forward to seeing how you do this. Seriously, I need to learn how to deconstruct a novel so I can do it. Not a strong point of mine so I'm glad you're going to do it. Can't wait!!

It's a long story but I managed to get the novel into a format so I can figure out more of the mechanics of it. It's 97, 400 words long, more or less. Before I do anything, I always get into researching how to do it. Well, this time I didn't. I am just going to look at the mechanics of its structure.

Having a random picker or random person make the decision is a great way for you to learn what you actually want. Happens to me all the time.
I'll be interested to see how this goes. I'm not a murder-mystery fan for the most part so I really don't have a lot of knowledge about the structure of a typical murder-mystery novel. This should be a good learning experience for me.

I love the random picker because as soon as the decision is made, I know if that is what I really want to do. I have been dithering about Step 2 but I have decided to start with Chapter One and pull out the structure and keep on going like that.

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