A Novel Approach

Writers write, of course. So do engineers, judges, shop clerks, and prison guards. What writers do, however, is something different – writers tell us about the world in a new way, a previously unseen way, with a story written from a different point of view, by revealing history as it happens or by using new light to see through old windows.

And, writers show us the world that they have created. Writers put themselves out there.

I hope you enjoy A Novel Approach. The ideas we have shared are not the ‘right’ way to do anything so much as thoughts and examples to consider when making the choices that a writer must make to move beyond the subject, the verb, the sentence, and the paragraph. We have done that. Now it’s time for you to do what writers do. It’s time to apply the ideas we have talked about for the last year or so.

Are you ready?

Write a piece of between 1000 and 1,500 words in length. The only rule is that it must use both of the following sentences.

1. The land fell away from the road, leading to a row of elm trees, beyond which lay the unknown.

2. He (or she) held it in one hand and reflected on the shocking speed at which his (or her) fortunes had turned around, a longed-for moment that, even as it registered on him (or her), ceased to be a goal and became a memory.

That’s all there is to it. Will you write a story about soldiers, explorers, lovers, runaways? Is your tale that of a map, a compass, a scalpel in a cardiac surgery, a clogged fuel line to a carburetor?

That is for you to say. A writer can write that story. I look forward to reading yours.

Oh, yes. What do you do with it? Why not enter it in a literary contest, enjoy some fame and prestige? Put yourself out there. That is what you writers do, isn’t it?

How? Take a look at the most recent posting under ‘Blogs’ on JWLBOOKS.com. If you share it, your story will be entered in the First Annual A Novel Approach Literary Contest. That site will tell you where to send your story, what will become of it, and a few comments about the format.

In the meantime, thank you for sharing the literary journey with me. I wish you the best for your story.

I wish you the best for your literary career.

Jack Woodville London

See more writing

A Novel Approach: Number 24 Research and Accuracy in Historical Fiction — In Exquisitio Veritas

A Novel Approach

Part One: Readers with some passing knowledge of literature might be startled by reading in The Three Musketeers a...


A Novel Approach Number 21 ‘Elementary, my dear…’

A Novel Approach

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and Paris policewoman Sophie Neveu overcame one obstacle after the other in a never- ending...



On the Nightstand

In yet another twist to my highly acclaimed series of book reviews, I give you not a book but...